updated 05:20 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Writing implements house both ink and cameras
Swann has announced two miniature surveillance devices designed to look like everyday ballpoint pens. The HD PenCam and PenCam 4GB both capture videos and images onto digital media. The pen then plugs into a USB port to transfer the recorded shots onto a computer.
The PenCam 4GB's pinhole camera captures photos as 1280x1024 JPEG images or 640x480 AVI videos, which it stores on an internal 4GB drive. It supports up to 90 minutes of footage. The battery lasts for 60 to 90 minutes before charges. The device can be used as a real pen to maintain the image.
The HD PenCam replaces the internal 4GB storage with a carrier that can hold a MicroSD card with up to 16GB of storage capacity. The upgraded camera can shoot photos at 1600x1200 resolution and capture videos at 720p (1280x720). Battery life takes a hit, however, at a maximum 45 minutes.
The PenCam 4GB is priced at $50. The HD Pencam costs $100 without any microSD media. Both devices are available now.