Way back in the 1940s, Allen Funt pioneered one of the most popular television shows of all time. It was called "Candid Camera", and the concept was so clever that many shows that we enjoy today have their roots based on it. Candid Camera was actually preceded by another Funt show called "Candid Microphone" in June of 1947.
These shows featured a hidden microphone or camera set to record an unsuspecting victim who is confronted in an unusual situation. Sounds a bit like spying, doesn't it? These short films, which we would call videos now, were fairly simple to set up but sometimes special props had to be invented. Perhaps you've seen some of these hilarious episodes using a car that just happened to have a second gas tank, or an office desk with drawers that pop open and shut all by themselves.
In those days it took quite a lot of work to conceal bulky camera and recording equipment, but today it is amazing how small and efficient cameras have become. This is partly due to the increased demand by the spy and surveillance industry whose need for tiny gadgets has spurred on the quest for miniaturization.
The trickle down effect from this process has resulted in smaller and smaller digital cameras for personal use. Even our cell phones have built-in video and audio capabilities. The famous Woody Allen worked for Allen Funt in the 1960s, honing his acting and directing skills. Nowadays every one of us can be a Woody creating mini films and distributing them to our friends or posting them on UTube.
The line between professional surveillance, business usage, and just-for-fun, has become increasingly blurred. There is a myriad of spy equipment that can be used to discreetly gather evidence, record meetings, provide surveillance, or simply goof around with. What little boy hasn't tried to listen through walls, or dreamed about x-ray glasses?
Well, the variety of spy equipment that is available boggles the mind. Imagine yourself casually using a pen at a meeting that contains a microphone, video camera and DVT recorder. When you've gathered your information, plug it into a USB port, then download and view the footage. Perhaps you'd rather accomplish the same task using your handy dandy spy watch that boasts lots of storage capability and records in color.
Maybe your assignment requires you to mingle in the crowd. When you casually pull out a stick of gum, no one will suspect that concealed in the juicy fruit package is a mini camera complete with micro SD card slot and 2GB of memory. Who will be able to tell that the button on your shirt is a cleverly disguised little camcorder. It's also very unlikely that anyone will notice your cool spy belt buckle with a DVR built right in. Smile, you're on candid belt buckle!
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