For starters, let’s agree that in most circumstances, it’s not very nice to record people’s activities without their knowledge. But how about protecting your rights, or capturing evidence of wrongdoing? Do special circumstances demand unorthodox methods?
Before we get completely bogged down in privacy issues and moral scruples, let’s introduce this nifty USB spy pen, a surprisingly effective gadget that secretly captures still or video images (with audio, courtesy of a teensy but effective microphone) on its 8 GB internal flash memory for playback on your computer. You get up to 5 hours of recording time in 640×480 resolution, which should be more than enough to nail the evildoer.
Resembling an elegant if somewhat fat fountain pen, it sits in your top pocket and does its thing while your unsuspecting subject talks away. The colour video is encoded on the fly through a buffer system to MPEG-4, and if the battery runs low during a recording session, the pen writes the video from buffer to flash before shutting down. Focus range is 150 mm to infinity, and white balance is adjusted automatically. The pen’s internal battery is charged from the mains via the supplied USB charger.
Tests in the PM office suggest that you’ll need to practise a little before embarking on your spy mission: before switching on the video camera with the little button at the top of the pen, make sure it’s positioned at the right angle (we managed to capture some compelling footage of our office ceiling). If you’d like your very own spy pen, be prepared to invest R399.
For more information, contact GeeWiz on 0861 017 423 or visit www.geewiz.co.za