Category Archives: Gizmo Gadgets

Neck tie with a built-in camera

This post is about yet another spy gadget – a neck tie with a built in camera that was recently released by the Tokyo-based USB maker company – Thanko. It took them a period of 1.5 years to do the same. You even get a matching handkerchief and cuff-links along with the tie.

Thanko neck tie with a built-in mini camera

The gadget comes along with a remote control which the user can use to trigger the camera on or off. All the user needs to do is to press a button on the remote, while the remote can be kept in the pocket.

The remote control for the neck tie

Features

  • 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps.
  • 4GB of internal flash memory.
  • Has a USB port.
  • Can store upto 2 hours of video at  a time.

According to the company, about 1GB is what is needed for a video recording of 30 minutes. The battery takes two hours to charge. The company also says that the users can record videos for 7 to 30 minutes continuously. The Operating System supporting this gadgets’s files are Windows XP or Vista.

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Spy Camera Watch

Recently I read about this very cool gadget. It is  called the Spy Camera Watch. This watch looks like any other watch but has got a camera hidden in its face. It has a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels. It can also take still pictures and has an in built memory of 8 GB. The camera also has a microphone to capture radio. The Chronograph Spy Camera watch comes with a rechargeable Lithium battery that has  a USB port and thus can be charged by plugging into the USB port of your PC. It is made of stainless steel and is silver in color.

The Spy Camera Watch

Features :

      • Internal Memory – 8 GB
      • Video Recording Format – AVI(Audio Video Interleave)
      • Frames per second – 20 FPS(Frames Per Second)
      • Built in rechargeable Lithium ion battery – charged by plugging into the PC.
      • Video resolution – 640 × 480 pixels
      • Watch Appearance
        • 12 Hour Display
        • Time Adjustment via Crown
        • LED Status Indicator
        • Made of metal  and glass
        • USB Port
        • Operating Systems Supported – Mac OS X+, Linux(2.4.2), Windows/Vista/ME/2000/Windows 98SE
      • Dimensions
        • Dial Diameter –  45 mm
        • Height – 17 mm

Spy Pen Camera

This is a gadget that greatly interested me. It is basically a mini Digital Video Recorder and one of the very few of its kind. Not often do you find cameras concealed in pens. The high quality recorder helps in legal cases where the police and lawyers may need evidences. The cameras has a resolution of 2 million pixels. It has a USB 2.0 port and is compatible. It is easy to plug and play. It also has a built -in microphone. It is 150 mm long, 15 mm wide and 15 mm thick and weighs 70g. It is available in silver and black colors.

You could wear this small pen innocently in your shirt pocket or place it on your desk or organizer. You could even start writing something while the camera does its job of recording.

Spy Pen Camera

Some of its features are as follows :

  • It has a built-in memory of 2 GB, 4 GB,8 GB.
  • The battery is a built-in rechargeable Lithium Battery.
  • It can easily be plugged into the PC and played.
  • It can record up to 4 hours at a stretch.
  • Power supply is through the USB port.
  • Video Format – AVI(640 480 pixels).
  • Audio Video Voice Format – PCM 128 KB/s.
  • It has a Data Transfer Rate of 700 KB/s (reading) and 600 KB/s(writing).
  • It has a video frame rate of 15FPS.

Chewing Gum Camera

I find spy gadgets very interesting. Recently, I read this one article about a chewing gum camera which can be used for spying. I found it very intriguing and thus decided to post about it. A chewing gum camera or a chewing camera, as it is also known as, is a mini digital camera, which is an audio as well as video recorder, and it is so small enough that it put inside a chewing gum wrapper.

The gadget has a memory card with a capacity of 8 GB. It has a hold switch to make sure that the camera does not get switched off on its own. Other than this, some models of this device have one touch buttons to start/stop recording, or pause in the middle. This device, like most of the others of its kind, also has a pinhole lens. It has a high picture resolution of 1280×960 and a comparatively good video resolution of 640×480. The image type is JPEG. The video format is AVI(Audio Video Interleave). Its battery is made of a Lithium polymer. It weighs about 24 g.

