The Evolution of Spy Cameras

The Different Types of Covert Hidden Spy Camera Systems

In the ten-plus years that we have been selling surveillance equipment, vehicle tracking devices and spy cameras, we have seen a dramatic evolution in technology combined with a significant decrease in price across the board. The most significant evolution that we have witnessed is that in the area of hidden spy cameras. In less than a decade, the “nanny cam” has gone from being a clumsy piece of less-than-reliable equipment to a stealthy electronic work of art. Let’s discuss the evolution of spy cameras from where there were just a few short years ago to where they are now.

Transmitter to Receiver to VCR

The original nanny cam that we manufactured and sold was our most popular spy camera system for the better half of the decade starting in 2000. The cube clock radio model outsold all other variations of this concept combined. Even though we disguised spy cams in plants, teddy bears, books, lamps, exit signs and countless other items, the clock radio accounted for more than ninety percent of our overall spy camera sales.

State of the art at the time, this generation of spy camera was still a bit cumbersome. The “guts” of the clock radio contained two main components; one tiny pinhole spy video camera and one wireless transmitter. When a customer purchased a nanny cam system from us, or any other online spy store, they received more than just a clock radio that was ready to record. Along with the clock radio itself that contained the camera and transmitter, they were also provided with a receiver, A/V cables and an adaptor to power the four-channel receiver. click here now

The tricky part came when it was time to actually set up the spy camera system. The provided receiver had to be plugged into either a monitor somewhere nearby or, into a VCR if the customer wanted to record the events that transpired as the nanny cam was engaged. This required the user to place a VCR somewhere in the house within 100 feet of the camera’s location in another room or on another floor altogether. The included receiver was then plugged into the VCR and the user hit the “record” button. Showtime…well, not exactly. A standard VCR cassette can only record up to about eight hours maximum, which creates a problem.

Let’s say that a couple wants to keep an eye on the nanny during the day when they are at work. Prior to leaving the house in the morning, they plug in the nanny cam spy camera and turn on the VCR to start recording. Upon arriving home at the end of the day, if they want to review the activities of the day, they must fast-forward through eight hours of video tape, many times looking at nothing. At the time, this was the only means available to check on the nanny, baby sitter or caregiver. This daily process was tedious at best. Fortunately, technology soon evolved.

Motion-Activation

The concept of motion-activation was a major breakthrough in the spy camera industry. Although the technology has existed for decades, it wasn’t until the mid 2000’s that it became available (and affordable) for everyday consumers. No longer did the customer have to scroll through countless hours of blank VHS tape in order to find that nothing eventful was captured that day. Now, with a motion-activated spy camera, you were only recording when there was activity in the room. If there was nothing happening, then there was no recording. As a result, the user might only have to review 30 or 60 minutes of tape, rather than eight hours of mostly static recording.

Another technology that complimented the motion-activation feature of the spy camera was the increasing popularity of the DVR, which has now all but entirely replaced the VCR. With a DVR, there was no tape involved since everything was now being recorded digitally, frame by frame. The advent of motion-activation combined with the convenience of the DVR made spy camera users very happy. When it seemed like things couldn’t improve much more, technology improved the spy camera once again.