Do you ever get the feeling somebody is watching you? Perhaps somebody is – with this new miniature camera from Swann. It isn’t strictly speaking a Mac product, to use it with a Mac you need MyTV from Eskape (see opposite). Together the two products add up to a nifty surveillance outfit for fun, security or even a little home-brewed espionage.
The camera is 2.5cm across, though the lens itself is only 4mm in diameter. This means it can easily hide in anything you can poke a hole in. It is currently sitting on my desk stuck to the inside of a Christmas card. Even knowing that there is a camera doesn’t appear to help people figure out where it is. With the image from the camera displayed on my screen, people still had difficulty finding it. If they weren’t looking for a camera, it would be practically invisible.
So, apart from jolly japes in the office, are there any legitimate uses for the SpyCam? One good use is as a video entry phone. When a caller turns up unexpectedly you can covertly check who it is – TV-detector people will hate it. Also, with some software from NuSpectra (www.nuspectra.com), called SiteCam 5.0, you can have your own Webcam, allowing people to spy on your own comings and goings. To use this a permanent Internet connection is needed, so unless it is set up to broadcast from work, or you’re one of the few with ADSL, you’re out of luck.
One drawback with the SpyCam is the lack of audio. It isn’t much fun spying on your boss’ private meetings if you can’t hear what he’s saying. A separate microphone can be used, but it’s likely to be bigger than the camera.
I thought there’d be rules on when and where you can spy on people. But, a quick search on the Internet turned-up zilch – bonus.
Whether the SpyCam is used for fun or espionage, it will provide hours of fun for a budget James Bond.