How to choose the best spy bugs without getting tricked

Lately searching for a valid product on the Internet has become a very difficult task. For example, in the case of spy bug transmitters or any other electronic device commonly used in the investigation field, you will note that along with those few old companies, come also across a lot …

Attention to the new gadgets of thieves

This may be the last discover of ingenious thieves who don’t hesitate to resort to the technology to hit unsuspecting victims. The news of recent months shows several cases where someone complains of being robbed, at home or in the company, after agreeing to unknowns small gadgets, deployed on the …

Protect yourself from illegal cell phone tapping!

If you are used to networking in search of easy solutions against the unauthorized phone tapping issue, you may be disappointed. Just like that, because the overwhelming problem of phone privacy, especially that one which concerns mobile network, has long since exceeded the limits, so much to induce public opinion …

The new frontier of biometric access: the body odor

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has added to the biometric recognition tools already on the market, another ingredient: the body odor. Identification parameter that, according to the researchers may soon be used for a reliable recognition through personal characteristics and biological properties. So we’ll be able to filter people based …

Microregistratori digitali

A rifle to strike from behind a corner

maggio 29, 2010 Technology No Commenti

According to a military statistic, approximately half of the soldiers who fall victim of a strike in urban warfare areas, such as for example Baghdad or the Gaza Strip, are struck by enemies hidden behind a corner.

In order to try and reduce this dramatic figure, the American inventor Matthew Hagerty has worked, with his company Landtec, on a 10-year long development project which resulted in the Smart Sight rifle.

The system consists of a wireless video camera, mounted on the muzzle of a M4 rifle, a small pocket computer and a miniature color display applied on a pair of protective glasses. In practice, SmartSight turns the muzzle of the rifle on which it is mounted in a sort of “third eye”; thanks too it, a soldier can stay safely hidden behind a corner, or for example inside a trench, extend the rifle over his head and see, thanks to the display on his glasses, what the camera is seeing.
At this point he will be able to strike without being exposed to danger.

The rifle-mounted camera weighs approximately something like 1.5 kilos, therefore it can easily be carried without big trouble for its user. The images it picks up are transmitted by Bluetooth connection to the pocket computer, which in turn sends them through a cable to the small display on the soldier’s glasses; the latter will then have an optimal view without being directly exposed. So, even without shooting, SmartSight can be used to assess the situation in the environment around you before turning around a corner in a dangerous area.

Tests on the SmartSight system, which Hagerty has developed with the cooperation and feedback of soldiers deployed in combat areas, will start before the end of the current year.

A secret spaceship for surveillance from space

maggio 28, 2010 Technology No Commenti

A few days ago, the New York Times wrote about a group of amateur astronomers who, during a space observation which was originally intended only for scientific purposes, have identified a flying object which looks like a Space Shuttle, and which might indeed be a space ship used for missions of surveillance from space. Of course, officials from the Pentagon have strongly denied any allegation, but the opposite would have been highly surprising.

Last month, in fact, from the Florida NASA base a launch operation took place, which sent the X-37B unmanned space plane into the air. The aim of its mission, which is scheduled to last approximately 9 months, was never officially disclosed and is shrouded in a cloud of secrecy.

The fact that, according to Pentagon sources, this vehicle is not designed for an offensive purposes (although they conceded that it will be used as a support for jet fighters) only strengthens the speculations that it is something between a Shuttle and a spy satellite.
The first test flight, according to experts, should be aimed at testing some sensors which will be later installed on a new generation of spy satellites.

In spite of the heavy disinformation that surrounds its operation, the amateur astronomers have been able to identify the spacecraft and to track its pattern, which brings it above the same region every 4 days, according to a pattern commonly used by US spy satellites, with an orbit time of around 90 minutes at a 255-mile altitude, just like a normal Space Shuttle.

The ultimate spy camera against terrorist attacks

maggio 28, 2010 Technology No Commenti

The greatest fear of the 21st century, more than incurable diseases such as AIDS or cancer, is undoubtedly the fear of falling victim of a terrorist attack, which might strike us at any time, no matter where we are.
For this reason, a large chunk of state budgets of countries that are more exposed to this kind of threat (that is, the Western World countries) is used to finance military expenditures in research of weapons or defense systems, video surveillance or eavesdropping of phone calls and conversations between people who might be suspected in planning or executing a terrorist attack.

