We’ve all had fantasies about being a spy at one time or another. Whether it was an early James Bond obsession inspired by your parents, the Bourne franchise, or too many videogames to list here, you’ve probably put yourself in some pretty exhilarating daydreams over the years. You may not be a black-belt in ten martial arts and fluent in a dozen languages, but you can still get that much closer to your fantasies with these cool gadgets…
When you’re deep in your evil nemesis’s base, and you can’t crack the encryption on a file containing their plans for world domination, your only option is to figure out the user’s password, and use this to get to the information in its unencrypted form. This is when spies, and the odd paranoid husband, will use key loggers. These subtle devices record every single keystroke that’s entered on a specific computer. While there are still some key loggers on the market that are compatible with older keyboards, most of them will plug in between the keyboard cable and the USB port on a more modern computer. This is usually used in conjunction with key logger software. Some modern versions can not only track key strokes, but also websites and applications used on a device.
This is one for when you’re working your way through the ranks of a sinister organization under a false identity, and need to record everything they say without blowing your cover. Or, much more likely, when you want to record a lecture at college while you catch up on some work for another subject, or prove to your boss that one of your co-workers has been harassing you. A micro voice recorder is the one device you’ll need to record audio without someone’s knowledge. These cool little gadgets have come a long way in recent years, and some of the smallest on the market can be fitted easily in a box of matches. They have a simple interface, and most importantly, don’t make any noises or flash any lights that could make people become suspicious.
If you’re crazy about drones, then it may be heartbreaking to learn that the last gadget on the list isn’t available to the public. Yet, anyway. One of the most popular functions of drones is their ability to capture stunning aerial images without the need for a chartered helicopter. However, as a piece of spy equipment, conventional drones aren’t all that subtle. However, scientists in California have developed a drone with wings instead of rotor blades, designed to look like a bat. The device’s carbon-fibre skeleton is covered in a thin, silicone membrane, and its movements are based on the way a real bat flies. Amazingly, the bat drone performs the aerial work of a real bat using just nine of the forty joints a real bat has in its wings. While the people in charge of the project haven’t hinted at any military applications, we could certainly see this being used as a piece of spy gear one day.