Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Spy Gear

Innovative 32X Optical Zoom Lens Camera

March 30, 2007 It seems that it’s not just consumer digital cameras that are heading towards mega-zoom capabilities. Samsung Electronics’ latest high performance surveillance camera has a 1/4” Ex-view HAD CCD has a whopping 32X optical zoom and is now being employed by GVI Security in its surveillance solutions. The new system is currently being shown for the first time at ISC West in Las Vegas which opened this week. The camera also includes a WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) function, which provides clear images even under extreme backlight circumstances where the intensity of illumination can vary excessively.  Read More

US$250 people tracking device

UPDATED September 15, 2006 GPS loggers are not new, not rare and for those in the know, such devices are easily built and can offer real-time tracking. Traditionally costing US$500 to US$800 to buy, plus wireless carrier’s services and fees, they required a substantial outlay that ensured you needed a good reason to go that route. All of which gives the TrackStick “killer app” charisma - it offers a one-off, no-fees US$250 cost (better if you shop), lightweight (42 grams), easy-to-hide (10.4 x 3.0 x 2.2 cm) candy bar size and an ease-of-use that offers plug-n-play covert tracking to the mass market for the first time. The TrackStick uses GPS technology to record location and altitude at pre-set time intervals, then produces detailed mapping and 3D satellite imaging of its exact location and speed for the last seven days (via Google Earth) when plugged into a PC USB port. The TrackStick will be seen by many as the perfect solution for obtaining detailed information on the movements of a spouse suspected of straying, an employee or driver suspected of goofing off or monitoring where your children are spending their time and how fast they drive the family sedan on Saturday night. Manufacturer Telespial Systems is seeking international distributors apply here.  Read More

North American Biometrics Market

January 19, 2006 There’s an excellent article been posted on findBIOMETRICS this week which will be useful to anyone interested in biometrics and its future. It’s an interview with Frost & Sullivan analyst Rob Allen about the research company’s latest report on the North American Biometric market and it yields a lot of very useful information. The major take-outs are that the U.S. Biometrics Market generated US$527 million in 2004 and is projected to generate US$1.4 billion in 2008 creating many entry and exit opportunities.  Read More

Taking Night Time Surveillance to a New Level

April 19, 2005 There is no room for error when dealing with the night-time surveillance of large areas such as property borders at ranges 800 meters and beyond, fence lines and large public works expanding over 15 acres. Gaps or weaknesses in any security framework, especially those designed for these types of wide area applications, could result in substantially reduced protection, with the potential for costly and irreversible damage. Ensuring the optimal performance of large area security systems under low-light conditions has been both difficult and cost prohibitive, until now … the ALS-20 line of infrared illuminators deliver high power levels of invisible illumination so that near-infrared capable CCD cameras can maintain a clear, sharp view of large areas at night.  Read More

Cold War Spy Recorder Watch

February 5, 2005 When German company Protona announced its Minifon P51 portable dictation machine in 1951, it caught the world's imagination and was seen as a solution for myriad problems. The Minifon directly catalysed the invention of the "Black box" flight recorder, was used in countless commercial processes around the world and was a natural for the Cold War espionage activities of every intelligence agency in the world. When the upgraded P55 was realeased in 1955, it was available with a microphone designed to look like an expensive wristwatch, and was clearly designed for the clandestine recording of conversations and its use can be traced in many of the espionage trials of the late fifities and early sixties. This week Gizmag came across a complete, mint condition P55 with watch accessory - a fascinating example of just how far leading edge technology has progressed in the last half century.  Read More

Rare Enigma Machine for sale

February 5, 2005 One the most significant machines in the history of computing, not to mention the world of espionage and counter-intelligence, the German Armed Forces during World War 2 relied on the Enigma machine to encrypt the most important and sensitive communications before transmitting the messages by radio. The code was cracked by the allied forces in what has become one of the most celebrated espionage stories ever documented , enabling access to much critical information and shortening the war by several years. there is one of these exceptionally rare and historically significant machines for sale.  Read More

SENTRI surveillance

December 14, 2004 A microphone surveillance system based on brain cell research is being used to combat shootings on the streets of Chicago and Los Angeles. The SENTRI system developed by Theodore Berger, director of the University Southern California's (USC) Center for Neural Engineering, has been trained to instantly recognise the sound of a gunshot within a two-block radius with high accuracy. SENTRI can then tag where the shot was fired, zoom in and photograph the shooter with it's built in camera and even make a 911 call to the police station. Police can then remotely control the camera to track the offender and dispatch officers to the scene in an integrated human-computer crime response.  Read More

Coat with buttonhole camera

June 3, 2004 There is no richer source of speculation and intrigue than the realm of international espionage. The deadly real-world ingenuity that inspired 007 and an entire genre of literature can now be seen at the International Spy Museum. The museum is the first dedicated to espionage and provides a global perspective on the craft, practice, history, and contemporary role of the espionage profession. The KGB issue Lipstick Pistol, "Through the Wall" surveillance, tracking devices concealed in shoes and overcoats equipped with button cameras form part of the the extensive collection developed over 30 years and housed at the Museum in Washington, D.C.  Read More

Jamming device disguised as Mobile Phone

A jamming device that looks like a mobile phone has gone on sale via an electronics supplier in the UK. The jammer - which would be illegal in Australia - blocks signals in a range of up to 15m in optimum conditions and is being promoted for clandestine use on public transport and restaurants.  Read More

KGB Spy Shoe with Heel Transmitter

It looks like a quirky prop from Get Smart, but this 1960's KGB issue Spy Shoe with a radio transmitter concealed in the heel is also a reminder of Cold War reality and the technical innovations that were driven by the need to find new and undetectable means of espionage - in this case you could say the KGB were one step ahead. Used to monitor secret conversations, the shoe's transmitter, microphone, and batteries were imbedded in the heel of a target's shoe. A maid or valet with access to the individual's clothing would be given the job of planting the rigged shoes and activating the transmitter by pulling out a white pin from the heel.  Read More

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