Swann’s spy gadget range: Little brother is watching you!

Q would be proud. Those clever spy gadgets so beloved of 007 are now appearing on the consumer market – and here’s Swann’s first – a video camera and DVR concealed in a real, working ballpoint pen.

The Swann PenCam DVR-421 lets you shoot AVI 640 x 480 VGA colour footage, save it to a built-in 2GB memory and then upload it to the likes of MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Photobucket. Swann reckons it will appeal to sales people, lawyers, mystery shoppers, law enforcers – or just anyone wanting a bit of web-based fun. Teachers beware, we say!


Just click the top of the pen to start recording. It can record more than an hour’s worth of film at a time, and the built-in battery can last for up to 90 minutes of recording. The PenCam can be recharged via USB.

The Swann PenCam DVR-421 costs £49.99 and is being sold at Screwfix, Maplins and Costco.

And if you’re out and about, when walking around with a pen might look a bit odd, how about the RemoteCam, designed to look like a car remote key fob?


Stealthily capture still images and full colour AVI files at a resolution of 720 x 480. Still images are saved as 1280 x 1024 JPGs. £49.99. Available from PC World and Screwfix.

And for action fans who are not interested in covert filming, but do want to capture their sporting achievements, Swann has released the ActionCam. The 60g camera is designed to capture footage easily at the push of a button, and is specifically designed for high-impact sports – cycling, jogging, rowing and skiing for instance. It can be attached to handlebars or a helmet with the bundled attachments, and also has a suction cup attachment. The ActionCam has been made to be rugged, has a weather-resistant case, built-in microphone and can capture the event despite vibrations and bumps. It costs £79.99.

The ThumbCam, meanwhile, is also built for recording on the move and comes complete with attachments to fix it to bike handles, helmets and so on. A protective silicon cover protects it from bumps and the elements. You’ll be recording onto its 2GB SD card, and have 40 minutes of recording time – but upgrade to an 8GB SD card to increase that to 160 minutes. You can back up your footage by inserting the card into your PC or connect directly via USB. The price? £49.99.