An example of this kind comes from the UK-based military research lab located at Porton Down, where an array of systems have been tested, made up of sensors and data processing units, mounted on planes and helicopters, either manned or unmanned.

The aim of this research project is to detect suspicious movements, especially in order to prevent possible attacks from terrorists using IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) that is, homemade bombs, often the most dangerous because they are the most difficult to detect and neutralize.

In order to prevent this kind of attacks, electro-optical cameras used in this research project are designed to identify people in unusual positions, such as for example those that one may have when holding or carrying a weapon, or an explosive device which must be handled with care to prevent it from going off before its time.
Furthermore, it is also possible to identify changes in the terrain profile, which might conceal a bomb, a weapon storage facility or other suspicious activities.

According to the definition given by Andrew Seedhouse, director of the research project at the British Defence Science and Technology Department (DSTL) this system can be considered as the “ultimate CCTV”.

For example, if a homemade bomb goes off, it is possible to track back the data of the minutes or hours preceding the explosion, to be able to track them down later and prevent further attacks, or to use them as a future reference.

If, analyzing the footage taken before a blast, a person in a strange posture is detected, because he is carrying a bomb, whenever in the future another person is found in the same person, this would result in an alert sent by the surveillance system to personnel on the ground, allowing them to intervene in time to prevent a possible attack or, alternatively, to make sure that no malicious intent lies behind this posture.

During a two-week test period which involved flights in and around the research facility, cameras have picked up an amount of data around 4000 terabytes (over 40 million Gb). By using these cameras intensively in high risk areas such as, for example, Iraq or Afghanistan, it would be possible to gather an enormous quantity of data and details, matching information about places, people, vehicles and suspicious behaviors to effectively monitor an entire country.

In short, we are looking to a real Big Brother just like the one that Orwell imagined in 1948, but this time, for a good reason!

An optical fiberscope to see in hidden corners

maggio 27, 2010 Technology 3 Commenti

At any time, in our home, we may happen to lose small objects which, as it happens, end up in the most hidden corners, just where we really can not get to them or even see them; or our female readers may happen to lose an earring while they are driving, and not be able to locate it.

In order to solve this kind of problems, but also for professional applications in several different fields, technology lends us a hand by bringing us an optical fiberscope. The fiberscope is bade up of a long flexible thin tube, which at one end houses a miniature camera, and on the other one has a viewfinder, but in case of need can also be connected to a laptop or PC.

By placing the flexible tube in a hard-to-reach corner, one can easily see if anything is concealed there, even if you do not have a direct view. This type of technology has a wide range of applications, not only for this kind of personal use, but most of all for professional use.

Just think, for example, of how much a device of this kind can do for a mechanic, who will be able to inspect the inside of the tubes running inside the engine of a car, searching for any cracks or imperfections, or for a plumber who will be able to do the same with water pipes, without having to spend too much energy to detect any leak which may become dangerous if not treated in a timely fashion, as well as it will be possible to inspect gas pipes to prevent potentially fatal leakages.

Furthermore, in the countersurveillance field, a fiberscope may be your best friend when you need to inspect recesses where a bug, a micro transmitter or a hidden microphone may have been concealed.
For more information on how fiberscopes are working, we recommend that you visit the Endoacustica website and contact our experts.

A new rifle scope makes snipers even deadlier

The US weapon giant Lockheed Martin has just won a tender for a contract approximately 4 million dollar worth, with the US Department of Defense agency DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), to develop a highly technological laser beam rifle scope for high precision rifles.

The laser rifle scope, called Dingo (Dynamic Image Gunsight Optic) contains a small ballistics computer, teamed up with a laser pointer and an array of sensors which are used to measure the effect of wind and other environmental factors and obstacles on the shot trajectory.

Dingo calculates the trajectory using the information it receives from the sensors and the pointer, thus giving soldiers a tool to hit targets at long distance, with a great level of resolution and, most of all, without having to change the scope each time that they have to shoot at different ranges.

