Commonly used as surveillance equipment, the various types of remote spy cameras include pinhole, disguised and night vision cameras. The advancement in miniature technology provides individuals with the opportunity to use various devices that send audio and visual (AV) information directly to a television (TV) and a videocassette recorder (VCR), computer or self-contained memory card. As modern spy gear uses a variety of sources of power, the devices are extremely versatile concerning placement.
At a mere 1 cubic inch (16.38 cubic centimeters) in size, inexpensive pinhole cameras with built-in microphones are widely employed by many people. The miniature cameras hide easily amongst everyday objects or lie inconspicuously concealed within another item. Each camera plugs into a wall outlet or utilizes battery power.
Each wireless, remote spy camera generally comes equipped with a small antenna that transmits AV signals, in black and white or color, to a remote receiver, which plugs into a TV and VCR or a personal computer for live viewing. Individuals also record camera signals onto either device for later viewing. The receiver can generally detect signals from one room to the next, but signal strengths vary with the quality of the equipment. Various sized receivers can accommodate anywhere from one to eight pinhole cameras, and the receiver displays each camera’s information on a different channel.
Almost any object imaginable can be a disguise for a remote spy camera. Manufacturers place the spy equipment in anything from a ballpoint pen to a backyard bird feeder. These devices are typically battery operated and many contain motion detectors that initiate the camera’s function. These self-contained, hidden cameras typically record information onto a removable secure digital (SD) card. The SD card is inserted into a computer or into a SD card reader that is attached to a computer to review the recorded images.
A special remote spy camera comes equipped with infrared light emitting diodes (LEDs) for day or night surveillance. Manufacturers design miniature remote spy cameras with night vision capabilities that measure less than one cubic inch (16.38 cubic centimeters) in size. In addition to having the ability to see in the dark, some of these versatile units are waterproof, allowing outdoor use. The wide-angle view of miniature cameras provides for surveillance of an entire room, and some have an unobstructed outdoor viewing range of up to 1000 feet (305 meters).
Comparable in size to pinhole cameras, these miniature night vision cameras camouflage easily within numerous environments. Many are battery powered, but certain models may be hardwired into place. The price for a remote spy camera varies greatly depending on the quality and extent of the system.