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June 4, 2004

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It's the very same gadget you see in movies where the good guys poke an optical cable under the door or through the keyhole of the bad guys so they can assess the situation just prior to kicking the door off its hinges and creating mayhem.

It does exactly what it looks like it does and you can clearly see everything in the room just as if you were standing at the point where the tip of the fibrescope is. You can even swivel it slightly to look in different directions and it attaches in seconds to a video camera with a 10X zoom to record all those same things on tape.

It's a very 007-style gadget which conjures up pictures of bullet-proof vests and gung-ho detective work, but the truth of the matter is that Ozspy, which sells the scope, sells more to motor mechanics and pest controllers than it does to private investigators.The 1.2 metre length of either makes it ideal for peering into engine bays which would otherwise be inaccessible without doing lots of work. It can even look conveniently inside the combustion chamber via the spark plug hole to assess damage or wear if you shine a light into said hole. For pest exterminators or building inspectors, it offers the ability to examine places which may otherwise be impossible to reach.

We're told the most common usage of the fibrescope for investigators is to identify the number plates of cars in locked garages to determine that the said car was actually parking in a said garage at a certain address at a certain time on a certain date and invariably it's all to do with establishing that extramarital affairs are taking place. At $1250 it isn't cheap, but if you're a mechanic or a building inspector, it could easily save a lot of time.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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