In fact, the current pointing devices are optimized only for a certain range of distances, therefore when you are on a mission and have to shoot targets located at different distances, you would have to change the scope at every shot or every distance change, increasing the risk. Dingo solves this problem by eliminating this risk, improving operation speed and minimizing the time between one shot and the next, with obvious consequences on performance and mission effectiveness.

In fact, the first run of tests, carried out in December 2009, has shown that the snipers were able to double their shooting speed, and also to double the odds of hitting long distance targets (at over 1000 meters) with the first attempt.
In the first application phase, Dingo will be mounted on M-4 and M-16 rifles, and once the tests are completed and it starts it work, it may soon become the standard of reference for high precision shooting systems.

A video camera which follows our eyes


Everyone would, at a certain point, like to have a camera in their eyes, to record what they see, maybe to do it while their hands are busy (for example on a computer keyboard), or for surgeons and scientists who would need, for educational reasons, to record what they see and what their hands are doing during a surgery or a scientific research.

Nowadays all this, and more, is possible thanks to Eye See Cam, an eye camera which is controlled by movements of the human eye and is capable of recording what its user’s eyes are really looking at.

In fact, Eye See Cam is made up of 4 small cameras: one for each eye, mounted on the side ant pointed towards a lens placed at an angle of approximately 30 degrees, which reflects the movement of the eye. The third one is in the middle and works as a “third eye” while the fourth is above the other three and works as a pointer.

The eye camera is based on the principle of video oculography (VOG), used to measure eye movements in patients suffering from vertigo or from ocular bulb motion problems. Thanks to its four different points of view, Eye See Cam can analyze movements and torsion of the eye in 3D, in real time with a response time of just 4 milliseconds.

The videos recorded, with a resolution up to 752 x 480 pixel, can be stored on a PC, and the camera can be wirelessly controlled from a distance, for example via an iPod or iPhone.

To have an idea of how it works in a small demonstration, you can watch the video at the beginning of this post.

A fatigue detector for mining workers

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

What at first sight looks just like your ordinary baseball cap, might actually save lives among those who, for their work, are engaged in conditions of extreme stress and heavy fatigue, that is, inside the tunnels of a mine.

Developed in Australia, where incidents among miners and truck drivers are unfortunately quite common even in our technological era, SmartCap is designed for truck drivers who carry material to and from the mines, and on the inside it houses an array of stress detectors, that is, small sensors which, without using a gel but rather by means of contact with the human hair, are capable of assessing the level of fatigue and strain suffered by the brain.

The brain waves picked up by the sensors are read and transmitted through a Bluetooth connection, and the relevant data is displayed on a screen inside the truck and on a computer at the main base, in order to enable the driver or his boss to take the appropriate security measures before having unpleasant consequences.

Thanks to its convenient location inside the cap, this technology is absolutely not intrusive, avoiding problems at an emotional level for the drivers who might feel a bit like a guinea pig or under surveillance.

On the contrary, during the test phase (after the project started in 2008), this system has received a very favorable feedback from the drivers it has been tested on, with a long line of volunteers who happily gave their consent to try a new tool which could dramatically improve their working condition. Therefore, such a similarly enthusiastic response is also expected by the time it will be launched on the market, at least in Australia.

Defense from chemical attacks comes from your mobile phone

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Modern mobile phones are always smaller, and packed with features and functions which make them very different from the first generation of mobile phones, heavy and used only to call or send messages. Modern smartphones are intelligent devices that allow us to take our office with us, along with all features we need for our work even when we are not in the office.

For those who are not working in an office or as managers, but as military personnel, and are engaged in first line combat in hostile areas, the functionalities of a “normal” cellphone may not be so necessary, while they could be very interested in the result of a research project carried out by the US National Security Agency, in cooperation with San Diego-based Rhevision Inc.

This research project is working on a sensor that would detect toxic gas, made up of a silicon flake which changes its color when it detects certain chemical agents. Inside the chip which houses the flake, there is a microcamera, smaller than the tip of a pencil, which capture the image of the color and displays it on the phone screen.

