Sensors smaller than a coin, for high security at a low price

Coins

Protecting a building or a property with fences, barbed wire and closed-circuit cameras may be really expensive, but a recent invention coming from Tel Aviv University might revolutionize environmental surveillance and security.

The Smart Dew sensors, smaller than a coin, can be scattered at random all around the area that needs to be monitored, in a practically invisible fashion, and each one of them has a range of approximately 50 meters, which guarantees a total security.

Each one of these sensors is equipped with a miniature radio transceiver, and they can be interconnected within a wireless network, setting up their sensitivity level in order to be able to recognize the different kinds of intrusions they might face (a human, a vehicle or an animal), as well as changes in temperature, carbon monoxide emissions or changes in light and vibrations.

They can also be equipped with highly sensitive miniature microphones, capable of picking up sounds coming from an intruder, or magnetic sensors which would detect the presence of a car within their range by its metal. Each sensor is communicating via radio with a base station which collects and analyzes the data received.

Thanks to their extremely tiny size, which makes them practically invisible especially when strategically placed under a rock or on a lawn, and to the possibility of using hundreds of sensor to monitor the area, finding them all would really be a mission impossible.

Also, at the cost of only 25 cents per sensor, and because of the very low operational cost of a bug which uses low-frequency radio signal, this system could be an interesting alternative to the traditional covert listening devices, suitable for being used in large properties, airport areas or even in border zones where constant surveillance would be impractical.

Can batteries be small and almost eternal? Yes, if they are nuclear!

Don’t be afraid, we are certainly not recommending you to put a nuclear reactor in your cameras or in your pocket calculators. The idea of a nuclear battery may sound dangerous at first, but to tell the truth, devices such as pacemakers are employing them since years, due to their endurance and high performance.

The only problem is given by weight and size. In order to solve it, a research carried out at Missouri University is working on nuclear batteries the size of a coin.

Thanks to this type of batteries, you will be able to power some small electro mechanical systems and devices, like for example digital micro recorders, miniature cameras or covert listening devices, used by law enforcement agencies or private detectives for long-term monitoring and surveillance operations.

The innovative part in this kind of battery lies not only in its tiny size, but also in the means used to conduct energy: in fact the semiconductor used in this battery is liquid instead of solid. Thanks to this, it is possible to avoid that the gathered energy could damage the outer shell which covers the conductor, as it is the case with other radioactive batteries using solids.

In a possibly near future, researchers hope to obtain batteries more powerful, smaller in size and with a practically endless life, in order to be able to use them as power supply for an ever increasing range of miniature devices and equipments.

Of course, it is worth mentioning that nuclear batteries are certainly not as dangerous as one may think, as they do not generate their energy via a chain reaction like nuclear reactors do, but instead they use a radioactive isotope. You can sleep tight, your pacemaker will certainly not cause another Three Mile Island or Chernobyl in your heart!

Afraid that your boss might be spying on you? Watch your computer!

Spy Computer

When your boss is in his room, and you think you might be able to talk freely, be very careful, you might be spied upon… through your computer! It is true, thanks to the ever increasing possibilities of interactivity between different technologies, even your office computer may be turned into a real covert listening device.

This is possible through the normal microphone on your PC: be it built in or external, it can work like an ear for anyone who is equipped with a particular piece of software, called Spy on Voice. This software, when installed on any PC, allows all sounds picked up by the microphone to be secretly and discreetly sent to another computer, whose user will be able to listen to your everyday conversations while you are unaware.

This software is made up of two elements. The first one is the one that works as a listening device and must be installed on the computer of the person you wish to eavesdrop; the other one must be installed on the receiving PC, which will then be able to listen to the eavesdropped conversations. This spy software can be installed on an unlimited number of workstations, for example on a local area network, and is completely invisible for the workstation’s user, who will keep working and talking freely, unaware of being under surveillance.

Thanks to this system, a suspicious boss can keep his employees under control to make sure that his trust is well placed, a jealous husband can find out whether his wife is cheating on him or not, and so on. So, next time you will want to talk about sensitive or private subjects, do it while you are away from your computer… you never know!

Total control, at any distance: become a secret agent

Spy

Since Cold War times, surveillance technology has taken giant leaps forward, by launching on the market some listening devices which are getting more and more sophisticated, more powerful, and always smaller. On the other hand, the trend of these spy devices’ cost is inversely proportional.

Nowadays, in fact, covert listening devices have a price that is definitely more affordable for anyone, and the downward trend of prices goes along with a higher user-friendliness of these bugs, which makes it possible for anyone to plant and use listening devices, without necessarily having to be an expert or a techie.

Depending on the different surveillance needs that one may have, there are several types of listening devices, from bugs that can be installed inside electricity switch boxes or connected to the landline phone lines, to spy pens that you can keep in the front pocket of your jacket or of your shirt, to GSM bugs, which conceal inside them a SIM card, just like the one you have on your common mobile phone, and can make you listen to the conversations taking place around them, no matter where you are, directly on your mobile phone.

Depending on the type of covert listening device that you are using, the possible applications are practically limitless: from surveillance of suspects to monitoring of conversations within your office, from eavesdropping of a suspected cheating spouse to the struggle against organized crime, whatever your need in the surveillance field,  can help you find the right solution.