TWIG: Hawk Eye spy-copter, Lastolite Ezybox and the Powerstrap

The Week in Gadgets.

We take a brief look at something for everyone this week with kids’ spy toys, dog gadgets and photo equipment.

Fans of the Parrot AR Drone quadricopter and of not spending £300 might like to check out the Hawk Eye – an indoor video camera helicopter. Whilst lacking in the AR Drone’s iPhone enhanced augmented reality “omg are you controlling that with your iPhone?!?!” factor the £59.99 helicopter can record 5 minutes of colour video at 320×240 or many more photos at 640*480. Even better, instead of replaceable batteries, the Hawk Eye charges through your computer. It also provides free access to an easy to use online video-editing platform aimed at kids but open to anyone really into taking low res aerial images for fun. The Hawk Eye will be available in late November and is clearly aiming to work its way under some Christmas trees.


If you are really into playing with spy stuff then head on over to spynethq.com which has a range of inexpensive spy toys for children that are more fun than anything you would find in GCHQ. There is the SpyNet Video watch (£49.99), which features on board video, audio and photo recording capabilities, a Flex Neck Snake Cam (£24.99), a Voice Recording Spy Pen (£19.99) a Voice Changer (£9.99) and most intriguingly some Rear View Spy Glasses that give you eyes in the back of your head (£7.99). For some adult spy toys, take a look at Naomi’s review of the Y-Cam.

If you prefer Golden retrievers to Goldeneye then you might be interested in the DOG-e-walk – an ultra sonic gizmo that stops dogs from pulling on the leash, but somehow incorporates anti interference technology (a Non Irritation System) that stops it from annoying passing canines. Interested? Check out the Company of Animals website for more info.

If however you prefer Leica to Laika, Lastolite have released a new Ezybox Speed-Lite a 22 cm x 22 cm mini softbox that can pop straight onto a flashgun and provides an inner and outer diffusion layer. Tiny, collapsible and lightweight it can be yours for £49.00.

Of course the one thing that unites nearly all gadgets is batteries and Orca Trading have a neat gadget that should help with power on the move. The Powerstrap is a wearable rechargeable battery pack that contains 6 LiOn battery cells which is about 1500 mAH of power. It comes with 10 adaptors for a variety of devices (check) and save you in a pinch – or power a short street party. I’m not sure why you’d want to wear it rather than just have it in your bag, but that aside, additional battery power on the go is always welcome. Yours for £39.99.