What are Hidden Surveillance Cameras?

Bryan Pedersen

Hidden surveillance cameras are just about everywhere, and they're not limited to secret agents and clandestine government agencies. With advancing technology, these tiny security devices have become cheap and widely available to consumers for use in a variety of situations.

DVRs can be used to store video gathered by a surveillance system.
DVRs can be used to store video gathered by a surveillance system.

Many people would be surprised to find out the places surveillance cameras hide out. Wall clocks, stereo speakers and smoke detectors can all house tiny hidden surveillance cameras. Many of these cameras are also wireless, enabling them to forgo tell-tale video and power cables. This allows even less suspicious locations, like television remote controls, stuffed toys or even a pack of cigarettes lying around, to house a hidden surveillance camera. Truly, just about any object could be capable of recording you while you're not paying attention.

Small surveillance cameras can be hidden in cigarette packs.
Small surveillance cameras can be hidden in cigarette packs.

A simple 9-volt battery is more than enough power for many of these cams. They generally can stay powered for eight or more hours allowing plenty of time to capture errant activity. Many hidden surveillance cameras offer built in motion sensors so it will not drain the battery all day; Any sort of motion in front of the camera will activate it. Then, the tiny camera will either record video, take pictures to be viewed later, or send a streaming video live to a monitor or computer.

The most common format for surveillance cameras is digital. This is largely because they can more easily accommodate the size constraints by allowing everything to be housed in such a tiny package. Users can also benefit from this format because of its ease of manipulation. It can be readily edited or saved on a computer, preventing the hassle of having to manage recorded tapes.

Some of the most popular uses for hidden surveillance cameras are to guard one's home or personal belongings. Many people can monitor their children's nannies and babysitters, as well as safeguard against theft from house cleaners. While these are all legitimate uses for such devices, there are always abuses. Some people have been caught spying on others in private with hidden surveillance cameras. The laws regarding this offense are blurry at best, so the best defense is to always be on the look out for hidden surveillance cameras-even if you can't see them.

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Discussion Comments


These days there are thieves who put wireless surveillance cameras near cash machines and then record people taking out their money. I bet they are disguised well so you would never guess. Then hey presto, someone knows your secret number. It's really scary and it's good to remember we need to shield the screen every time.


Outside of a spy movie I can't imagine why people want to use these small surveillance cameras. Of course I understand they may reassure people about what is going on in their home, especially when semi-strangers are there alone. It just seems a bit sad that there is a need for these things. I wish there could be more trust and less suspicion!

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