When thinking of hidden cameras, visions of a stealth gadget lab likely come to mind—a place created to outfit spies like James Bond with the latest toys to track criminal masterminds around the world while always remaining covert. Though normal people don’t have the financial backing of an entire nation’s intelligence agency to keep their homes safe, hidden cameras have become an affordable at-home security solution. Even more impressive are the clever, in-plain-sight disguises companies have dreamed up for these video cameras.
For those looking to keep their homes and families safe in a more clandestine fashion than installing a home security system at the door or having a Wi-Fi camera standing at attention on a bookshelf, we tracked down five hidden cameras that will record whatever it is you’re hoping to capture undetected.
At home on a bedside table, coffee table or even in a bathroom, a tissue box hidden camera is discrete and commonplace enough to sit just about anywhere in a house without rousing suspicion. The version pictured here covers the average-sized tissue box, but also has a motion-activated camera with 1280p resolution. An included SD card records 32GB of footage for about 16 hours of filming.
When it comes to hidden video cameras, the key is finding an unobtrusive style that doesn’t scream “security.” What’s one household object that would never draw suspicion (looking at you, out-of-place teddy bear on a shelf)? An outlet cover! Every house is filled with dozens of them, affording plenty of opportunity to find an unsuspecting section of the wall to install one of these hidden camera outlet covers.
A few things to keep in mind if using an outlet cover as a hidden camera: install it in an outlet that is free of furniture obstructions and opt for a fully-functional model like the Bush Baby pictured here, meaning all the outlet’s ports transmit power so you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing convenience. The camera itself can record continuously or only when motion-activated. It can also snap still images instead.
How about an eye in the sky when it comes to your home security? Look up to the ceiling and you’ll find our next suggestion for a hidden camera—the smoke detector. Most of these are not functional in actually detecting smoke, so do keep plenty of real smoke detectors installed in your home. However, anyone visiting a house, home office or business space would be unlikely to realize that quiet presence above them is actually recording. The Bush Baby model has a full color, 1280p camera hidden inside and a 30-hour rechargeable battery, so on motion detection mode it will be well-equipped to record any sights during a weekend away.
We’re getting into super spy mode now. Unlike Bond, you don’t need to have a Q to make a video camera watch for you. This one looks like your average silver link wristband and would look completely at home on a dresser or even casually thrown and “forgotten” about on a countertop. This Windows and Mac compatible watch has a camera that includes an option for night vision to provide a clear view of any intruders or even pets as they move around in the night.
Since most people are constantly tied to their phones, it’s not unusual to see a house filled with chargers in every room—even in the hallway. That’s why we find this hidden camera in a charging dock to be a stroke of genius! The HC Android Dock pictured here has a micro USB port sized for most Android devices. Yes, it’ll really charge your phone while you’re home and double as a security camera when you’re away! The 720p camera is motion activated and writes all footage to a microSD card.
Have you spotted any clever hidden cameras that would make for a great home security system? Tell us about them in the comments.
Kelly Schwarze is a tech enthusiast who provides great advice on new gadgets and services that will help keep you safe and make your life easier. If you would like to see more home security camera options like the ones Kelly talks about in this article, visit The Home Depot.