A private investigator's line of work is not exactly the easiest one, and that's why quite a few people are really capable of carrying it out successfully. As we know, private investigators always have some pretty nifty gadgets at hand (some of them worthy of a James Bond flick), and a very interesting device from this family is the one you're going to read about as follows, namely the Baseball Cap Camera with Digital VCR/Monitor presented by Spycatcher of Knightsbridge.
Although the device looks exactly like a normal clothing accessory, this little hat includes a CCTV camera and a microphone, capable of broadcasting a continuous audio/video stream towards an external surveillance monitor that also comes with a recording system (SD cards only), so that the possible “amateur” or professional detectives will be able to obtain some hard evidence regarding their targets.
Since this surveillance system comprises two different devices, we'll tackle each of them as follows. Thus, the camera module has been fitted with a 0.25-inch interline CCD sensor, capable of attaining a maximum recording resolution of around 768x492 pixels (NTSC)/768x582 pixels (PAL). The camera's minimum illumination is of 0.2 Lux of F1.2 and it has been equipped with an electronic shutter 1/60 (1/50) – 1/120,000, as well as with an microphone, featuring a sensitivity level of around 59dB +/- 3dB. Additionally, the device also sports a 4.3-mm lens and an 80% viewing angle.
On the other hand, the recorder features a 2.4-inch TFT LCD display, which supports both NTSC/PAL inputs, as well as Auto/Manual/ Motion detection/Scheduled video recording modes. And since we're on the subject of video recording, it's also important to mention the fact that the device can record video clips at a 720 x 480 pixels resolution and at up to 30 FPS. The recorder automatically adds a time stamp to the video feed, and users can also transfer the recoded video clips to a computer via an USB 2.0 interface, in a fast and quite easy manner.
Pretty much as expected, such a specialized device does come at a price to match, since the Baseball Cap Camera with Digital VCR/Monitor sells for an estimate price of around 1,300 US dollars, a lot more than junior detectives or wannabes will ever be able to afford.