12 top spy gadgets

Spy gear for your inner secret agent. These cool (and possibly useful) gadgets would dazzle James Bond!

  • Spy vs. Spy

    Spies are everywhere these days, from the [[xref:|10 Russians nabbed in the United States|Russian red-eye for redhead spy]] to Angelina Jolie, who in the movie Salt plays a woman accused of being a Russian spy. With so many secret agents--both real and fictional--in the public consciousness these days, we thought a short list of high-tech spy gear was in order. Just remember: Using any of this [[xref:|spy gear may be illegal or unethical|Personal Spy Gear: Is It Ethical? Is It Legal?]], and by linking to Websites hosting additional information about the items shown in this slideshow, we do not mean to endorse them.

    Read the full story: "[[xref:|12 Top Spy Gadgets|12 Top Spy Gadgets]]"
  • Remote Monitoring

    The [[xref:|Small B/W Wall Clock Camera|Small B/W Wall Clock Camera]] (lower left, US$276) has a black-and-white camera hidden inside, while the [[xref:|Air Freshener 3G Camera|Air Freshener 3G Camera]] (lower middle, US$720) has a color camera inside plus a SIM card that lets you watch the live video feed on a 3G phone. The [[xref:|Power Strip Hidden Audio Monitoring Device|Power Strip Hidden Audio Monitoring Device]] (upper left, US$1209) is also rigged with a SIM card and a microphone, so you can dial in and listen to conversations. For $100 more, you can get a version that calls you when it detects voices in the room.

    Images: Amazon, Eyetek, DPL Surveillance
  • Spy Cams

    As for tiny cameras that record on the sly, options include (left to right) the [[xref:|Spy Pen Camera|Spy Pen Camera]] (US$30), which lets you download 640-by-480 video and audio recorded on the built-in 4GB memory straight onto your computer; the [[xref:|Button Camera|Button Camera]] (US$129), featuring three styles of button covers with matching real buttons for the rest of your jacket or shirt; the [[xref:|Key Ring Spy Camera|Key Ring Spy Camera]] (US$102) with built-in microphone; and the dressy [[xref:|Tie Camera|Tie Camera]] (US$252), which can share a power supply with the optional Covert Video Recorder (US$389).

    Images: USA Spy Shop, Eyetek, DragonNext
  • Cellular Jammers

    Need to scramble a cellular signal so it renders nearby cellphones' calling capabilities useless? The [[xref:|High Power Portable Jammer|High Power Portable Jammer]] (left, $205) isn't covert, but it can scramble signals at distances of up to 60 feet away. The [[xref:|3G Mini Cell Jammer|3G Mini Cell Jammer]] (right, US$199) promises to scramble cell signals for 3G, UMTS, CDMA, and GSM networks within a range of up to 32 feet.

    Images: PhoneJammer
  • Keyloggers

    When spies (and paranoid spouses) want to find out a person's password, they turn to keyloggers. The [[xref:|PS2 Keylogger|PS2 Keylogger]] (upper left, US$71) works with older keyboards, while the [[xref:|KeyKatch USB keylogger|KeyKatch USB keylogger]] (right, US$130) connects between the keyboard cable and a USB port on newer computers. [[xref:|Ultimate Keylogger software|Ultimate Keylogger software]] (lower left, starting at US$26) can monitor not only keystrokes, but also applications and visited Websites.

    Images: MegaSpy, Eyetek
  • GPS Trackers

    The [[xref:|PTXTrak Real-Time GPS Tracking Device|PTXTrak Real-Time GPS Tracking Device]] (left, US$470) transmits the location of a car or person every 10 seconds (if driving) or every 20 feet (if walking), while you watch on a Web-based map. The [[xref:|Mini GPS Logger|Mini GPS Logger]] (right, US$288) records and stores--on the device itself--the route, stop time, speed, direction, and altitude of a moving object. Subsequently you can retrieve the data and download it to a computer via USB.

    Images: Eyetek, SpyGear4U
  • Document Scanners

    PlanOn's handy document scanners do the job quickly and covertly--assuming that no one considers moving an unopened ballpoint pen rapidly across every line of text on a page to be odd. The [[xref:|DocuPen Xtreme X05|DocuPen Xtreme X05]] (top, US$300) comes with 64MB of internal memory, takes MicroSD cards for expansion, and can perform Bluetooth transfers as well. The [[xref:|DocuPen RC810|DocuPen RC810]] (bottom, US$170) has 8MB of memory and takes about 4 to 8 seconds to scan a full page of text.

    Images: PlanOn
  • Antibugging Protection

    In the spy vs. spy world of gadgets and countergadgets, there are some easy ways to avoid being bugged. The [[xref:|PE-AJ1 Audio Jammer electronic noise generator|PE-AJ1 Audio Jammer electronic noise generator]] (left, US$169) can knock out any wired or wireless microphone within an area of 150 square feet (note, however, that a protected area of 150 square feet works out to a protected radius of only about 7 feet, according to the ancient spy formula A = Πr2). The [[xref:|KB-DD800 Multifunctional Portable Sweep Unit|KB-DD800 Multifunctional Portable Sweep Unit]] (right, US$495) purportedly can detect bugs and cameras hidden in the room, as well as GPS trackers and wire telephone tapping.

    Images: SpyGear4U
  • Night Vision

    The [[xref:|Night Own 3x50 monocular|Night Own 3x50 monocular]] (upper left, US$450) is suitable for camping, boating or wildlife observation, as well as for espionage, while the [[xref:|Patrol 2X24 monocular|Patrol 2X24 monocular]] (right, US$360) is a sound entry-level model that you can attach to a tripod. If you want to go pro, consider the [[xref:|Ranger Digital Night Vision 5x42 binoculars|Ranger Digital Night Vision 5x42 binoculars]] (lower left, US$760), with 5X magnification, a built-in LCD screen, and a rubberized body.

    Images: MegaSpys
  • Aerial Snooping

    It looks like a prop from a Batman movie, but [[xref:|The Bat|The Bat]] (left, not available in stores) is a functioning drone that carries microphones, shoots photos and video, and comes equipped with sensors for detecting poisonous gases and radiation. Only 6 inches wide, it cost US$10 million to develop at the University of Michigan. More down to earth (but still up in the air) is the [[xref:|Spy Kite|Spy Kite]] (right, US$46), which lets you snap photos from heights of up to 80 feet and download them to your PC via USB.

    Images: Walyou, GadgetShop
  • Phones No Longer Safe

    If your mission is to spy on someone who uses a BlackBerry or an Android phone, a service called [[xref:|MobiStealth|MobiStealth]] (left, $80 for three months) promises to enable you to monitor their location, listen to phone calls via a Web interface, and check the user's text messages and Web history. Mobile Spy claims that its [[xref:|iPhone Spy software|iPhone Spy software]] (right, US$50 for three months) works in a similar manner with iPhones--but only if they've been jailbroken.
  • Spy Coins

    These hollow spy coins from Dereu & Sons have been in use since the Cold War by spies to transport secret messages or suicide poisons. Now you can use them to carry a MicroSD card. Available coins include [[xref:|U.S. nickels|U.S. nickels]] (left, US$30 each) and half-dollars (a better deal at US$25 each), British pounds (right, US$33 each), and EU euros (US$30 each).

    Images: Dereu & Sons Mfg. Co.

    Read the full story: "[[xref:|12 Top Spy Gadgets|12 Top Spy Gadgets]]"
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