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deviceOwl - Discover Device Potential


Whether you're renting an apartment, hotel room, or home-stay, it can be troubling to know that someone else might be watching and recording your actions, while in the privacy of your room.

The increasing availability of covert consumer surveillance devices, combined with a historical increase in travel, and popularity of home rentals has resulted in the increased abuse of these devices to monitor the activities of their tenants beyond the acceptable use policies of the home rental companies, and the law.

Additionally, standard household smart devices can greatly enhance the convenience and peace of mind we have at home, but sometimes at a cost of privacy and security.

Most importantly, the biometric information captured, stored, and shared by these devices, including facial profiles and voiceprints can be neglected & abused.

What is deviceOwl?

With an eye towards privacy, deviceOwl can help you identify popular consumer household smart devices, and covert consumer surveillance devices, along with their capabilities.

The knowledge of a device's capabilities can help you make better decisions about how to protect yourself, and the people you care about.

Using a simple point-and-scan approach, deviceOwl helps you to quickly check the capabilities, and surveillance potential of visible suspicious and unknown devices.

If a known device is detected, deviceOwl displays simple yet holistic information about it's capabilities, allowing you to take the appropriate actions to protect your privacy.

deviceOwl uses true AI-based device threat intelligence, that is periodically updated by Entropic Labs through the Owl Cognition Network.

These updates help deviceOwl to recognize newly released devices, along with providing information on their capabilities from a privacy perspective.

What Makes deviceOwl Unique?

deviceOwl engages the "Internet of Things" privacy problem with an unprecedented approach to device identification. Intelligent computer vision is used to help you efficiently identify suspicious & unknown devices, and reveal their true nature.

Simply point your smartphone at a device, and let deviceOwl intelligently compare it to thousands of known surveillance devices.

In the event that known device is identified, information is presented to help you make the right decisions about how to protect your privacy.

What is a Household Smart Device?

A household smart device is one that is intended to make your life more convenient, increase your peace of mind, or security at home.

Generally speaking, these devices are not marketed, or intended with the singular purpose of spying on individuals, though this is commonly a by-product of their design, and an organization's transmission, handling, and centralization of captured personal information.

Smart devices produced by companies headquartered in geopolitically agressive countries, or by companies managed by citizens of these countries, should be treated with more prudence.

This is because the information gathered by these devices as part of their regular operation can be summoned by the host government, by applying pressure on the company and the citizens who manage it.

Smart Speaker

Smart devices can be checked using deviceOwl Basic Edition, which is the default version installed from the App Store.

Examples of Smart Devices

Some examples of these devices include smart smoke alarms, smart speakers, smart motion detectors, and smart cameras.

What is a Covert Surveillance Device?

A covert consumer surveillance device is one that is created for the purpose of spying on individuals.

These devices are typically disguised as an object that blends into it's environment, and have historically been exploited for spying in rental properties, homes, hotels, home-stays, and conference rooms.

These devices differ from Smart Devices in that they are intended solely for spying on individuals. Beyond surveillance, they may also offer limited functionality to support the disguised purpose of the device.

Covert consumer surveillance devices also differ from advanced surveillance equipment developed for government or corporate surveillance, since they lack advanced features, are openly available for purchase, and are likely more physically recognizable by the general public.

Camera Embedded in a Thermostat

This does not preclude the use of these devices however, by the above entities.

A subscription to Advanced Edition boosts deviceOwl's knowledge with additional intelligence about covert consumer surveillance devices.

Examples of These Devices

Some examples of these devices include spy smoke alarms, spy thermostats, spy air fresheners, spy power outlets and spy motion detectors.

The current list of device types tracked by Entropic Labs is here.

Knowledge Updates

deviceOwl includes periodically updated device knowledge that includes in-depth information about thousands of household smart devices, such as smart speakers & smart thermostats and covert consumer surveillance devices, such as spy thermostats, spy smoke alarms, spy alarm clocks and many other surveillance devices currently being sold on e-commerce sites.

Designed for Travel

deviceOwl is designed for travelling, and therefore once installed and updated, does not require a cloud, or even a network connection to perform device identification.

This makes it ideal for travelling in regions that may not have an Internet connection, due to poor cellular infrastructure, lack of coverage, national protective firewalls, or simply being inconvenient to configure after a long journey.

Where Can I Use It?

deviceOwl is especially useful for checking suspicious or unknown devices, in areas such as:

  1. Your Apartment - Instead of having to arduously search the Internet for devices that look like the suspicious one you see in your apartment, use deviceOwl to immediately check that device you've always wondered about.

  2. Hotels, Homestays and Rental Accomodation - Before you settle in to your hotel, homestay or rental room, use deviceOwl to check objects that look suspicious or unknown. Once fully updated, deviceOwl doesn't require an Internet connection to work. You'll be able to check devices immediately, without having to setup your WiFi or cellular connection, which is especially useful when travelling.

  3. Offsite Corporate Conference Rooms - As part of a leased meeting room setup, deviceOwl can be used to check suspicious and unknown objects that could be used to record the event proceedings.

  4. Public Areas - In public areas, use deviceOwl to check the surveillance potential of objects that look suspicious.

  5. At Home - At home, deviceOwl can be used to reveal more about the devices that you may have accumulated around your home, such as smart speakers, smart thermostats and smart hubs.

What types of Devices are Recognized?

Covert spy devices are typically disguised as familiar objects that you trust, making them difficult to notice. The types of devices identified by deviceOwl are constantly being refined and expanded by Entropic Labs.

The latest list of Form Factors supported by deviceOwl is available on the Entropic Labs web site.

Getting Started

You'll need an iPhone to use deviceOwl with iOS version 13 or higher, with support for Augmented Reality. Refer to Apple's Augmented Reality page for more information.

To get started using deviceOwl to check devices, click here for an overview of the main features.


For frequently asked questions about deviceOwl, please refer to our FAQ.


For an explanation of terms used in deviceOwl, please refer to the terminology guide.