The Simple Tech Behind Hidden Camera Detectors

If you’ve ever been concerned about privacy in a rental space or hotel room, you might have considered trying one of the many “spy camera detectors” sold online. In the video after break [Big Clive], tears one down and gives us  an in-depth look at how these gadgets actually work, and their limitations.

Most detector follow the same basic design: a ring of LEDs through which the user inspects a room, looking for reflections indicating a potential hidden camera. Although this device can help spot a camera, it’s not entirely foolproof. The work best when you’re close to the center of a camera’s field of view, and some other objects, like large LEDs can produce similar reflections

The model examined in this video takes things one step further by adding a disc of dichroic glass. Coated with a metallization layer close to the wavelength of the LEDs, it effectively acts a bandpass filter, reducing reflections from other light sources. [Big Clive] also does his customary reverse-engineering of the circuit, which is just a simple flasher powered by USB-C.

[Big Clive]’s teardowns are always an educational experience, like we’ve seen in his videos on LED bulb circuits and a fake CO2 sensor.

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Hacker Sends This Through The Mail To Record A Video Of The Process

[Ruben van der Vleuten] wanted to get a look at the adventure a package experiences when shipped from one place to another. So he threw together this mishmash of components to record the experience. We certainly enjoyed watching the fast motion video found after the break. We wonder what the shipping agency thinks about this sort of thing?

Camera, digital storage, and battery technology have gotten to the point that it’s both cheap and easy to do this sort of surveillance. But there are a few logistical things that [Ruben] took into account to make this work quite well. First off, he need to hide the camera in a way that would ensure the package didn’t look suspicious. He ended up writing his name on the side of the box and boring a hole through one of the black letters which is smaller than a pea and very hard to spot. To make sure he wasn’t recording a ton of empty (dark) frames he also included electronics to sense motion. When the package is moving the video is always rolling. when not moving the hardware wakes for just 3 seconds every minute to shoot video.

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