Spy vs. Sly

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Surveillance gear that can keep a private eye on us all

Straight out of Get Smart, these high-definition-embedded (720p) camera/sunglasses have the ability to record a full two hours of video. The camera also has the capacity to stream images instantaneously (along with the option to download at a later time to your computer). It’s either going to be a social media breakthrough or a terrifying way for paranoids to get really invested in their affliction. $199, and available for pre-order at
SpyGear Bird Feeder/IR Camera
Backyard security cameras are nothing new, but for sheer inventive lunacy, this hidden, infrared, motion-activated camera is a standout. It begins recording as soon as movement or body heat is detected (up to 30 feet away) and records 20 hours of 640×480 video on an SD card. Recording will continue until one minute after motion ceases, then the unit returns to standby mode. It’s fully rechargeable, and likely won’t be noticed by even the most cautious intruders. $579

USB Flash Drive/Recorder
By day this is a perfectly normal 4 GB flash drive: by night, its onboard microphone can record more than 80 hours of conversations (or anything else audible). It needs no software, cables, or batteries (its onboard battery lasts four hours), and is just the thing for meetings, seminars, or recording for personal protection. $39.99
Sonic Parabolic Microphone
Used by law enforcement professionals for decades, parabolic microphones have the ability to pick up a normal human conversation by 100 feet away and more. This thrifty little model comes with headphones, but there’s also the option to plug the microphone into your camera for a truly new way to zoom in. $99
Blackbox SafeEye
This dual camera and GPS tracker unit records everything that goes on both inside and in front of the vehicle (downloaded to an SD card), and plots its position constantly for remote monitoring. This capacity has a number of uses (including tracking what’s going on in commercial fleets), but for the relentlessly curious (ok…snoopy) members of our audience, it’s a great way to simulate the front-facing cameras of police cruisers. $349
Pro Extreme LaserScan
In the countersurveillance realm, we have this amazing hidden camera locator. Its two, high-power pulsating laser frequency beams scan for camera lenses up to 50 feet away, and alert the user if they detect one. Think of the pants-less embarrassment this might’ve saved Britney Spears if she’d utilized one of these years ago. $279
SleuthGear iTrail
GPS trackers have been with us for ages, but this unit achieves breakthroughs in both size and recording capacity. Designed to be placed in (or on) a car, a kid’s backpack, or virtually anywhere else, it collects 120 hours of travel data wherever it goes, which can then be uploaded to your computer via a USB cable. Software will then reduce a detailed printable report to view in Google maps or Google Earth. $189
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