Thursday, May 09, 2019
Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?
Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?
As the news cycle shows recent stories of spying threats in
hotel rooms and rental houses many developers are touting smart phone apps as
an option for scanning a space for hidden bugs or video cameras. But how
effective are these apps? We took a look and discovered some key differences
between common 'detection' apps and the average handheld detection device.
Most of the smart phone apps require your phone to have a
magnetic field sensor or they will not work. The magnetic field sensor is
similar to what is found in a stud finder or compass app and not all phones
come equipped with it. Handheld detectors like a camera finder or an RF signal
detector do not require any additional technology to work with the exception of
Detection from a distance
The smart phone apps did find hidden camera lens and RF
signals but only when the user was really close to the hidden camera or hidden
bug. The camera lens detection option on
the apps we tried caused the smart phone's light to flash slowly in order to
reflect off of the hidden lens. The light from the phone managed to reflect on
the lens when the distance between the hidden camera and the smart phone was
closed to about 15 inches apart. Trying a basic handheld detection device like
Finder or a Hidden
Camera RF Detector the flashing LEDs on the detection devices picked up the
hidden lens from about 15 feet away.
The smart phone apps did not offer much ability to change
the sensitivity of detection. The magnetic field sensor did do a good job
finding electronics but it found all of them. So a camera hidden in a picture
was easy to locate. A camera hidden in a clock radio was masked by all the
other electronics inside. Likewise, the apps that detected RF signals picked up
signals for everything from a wireless mouse to the hidden video transmitter.
Using a Wireless
Camera Detector we were able to narrow the sensitivity and focus on areas
that were most likely to have a hidden
camera or listening device.
Smart phone apps are a viable solution for a one time scan
of a very small, bare, space. But for even an average sized space, like a hotel
room, it would take a fair amount of patience and time to scan the entire area.
Even then a camera or hidden bug inside a clock or electronic device could be
missed due to the interference from non spying electronics. For users traveling
frequently or users concerned about spying outside of hidden camera or bugs
such as GPS trackers, a handheld detection device could be a good investment.
Tuesday, April 09, 2019
5 Top Spots Spy Cameras Could be Hidden
5 Top Spots Spy Cameras Could be Hidden
How easy it is to forget that hidden surveillance is a constant threat. After checking your home and office, be sure to check these commonly forgotten areas for hidden spy camera dangers:
1. Uncover Hidden Dorm Room Cameras
You may not suspect a college campus but anyone – from a roommate with free time to a student with a cheating problem – might use a hidden camera to spy on you. Use our DD3100, a simple rf detector device to find a camera that may be hidden dorm rooms, public rooms and even in the showers.
2. Save your future self from embarrassment in Hotel Rooms
The nightly news tells us horror stories about hidden cameras in hotels regularly. A quick check with our DD12031 can save you from an unexpected phone call. Can you imagine getting the call where a police officer awkwardly informs you that your entire hotel stay was caught on camera? With everything you pack that you don’t need, adding a wireless detector might be a good idea.
3. Make sure your new boss doesn't have ideas outside the boardroom:
We all know what its like to start a new job. Everything is new and feels beyond your control. The restroom, the last vestige of your personal sanity, should be checked to be sure no unwanted eyes pry into your visit. The DD3150 is small and portable and will quickly deal with any covert spy cameras.
4. Check changing Rooms and Dressing rooms
Full length mirrors and poorly fitting doors are the earmark of changing and dressing rooms all over the world. Using our Spyfinder Pro you will instantly know where a spy camera is. Use a spy finder to cheek for unwanted watchers using pinhole cameras. You should be able to try on those new jeans without snooping eyes behind a pinhole camera.
5. The Gym Should be a Safe Workout Place
Hidden cameras in locker rooms are many times overlooked. It’s been a hard day at work and you need to work the stress of the day away at the gym. As you head into the locker room, you wonder, “How many places can a camera be hidden?” Well, the answer is in a locker, a ceiling vent, or even what appears to be a forgotten gym bag. Checking for a spy camera is quick and easy using our DD802 and a few minutes of time, makes your time at the gym much easier, well except for the workout.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
5 Tips to Get the Best Video From Your Hidden Camera Smoke Detector
Most actual smoke detectors are placed just above a doorway as you enter or exit a room. however this might not be the best place for a hidden camera smoke detector as the subject of interest could walk through the door so quickly that they do not trigger the camera's PIR sensor. Instead consider placing the smoke detector above a window or closet door in the back of the room. This will allow the PIR sensor time to fully activate the camera and the intruder will be walking toward the hidden camera instead of away from it.