In order to analyze color shades, which can determine the kind of chemical agent encountered, the project is using a super macro lens, developed by Rhevision, of liquid consistency which allows it to rapidly change its shape and its focus.
By teaming up several flakes capable of detecting different chemicals, it is possible to recreate some kind of “nose”, to be placed on a mobile phone for instant detection of chemicals or toxic gases.

This sensor might turn out very useful not only for military personnel caught by a chemical attack, but also, once the sensor is developed properly, for firefighters who may be able to detect the presence of the deadly and odorless carbon monoxide during a fire, and don a gas mask before it’s too late.

A GPS based rescue system to save a life in danger

maggio 25, 2010 Technology No Commenti

As explained in our previous post, the GPS network now gives the opportunity to take advantage of an extreme precision in locating places, people or objects.
One of the most useful applications of the GPS network is called DASS, which stands for Distress Alerting Satellite System, that is, a system, managed by NASA, which quickly identifies the position of people in danger, thus reducing risk for rescuers and dramatically increasing the odds of a successful rescue operation.

This satellite rescue system, since its inception approximately 30 years ago, has saved over 27000 lives. In its latest version, it will be possible to identify much faster the exact origin of an alert signal sent by a plane, a ship, a car or a truck connected to the satellite network, thus immediately sending a signal with the position to rescuers such as firefighters, first aid or police forces.

In fact, by using the higher precision provided by the GPS network, DASS will be able to determine the signal’s origin with an accuracy of up to 1cm, thus saving time which, in these occasions, might literally save lives.

Furthermore, the DASS is currently using a network of satellite orbiting at lower heights than the GPS, and are therefore able to cover a smaller portion of Earth, and the alert signal might be picked up with a potentially deadly delay. With the constant coverage provided by GPS, the alert is sent out in real time and with absolute precision, an improvement which is being evaluated also in other countries, for example in the European Union, where the same system should soon be introduced also on the Galileo satellite network, and in Russia and China, for a life-saving worldwide cooperation beyond ideological or political barriers.

The new GPS satellite network, precision up to 1cm

maggio 24, 2010 Technology No Commenti

Not everyone may be aware of it, but nowadays, the Global Positioning System network (or GPS, as the acronym goes) is one of the pillars that keep the world as it is, some sort of nervous system of our planet and of technology as a part of our everyday life.

The data transmitted over this network is used not only to find our way in a city we have never visited before, to define routes covered by ships or planes or to carry out military operations marking a sensitive target, which will later be brought down by high precision satellite-guided rockets, but also, for example, to regulate bank transactions and the New York Stock Exchange market.

In fact, the time at Wall Street (as well as in many ATM networks) is marked by an atomic clock, in order to ensure absolute precision in moving huge sums of money. And this atomic clock is managed, you guess it, by the GPS network, which guarantees the required precision, up to one millionth of a second.

From now on, this extremely precise system will become even more precise, providing for a total and absolute coverage of each centimeter of our planet. In fact, the United States, who own the GPS network, have just launched the first of 24 satellites which, one by one, will replace those which are already in geostationary orbit and that allow us to find our way home with a precision level up to a few meters.

This upgrading phase of the satellite network will give new generation navigation systems an accuracy up to only one centimeter, as already said. Basically, any object on the face of our planet will potentially be recognizable by the new GPS system.

Nowadays, by using the right GPS location system, it is already possible not only to obtain driving directions and road information, but also to track down Alzheimer patients who may lose the sense of orientation and inadvertently get lost, keep track of the location of your staff to make sure that they carry out their duties or that they follow a certain route, or to locate cattle which may get lost or end up in trouble.

GPS systems are also used in the military field and for satellite monitoring operations, in order to keep under control convicted criminals released on parole or under a strict surveillance. Thanks to the new version, their whereabouts can literally be tracked down to the inch, allowing detectives and law enforcement agencies to achieve perfect results during their surveillance ops.

Of course, the possibility that a satellite can track down our every movement with such a precision might alert not only those who have something to hide, but also the common man, who might see his privacy given away to an almost almighty “Big Brother” (no, it’s not the TV show we are talking about!) which can influence his life thanks to GPS data.

