Almost everyone loves James Bond-style gadgets and as technology storms ahead, such miniaturised marvels are becoming even more accessible to us all. One example of this is Swann’s medium-sized, green PenCam — a pen with a covert wireless colour video camera complete with a high-sensitivity microphone. It can actually write, as well!
The 35g PenCam has a built-in transmitter and the CMOS lens views the world through a small hole that is only noticeable upon close inspection. The TV/video receiver is easy to set up. Using the 2.4GHz frequency, it can transmit images up to 100m away as long as there is direct line of sight. Double-clicking the PenCam activates the video and audio transmitting, and rotating it extends its biro point.
Our test unit came with more than a few spare small, round-style nickel cadmium batteries. Just as well, as it uses quite a few and they tend to run out fairly quickly — evidenced by a reduction in video and audio quality and transmission distance.
The video is of average to good quality but can be interrupted easily by obstacles such as doors. As you might expect, best results were obtained under bright lighting conditions. What will they think of next?
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