Bottom View Smoke Detector Camera
This model of hidden camera has a hidden camera pointed out the bottom of the detector body. If this unit is mounted on the ceiling it will capture what is directly below. This means that a subject walking through a doorway will have the top of their head in view but not their face. Consider mounting a bottom view smoke detector camera on a wall, opposite of the doorway you suspect the subject will use. In this position the camera will capture all of the doorway and most of the floor to ceiling space of an average room with 9 foot high ceilings.
|Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling|
|Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on wall|
Side View Smoke Detector Camera
In this model of hidden camera the camera is mounted on the side of the detector body with the camera tilted slightly downward. Mount it on ceiling for an angle that will capture most of the floor space of a medium sized room as well as about 4-6 feet above the floor. When monitoring a long hallway consider having more than one hidden camera smoke detector mounted every 10-12 feet. This allows the subject to be captured on video in multiple positions and allows the PIR sensor on the additional camera to be triggered just as the subject is leaving the first camera's field of view.
|Side view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling|
Pick the Best Camera for the Space While a smoke detector is a pretty ordinary object to have in most spaces, in some spaces it might draw attention. For example it would be unusual to see a smoke detector mounted in a carport, a better choice would be the Cable Box Camera or even the Birdhouse Camera.
Monitoring Busy PlacesNo matter how much life a hidden camera battery might have, if the camera is being constantly activated by ordinary coming and going in a busy spot the battery will wear down quickly, possibly in less than a day. While you can check video recorded when the camera was active, no more video will be recorded until the battery can be recharged. Our hidden cameras that plug into an AC outlet are the best choice for this kind of surveillance. Another option is to take advantage of the Scheduled Recording option in the SG Home app. If you know when the person you are monitoring will be in the area you can set the camera to only wake to the PIR during that time, thus saving battery life.
Channel Your Inner Wile E. CoyoteThat rascally coyote never gave up chasing the Roadrunner. While we don't suggest tying an anvil to your hidden camera we DO suggest not giving up the first time if it doesn't capture the problem. Surveillance is as much an art as a science. You may need to adjust your camera placement, be prepared to schedule its recording time or be ready to check the memory card multiple times during the day. If climbing up a ladder to retrieve video from an SD card would draw attention to the hidden camera itself then monitor your video from your smart phone. You can even subscribe to our Cloud Recording and have access to downloaded video for a longer period of time without having to return to the camera at all.
Finally, remember that hidden cameras sometimes tell us good news. If after choosing your camera, carefully selecting its placement, and diligently checking its recording you discover that the suspicious behavior you originally noticed is actually quite innocent then consider it a good day. Breathe a sigh of relief and store your camera in a safe place for the next time you suspect a Road Runner has been sneaking around your cave.
Camera Placement Dos and Don'ts Checklist:
• DON'T place a camera near a doorway or other area that the subject would quickly walk by without triggering the camera
• DO make sure the camera fits into the use of the room and will not draw attention to itself
• DO make sure the camera is plugged in for monitoring busy areas just as a business' entry lobby
• DON'T mount a side view camera on a wall.
• DO be prepared to adjust your cameras placement at the beginning of your surveillance
Monday, November 12, 2018
Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe During the Holidays
Top 5 tips for Keeping Your Home Safe
during the Holidays
You’re not alone if you are traveling this Holiday Season.
November is upon us and like you lots of people have travel plans approaching
from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. In 2017, we had record-breaking travel from November
the busiest months for long-distance trips every year. Increasing numbers of
homes are left unattended every year during the holidays.
Enjoy a worry-free trip this holiday. Follow these few tips
to keep your home secure while you’re away this season.
Up with Home Maintenance. Don’t leave a calling card for potential
intruders. Nothing tips them off more than mail, packages or newspapers piling
up, overgrown landscape, or snow in the driveway. Make sure you arrange for
these few things to be taken care of while you are away. Have a friend pick
them up or have your mail or newspapers stopped all together. This news report
of a home invasion tells how the thief knew no one was home by the newspapers
in the driveway. Don’t
fall victim to this simple mistake.
2. Make it look like someone is home. You
may have heard this one before, but we often forget it in our time of hustle
and bustle to get on the road. Simply adding
a timer to your lights to turn
on at a certain time can make it look like someone is home. Our outdoor
version can double as outside hidden security. Having a dark home is a dead
ringer you aren’t there. You don’t need to channel your inner Kevin McCallister
in Home Alone, to make your space
look occupied. Some other tricks are
leaving a pair of shoes by the door, keeping a TV on or keeping a car in the
3. Lock Up. It’s obvious, but sometimes we
forget. A large number of home invasions happen through unlocked entry. Take an
extra walk through your home to make sure all the windows and doors are locked
while you are away. Lock up or move any valuables out of sight. Also make sure
you don’t have any spare keys hidden in obvious places outside your home.
4. Home Security. Whether it’s a dog,
alarm system or video surveillance, you will know when someone has entered your
home. Our covert video surveillance is disguised in your everyday objects that
get overlooked in most circumstances. You can arm yourself with a standalone
DVR, WiFi or cloud storage camera. WiFi and Cloud
cameras have the ability of notifying you when they detect movement in the area
of view. With FREE apps, you can check-in with live streaming, recording and
play back options at anytime from anywhere you get a signal. And if your home
is broken into while you’re away, you can notify the authorities and have clear
evidence of the perpetrator to take to law enforcement.
5. Keep your plans off Social Media. In a
high technological society, we tend to overshare. We check-in and post from
everywhere. Don’t put your holiday travel schedule in print for everyone to see
because that information is widely accessed. Keep a close friend or neighbor in
the loop, they can check on your place while you are gone. You don’t need to
share right away, if you take any pictures or have any fun experience, post
them when you return.