JackPair is a prototype device that lets you encrypt voice calls with whatever phone you’re using.
A Kickstarter campaign for the device is seeking $35,000 in crowdfunding before it can go into production. If the funding reaches its target, it should come to market at a price of $89 for a single device, or $139 for a pair. For the encryption to work, a pair is required – with the other JackPair going to the person you’ll be talking to.
How it works is simple. You plug in your headphones to the JackPair box’s port. You then plug in the JackPair using a 3.5mm headphone jack to whatever phone you’re using, be it a landline, smartphone, or VoIP client on a desktop.
Once paired with another JackPair, the device will encrypt your voice prior to sending it via the network you’re using to the owner of its twin device.
To start an encrypted call, one of the two speakers will press a button on their device that will cause a one-time encryption key to be generated. If both can see the same key on their individual device, this means the call has been encrypted, and they are now free from surveillance.
Jeffrey Chang of JackPair believes it is beneficial to have a dedicated encryption device rather than an app serving the same function. This means the device doesn’t have to rely on a smartphone to work, and can be attached to other kinds of phones. It also avoids the danger of a compromised smartphone.
If the Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the JackPair team aims to get their device to market come December.