You can find dozens of Internet markets selling spy gadgets. Most often they are semi-anonymous on-line shops offering Chinese miniature video cameras and dictaphones. Sometimes you can run into more original gadgets, from GSM-bugs to night vision devices.
Gadgets-Reviews decided to systemize the information of all spy devices available for the moment. We are not going to advertise any models and foist them on purchasers. Our material is intended to be exclusively analytical. We are just interesting in the extent of up-to-date digital technologies sophistication and their availability for ordinary customers.
Spying on somebody, you offend against his or her rights. One must either let a person know beforehand about one’s intention, or stop spying. There is no sense in disputing! One must not offend against law and purchase portable video cameras by stealth. One must be careful purchasing a device not to offend against legislation of one’s country.
Spy gadgets for kids
Spy gadgets for kids are unlikely to attract the attention of secret services. Is there any boy that doesn’t dream of becoming a secret agent? When a kid, everyone would often organize special operations and shadow villains in one’s yard.
The demand for such games generates the offer from the Chinese manufacturers. The same Internet-markets offer a robust product range to the parents of future “James Bonds”. Some products are nothing more than simple toys. Others possess a certain technical potential.
Thus, accessories like “disk Blaster” or “glowing hand” are called “spy” ones only for the sake of the best marketing effect. It’s clear that diode tubes-fingers shine spectacularly in darkness and let the child fancy that he is Freddy Krueger… . Nevertheless, this device is practically of no use. The same is true about the blaster which can only fire with plastic discs for the distance of 20 meters. However, children buy them willingly: 5$ Chinese toys have always been and remain the hits of sales.
For 7-8$ you may find “night vision binoculars” for kids. Sounds cool. Provided that you are unaware that the effect of night vision is provided by a flashlight attached to the device :) It is this flashlight that will ensure the 7.5 m view field (what enemy can be shadowed at such a distance is a great question).
Primitive motion sensors cost about the same money. Such sensor can detect the motion at the distance of 1.5 m. If someone crosses the invisible ray, the characteristic sound signal will be heard. This device may be used by adults as well, for example, to follow their child moving about the nursery. Though, to rely upon similar technical devices is not wise as they break often and can be easily “fooled up”.
The best of spy gadgets for kids are voice encoders, pens with invisible ink, and pretty good radios. Though they are 2-3 times more expensive than other toys, their functionality is worth it.
A wrist cheating watch deserves separate discussing. The gadget is labeled as a “good for school”, but it will fit for University exams too. This is a watch-crib imitating an ordinary wrist watch. An electronic crib can turn the pages independently and, when necessary, it can be blocked by pressing, turning into an ordinary watch. The display supports *txt and *Jpeg formats. This gadget appears to be the most original spy device for kids.
Spy gadgets: mini-Dictaphones, FM-bugs, GSM-bugs, phone bugs
It is difficult to see the boarder that separates an ordinary legal Dictaphone from a mini-Dictaphone designed to be engaged in shadowing and espionage.
Such Dictaphones can record the sound coming from a definite direction at the distance of 15 m and decrease significantly the noise background of microphones.
Thanks to what is it achieved? If the object being recorded is located sideways, away from the direction of microphones action, the signal is extinguished due to the resulting difference of phases of sound. In case the object being recorded is placed directly towards the action of microphones, the sound waves are summed up and the signal increases. Many models possess also the function of noise reduction of their own microphones.
Do you know the parameters of spy Dictaphones? How do you like this: 7-12 gm and 1 inch long?
Despite their size, these Dictaphones are professional sound recording devices and are intended to perform high-quality audio recording under the unfavorable conditions of complex acoustics and far distance.
The most of “spy Dictaphones” are made in China. Among them there are pretty cool devices which may be used even by security services. As a rule, the devices of such level are protected by PIN code, an electrical wave blocker and a strong metal case.
Bugs for wiretapping
It is worth to discuss separately so-called “bugs”. Electronic devices can provide on-line wiretapping or record audio on remote media. These devices are absolutely prohibited.
FM-bugs and GSM-bugs are especially popular in Internet-shops. FM-bugs can transmit sound in a radius of up to 250 m for 110 h uninterruptedly. To be able to listen to broadcasting in the given radio bug, one should turn on any radio operating in the FM diapason (mobile phone, smart phone, car stereo) and catch the signal varying in the average range from 92 to 103 MHZ, that is all.
GSM-bugs sometimes mask as computer devices. They may be hidden even in line filters. To work successfully such transmitter needs a special SIM-card which the “spy” must call on. At calling, the wiretapping bug “lifts the handset” automatically, allowing you to hear the environment. A GSM-bug stores your phone number automatically and so it calls on you when any noise is occurring in the room where it is situated in.
One may also purchase a “telephone bug” on-line. It is designed to be put into one’s own phone, and not the phone of anybody else. It can record any useful information, e.g. threads in one’s address which may afterwards serve as evidence in court.
The hidden camera shoots you on location: alarm clock cameras, pen cameras, wrist watch cameras
The up-to-date video technologies are possible to use not only against law. For example, video babysitters are well known to everybody, they help parents to follow their babies. Or let’s take security cameras that provide the inviolability of private territories.
