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A spy camera clock is a device that typically consists of some form of clock that conceals a camera within it. The camera is used to capture images or video of what occurs within the proximity of the clock, and typically captures images within a limited field of view in front of the clock. These cameras can record black and white or color images, can include microphones, and can connect to external systems for display and saving of images through wired and wireless means. A spy camera clock is often used for interior security and surveillance, especially for surveillance within a home or office.
Often seen as a specific type of hidden camera, a spy camera clock is usually used in homes and offices in which theft is a high risk. These can be used as so-called “nanny cams” for monitoring the activities of nannies and babysitters while parents are not home or to monitor activities around a place where valuable items are kept. The camera will typically capture images in front of the face of the clock, which is a fully functional timepiece and nearly indistinguishable from other clocks that do not contain a camera.
A spy camera clock can typically capture still images in sequence or record video. Some camera clocks will also have a microphone concealed within them, to capture audio data as well as video. A simple black and white spy camera clock can be fairly affordable, while more elaborate systems that capture color images and sound can be quite expensive.
The way in which video is recorded by a spy camera clock can also vary a great deal. Some clocks will connect to an exterior source, transmitting captured images and audio to the other device for recording and viewing. These systems can connect through wires, such as an Ethernet cable, or can transmit data wirelessly through a network. Some cameras are instead designed with internal storage, such as a digital video recorder (DVR), for storing of images and audio.
Just about any type of clock or timepiece can be designed as a spy camera clock, from analog wall clocks with hands to digital alarm clocks. There are even wristwatches that can have a very small camera hidden with them, for secret recording of a person’s surroundings. The use of a hidden camera can potentially infringe on other people’s rights to privacy, however, so care should be taken before using any such device.