The device makes use of the CMOS technology. (For the benefit of those who do not know about the concept of CMOS, it is a Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor, that is used in making integrated circuits. This is a technology often used in microprocessors, micro-controllers, digital logical circuits, etc.). In CMOS cameras, the implementation of a sensor takes less power when compared to the CCD(Charge Coupled Device).

Features

Some features of the spy camera are as follows :

  • An 8 GB memory card.
  • Picture Resolution : 1280 × 960.
  • Video Resolution : 640×480.
  • Image type : JPEG.
  • USB plug and play.

Advantages

The advantages of this camera are :

  • Its small size makes it easy to carry about. This is the prime advantage of the gadget. It is because of its small size that it can be easily fitted in chewing gum wrapper.
  • It has a high picture resolution.
  • When fully charged, it can record for 3.5-4 hours at a stretch.
  • It can be easily connected to the PC and the recorded files can be viewed.
  • It is convenient to plug and play.
  • Its USB jack can be used to transfer data at a high speed.
  • Some versions of the chewing gum camera act as 4 GB pen-drive.

Applications

The chewing gum camera finds its applications in a number of fields.They are as follows  :

  • The chewing gum camera is useful newspaper reporters who would like to take some pictures or  videos.
  • The gadget is also of great use to lawyers who want to collect evidences from certain places without letting anyone know, and also in places where the use of cameras is prohibited.
  • It is also used in the fields of business, safety, medicine, tourism, education, and even in day-to-day life situations.

The Possessed Hand

A new piece of technology has been developed which can be of great use to people who are aspiring to become budding musicians. A team of scientists in Japan has become successful in inventing a device that can be used to manipulate the human hand through a set of wires. It is commonly known as the Possessed Hand (Electric wrist band)for the obvious reason that the hand is controlled by it and so it is believed to be possessed.The device helps you move the right fingers at the right point of time. It was Emi Tamaki , of the University of Tokyo, who took over the responsibility of developing the device, along with Miyaki Takashi, Jun Rekimoto and a team(in conjunction with Sony Computer Science Laboratories) .

The Electric Wrist Band.

The concept behind the working of this device is quite simple. The device is worn around the wrist like a bracelet or band. There 28 electrodes in the device which when around the wrist get connected to the fore arm triggering a range of 16 joint actions. An electrical stimulus is passed via the muscles of the forearm to the fingers which controls them. While the electrical stimulus is not as strong as to move the fingers itself, is strong enough to give a hint to the user as to which finger is to moved. The magnitude of the electrical pulse passing through the fore arm muscles of the users can be controlled by the individual using it. In the entire process the brain does not get involved at all. The hand becomes an external device to the machine and allows itself to be controlled in every manner by the device.

There are other devices that do more or less the same thing but they may involve pain and inconvenience but this on the other hand is extremely comfortable and runs of quite simple a logic. Other instruments with similar effects involve wearing a glove.

Mainly aimed at helping musicians to play instruments that involve plucking, (like the guitar or the Veena) it can also be used for a couple of other purposes like helping people to learn typing, or helping people (who can hear) in communicating with the deaf through sign languages. Another very important use of this invention is that it can be used to help the paralyzed people move their hands specifically their fingers, and become normal.The victims have been reported to receive only crude signals without an invasive surgery. The musicians wear a band of three spectrums while playing an instrument and the stimulus indicates which finger is to moved. Another fact that they noticed was that it reduced the number of mistakes made by the beginners while playing the instrument.

The device has earned criticism from the community of musicians as they feel that users of this device do not actually learn anything new, left alone music. They feel that the users do not learn to play the instrument. They just move their fingers as indicated by the device. They say that while the fingers move and the brain continues to remain  “passive” through the process.

Some people on whom ‘The Hand’ was tried said that the feeling of their hands moving on their own was very creepy. Some people even said that they felt that their body was being ‘hacked’. But Ms.Tamaki said that,

‘We believe convenient technology will overcome a feeling of fear’.

I agree with her. I feel that the invention is absolutely awesome. What I like the most about this invention is that it can be used to help the paralyzed. Hats off to the inventors for innovative thinking and for putting together their thoughts and materializing them. What do you think about the Possessed Hand ? Feel free to share your views on this post or any other post of mine.