However, spyware on-line shops offer a great deal of less innocent devices. As a rule, under a tag “video” they offer micro cameras. In this field the fantasy of Chinese developers is fertile. They push lenses and other “filling” of various qualities into the unimaginable places! We succeeded to find alarm clock cameras, pen cameras, lipstick cameras and brooch cameras! Some cameras are masked in different sort: they are fixed as a “bug” in any place hard to reach and work there as long as the battery permits (the permission is various, from half an hour to several hours).
At the majority of portals the top-list of buyers includes a water-proof watch with HD camera and a pen camera made as a gold pen of luxury-class. The first micro camera can record video of HD format with 1280*960 resolution and has 8 gigabytes of internal memory. The spy thing possesses a mini Dictaphone with a sensitive microphone able to record at the distance of to 15 m. The installed accumulator provides video recording continuously for 120 min. The cost of such watch is about 50$.
What concerns pen cameras, their picture resolution is about 640*480. The accumulator will last for to 90 min of continuous video shooting. Budget models (about 25$) are designed for operative and rapid shooting of accidents and extreme situations. The video is recorded in AVI format and is easily readable by any players, computers and smart phones.
The manufacturer of these models is unknown and we couldn’t find any reviews estimating the working quality of these devices. Users of these models are most likely to disguise since they are not willing to instigate special services, police and other unfriendly organizations against themselves.
Alarm-clock camera – unlimited recording time
If spy watches and pens are designed to operate autonomously beyond the flat, an alarm-clock camera is directed to shoot home video. As a rule, it is used to monitor the behavior of one’s family members: a jealous husband places the alarm-clock at bedside to control his wife, strict parents peep at their teenagers, using such chronometer.
A significant advantage of this device is that it has the unlimited time to record the video (this period may be determined by the size of the SD-card only).
We are not going to discuss a moral aspect of the problem since this is what everybody must decide for himself.
The separate shelf in spy shops is occupied by “tracking systems”. Of course, they are not professional systems but much simpler ones. In fact, Internet-shops offer the set of web-cameras of various qualities tied to one’s PC or laptop. Special soft synchronizes the image with each camera of the set onto a special multi-screen.
A budget tracking system may be purchased for not more than 150$. It includes a pair of cameras, a powerful hard disk and software. More perfect models cost more. They permit to monitor one’s house corridors and the adjacent territory.
The dream of James Bond: the devices of night vision, rangefinders, wiretapping silencers, blockers
The assortment of spy markets is not bounded by audio- and video recording devices. Gadgets-Reviews Portal attracts your attention to the most unusual “secret” gadgets and devices.
For example, any hunter or fisherman can appreciate high the devices of night vision. Pay attention that the most of such devices being sold are monoculars. The point here is that the system of night vision made as binoculars costs too much for an ordinary buyer. What concerns monoculars, they may be bought for 300$, and even for 150.
One more “hunting cool thing” is a laser rangefinder. These gadgets cost as much as the devices of night vision do but perform quite different functions. Laser aiming helps to determine the exact distance and correct the shot, no difference what it is fired from, even from a bow. Thus, the rangefinder Legend 1200 ARC detects the distance to 1100 m instantly at calculating the true horizontal distance, basing on ground decline angle by means of ARC technology. As a rule, the devices are equipped with a ballistic calculator and minimal software. Also, they are water- and shockproof.
Spy gadgets which protect from spy gadgets: blockers and silencers
The whole series of spy gadgets protects…from spy gadgets. Some of them find hidden cameras professionally. Their work is based on a rather simple mechanism.
Any camera or video bug has an object-glass containing a lens. The devices work to detect lights which are reflected by the lens of a hidden video camera. The detector emits a powerful light flow of red spectrum. When the light reaches the lens of a hidden camera, this light is reflected by the detector’s object-glass, and the user can see a bright flare which can’t be confused with anything else (usual things don’t give bright flares).
The same series includes the blockers of GSM- and FM-bugs which stop the signal of wiretap installed.
There are hardcore blockers working with the signals of cell phones. Devices legally available only for special services are easy to find in Internet. Blockers stop calls and SMS coming from a certain location. Such devices may be used by quick-witted lecturers at exams to prevent students from using phone Internet, or by persons who become furious because of unwanted calls during a theatre or cinema performance. Nevertheless, we are aware that using such devices is illegal.
Instead of P.S.
Working with this material, we read dozens of comments of users displeased with legal prohibition to use “spy things”.
Did it ever occur to you that the most famous manufacturers in the hi-tech world have never put anything like that on the market? You can never find a spy pen by Sony or Samsung! All similar things are being produced by Chinamen that aren’t afraid of law by some reason. As a result, we have rather low quality of all devices mentioned, the absence of adequate system of warranty, constant “bugs” and “lags”.
It doesn’t mean that there is no social demand for such devices. However, the problem of “spy things” legalization can’t be solved fast. Till now the “Contra” arguments outweigh those of “Pro”.