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Spy Gear

— Spy Gear

Rotundus GroundBot spherical surveillance robot broadcasts live in 3D

By - October 24, 2011 7 Pictures
Remote-controlled unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have proven exceptionally useful in military applications, but according to Swedish company Rotundus, they can be equally well applied to civil security. Rolling through mud, sand, snow, or even floating in the water, the Rotundus GroundBot spherically-shaped robot is equipped with a pair of cameras, providing its remote operator with a live video feed in 3D. Read More
— Spy Gear

Smartphone malware could identify words typed on nearby keyboards

By - October 19, 2011 1 Picture
If you're looking for a reason to buy an iPhone 3GS as opposed to an iPhone 4, besides the lower price, here's one: it's technically possible that malware on an iPhone 4 – if that phone were placed beside its user's computer keyboard – could be used to deduce what the user was typing. Once that data was stored on the phone, it could then be transmitted to another party. According to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who were able to use one of the phones for this purpose, any smartphone made within the past two years should be capable of doing so. Read More
— Spy Gear

Japanese company offers disturbingly-lifelike masks of clients' own faces

By - October 12, 2011 11 Pictures
It appears that there's a number of customers willing to pay a lot to be in possession of a lifelike replica of their face or even their whole head ... or at least, REAL-f hopes so. The Japanese company offers extremely realistic 3D models of human faces and heads made using vinyl chloride resin, based on its own technique called 3DPFs (3 Dimension Photo Forms). Read More
— Spy Gear

SpyNet Laser Trip Wire protects your priceless artifacts ... or sandwiches, more likely

By - October 3, 2011 2 Pictures
So, where do you keep your valuable pieces of jewelry and works of art? In a cabinet? No, that just won’t do at all. If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that valuable items should be stored out in the middle of a big open room, with a network of laser beams surrounding them. While we may be used to seeing such systems portrayed in places like the Louvre or Blofeld’s mansion, now you can buy your own – for forty bucks! It’s the Spynet Laser Trip Wire system, and it sure is niftier than a “Hands offa my stuff” sticker. Read More
— Spy Gear Feature

Gadgets for the ghosthunter

In a survey conducted by CBS News in 2005, it was found that 48 percent of Americans believed in ghosts. Other surveys have put the number at anywhere from around 20 to over 50 percent. While such figures certainly don't imply that ghosts are real, they do suggest that belief in them is relatively common. When someone does suspect that a ghost is present in their home or business, they will sometimes call in "experts" to ascertain if that is, in fact, the case ... and what sort of gear do these ghost hunters use to detect said spirits? Gizmag's (very intrepid) Ben Coxworth decided to find out. Read More
— Spy Gear

New tech creates 3D faces from 2D images

By - January 20, 2011 1 Picture
Biometric technology allows for the verification of an individual’s identity via parameters such as their fingerprints, iris, voice, DNA ... or facial features. However, given that most people’s faces have so much in common with one another (two eyes, a nose, etc.), it’s sometimes difficult for biometric systems to tell them apart based on flat two-dimensional images. With that in mind, researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton have created a computer algorithm that is capable of creating 3D models of faces based on 2D images. Read More
— Spy Gear

Real-life gadgets for real-life superheroes

By - November 8, 2010 24 Pictures
Yes, there are real-life superheroes. And no, we’re not just referring to firefighters, paramedics, and other heroic people who we’re used to seeing coming to the rescue of others. We’re talking about costume-wearing, identity-concealing, cool-name-having people who fight crime, pollution, or other evils in their own communities, on their own time, and at their own risk. Many of them actually patrol the city streets, ready to intervene if they see trouble brewing – and being ready includes having the right tools. Given that none of these people have Bruce Wayne’s budget, however, their gadgets tend to be less like Batmobile clones, and more like... well, read on and see for yourself. Read More
— Spy Gear

Computers could identify people by their ears

By - October 12, 2010 1 Picture
If you’ve watched any spy movies, then you’ll know that biometric security systems can recognize individuals based on physiological traits such as their fingerprints, handprints, faces and irises. Well, you may soon be able to add “ears” to that that list. Scientists from the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science have used a program called image ray transform to achieve a 99.6 percent success rate in automatically locating and isolating ears in 252 photos of peoples’ heads. Read More
— Spy Gear

Smart Eyes CCTV system 'works just like the human eye'

By - September 23, 2010 1 Picture
Watching live CCTV footage of thousands of people, trying to pick out any sort of noteworthy activity... it sounds like a very tedious, difficult job for a human being. That’s why researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology are working on an electronic system that uses the principles of human motion vision to do the same job. It is part of the EU’s SEARISE project, which stands for Smart Eyes: Attending and Recognizing Instances of Salient Events. Read More
— Spy Gear

New CCTV tech could spot abandoned baggage and track its owner

By - September 9, 2010 3 Pictures
We’ve told you before about CCTV programs that can identify criminal behavior, or that skip through footage where nothing’s happening. Now, a consortium of ten organizations from six European countries is working on another concept involving video monitoring of public spaces. It’s called the SUBITO project, for Surveillance of Unattended Baggage and the Identification and Tracking of the Owner, and it’s intended to do pretty much what the name suggests. Installed in existing security camera systems at places such as airports or train stations, the software will identify baggage that has been left unattended, and that could therefore possibly contain an explosive device. It will then search back to identify the person who deposited that baggage, then follow them forward through various cameras to establish their present location. Read More

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