For example, on a theoretical basis, a service provider might track down movements and locations from your GPS-equipped mobile phone, analyzing the time you spend inside a shop when you visit it, in order to identify your taste and send you tailored advertising messages on your phone.

This is just an idea, but Big Brother is already here, all we can do is defend ourselves by using it to our convenience whenever possible, and our lives may only benefit from this!

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Attention to the new gadgets of thieves

14 Feb 2014

This may be the last discover of ingenious thieves who don’t hesitate to resort to the technology to hit unsuspecting victims. The news of recent months shows several cases where someone complains of being robbed, at home or in the company, after agreeing to unknowns small gadgets, deployed on the street, particularly at the crossings or when the light is red. The hypothesis is that these gadgets (lighters, key chains …

Never lose things again with the geolocation tools

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The geolocation is getting closer, at your fingertips. We’re all constantly losing things. Keys, bag, charger and many other tools of daily use are very often forgotten, lost. The hard part is finding them. This discomfort could be deleted with the help of geolocation devices. In particular, big companies and startups are trying to answer to the distraction effects with products that will come soon on the market. Their secret would be an accessory, …

Stop mobile phones theft

30 Lug 2013

One hundred twenty thousand a year, ten thousand a month are the mobile phones stolen (or loss). These are the numbers from the homeland of mobile phones, smartphones and tablets thieves: London. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the police are really troubled about the weight of these statistics and asked to the same companies devices producing to investigate about what is happening. In particular, they asked to Apple, Samsung and …

Locate a mobile phone with the technique used by bats and dolphins

4 Lug 2013

Locate the exact position of a cell phone in enclosed spaces may become possible thanks to an algorithm that allows us to reconstruct the 3D shape of a room, listening to the echo of the sounds produced inside, even simple ones like the snap of the fingers. The project was developed by a research group at the EPFL. The researchers were inspired by echolocation, the system by which some animals …

Fish-robot will patrol the Thames River

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It’s environmental surveillance, the new frontier crossed by the fish-robot that will be released, in the coming months, in the Thames in order to sniff out pollution. Scenes like science fiction movies are recorded during the tests in the water. The robots will be released in groups of five in order to provide a mapping of the critical points and pollutant elements. The search will rely to the sensors built-in …

At the supermarket with the navigator

17 Gen 2013

GPS technology has now numerous applications in daily activities. Keep an eye on the kids, monitor the pet, follow the partner’s car is a cakewalk if you have the right tools. Shortly, it will possible use a sophisticated development of GPS technology in a shopping center or on the shelves of the supermarket so you’ll save time and optimize the product comparison. To lead the tour will be our trusty …

Internet of things will revolutionize our daily

10 Dic 2012

Web 3.0 isn’t yet far away. All the big laboratories are working hard to develop new applications concerning the Internet of things. With this neologism has been named the last frontier of online technology. The strength lies in the possibility given to objects to interact with each other by capturing and exchanging information. The alarm clock may sound for example in advance once found, through the Internet, heavy traffic conditions. …

Hop! the suitcase that follows you

13 Nov 2012

Pack your bags is always a problem. Weather conditions, formal and informal dresses, comfortable and casual, but also suited to special occasions that may occur…In short, a grind. And what often we create is a baggage too heavy and almost entirely useless. About 25 years ago, a pilot of the Nortwestern Airlines tried to obviate to the problem of having to lift heavy luggage introducing the trolley as we know …

Even sharks tracked with GPS

22 Ott 2012

Until recently, GPS tracking systems were used for the control of small animals. Now the GPS challenges even the most dangerous animals. Indeed, it is in an experimental phase the scientific mission of the American non profit association, Ocearch, led by Chris Fischer. During the operation, the sharks are caught, mainly in North America, and to them is applied a GPS tracking device, then they come back to the sea. …

Home with the GPS shoes

1 Ott 2012

Dominic Wilcox, british designer, has created a fully functional prototype pair of shoes with a built-in GPS that will guide you home. The name of this extravagant invention is “No Place Like Home” and it’s inspired by the famous novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in witch the protagonist Dorothy, with her magic shoes, can go everywhere clicking her shoes together three times. For Wilcox’s shoes, with expertly decorated sole, …