After discussing an unusual percussion device named Hanpan during a private conversation, I began receiving ads. What are the odds? Is it possible that Google, Siri, Alexa, or certain apps are eavesdropping on private conversations to serve ads? That’s the best-case scenario. However, experts assert that this phenomenon is more likely due to look-alike audiences. They don’t need to listen in on private conversations. The other person might have searched for the item, and through geolocation, IPs, common contacts, and other factors, they deduce our connection. Interestingly, I spoke with the other person, and she neither searched, talked about, wrote about, nor even imagined the Hanpan.

Nevertheless, this anecdote served as the inspiration for The Unthing—a small device designed to “speak” near a phone, subtly inserting mentions of products or services. Later, these mentions can be matched with the ads served." 📱🔍🗣️📢

Parts required


  • DfPlayer VCC and GND to DC female connector
  • DfPlayer Key and GND to Fermion AdKey and GND
  • DFPlayer Pro R+ and R- to the Speaker

Software required

  • Python
  • OpenAI API
  • Art library

Get an OpenAI API and execute these sentences

pip install openai

pip install art

3d stand

Download the 2 parts, rotate the front -65 degrees and print with PLA. 

Loading script

The Python script is in charge of choosing a product or service, generating conversations texts casually mentioning the product or service, converting those texts to speech and loading the mp3 to the Unthing.

Before executing the script a few parameters have to be edited.

ChatGPTKey = "" // openAI API key

model = "gpt-3.5-turbo-instruct" // model to be used. You can leave this one unless it becomes deprecated

temperature1 = 0.9 // how creative is the product or service

temperature2 = 0.5 // how creative is the conversation around the product or service

audioQty = 6 // how many audios

DfPlayerProUnit = "D:" // external unit assigned to the DFPlayer

nationality = "Argentino" //nationality

age = "35" // age

workAt = "un restaurante" // work

sex = "man" // sex

You can also change the prompts for product and conversation with prompt1 and prompt2. Just leave ITEM exactly as this since it will be replaced at execution time.

After that, connect the USB cable and execute


Note: it is better not to share accounts, IPs and other linked information between the Smartphone and OpenAI. You can also use a local LLM instead of OpenAI.


Connect the Power Source, place the device near the Smartphone and press the K0 to start or pause the conversations. K1 and K2 for Last/Next and K6 and K7 for Volume.

Why is it called The Unthing

“The Thing ... was one of the first covert listening devices (or "bugs") to use passive techniques to transmit an audio signal. It was concealed inside a gift given by the Soviet Union to W. Averell Harriman, the United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, on August 4, 1945. Because it was passive, needing electromagnetic energy from an outside source to become energized and active…. The Thing was designed by Soviet Russian inventor Leon Theremin,best known for his invention of the theremin, an electronic musical instrument”