Are You a Spy? Am I?

Everybody Can Play Cloak-and-Dagger Games


Jan. 4, 2004 — You'd like to think you have privacy, but you know Big Brother is always watching — and you probably realize Big Brother isn't alone. The real question might be how many people are spying on you.

Jennifer Garner returns as TV's favorite spy Wednesday in the season premiere of "Alias." But if high-tech espionage enthralls you, you don't need TV. Today, technology sold over the counter would impress — or perhaps frighten — even James Bond.

Here's a look at some of the latest in consumer spy technology for those of us eager to slip on a trench coat for some cloak-and-dagger games.

1.The TeddyCam
Talk about the bare truth: A new line of cuddly stuffed animals comes fitted with tiny cameras to allow parents to monitor their children. The TeddyCam, available for $99 from, comes equipped with a small transmitter that sends a video signal to your TV or VCR.

Surveillance cameras disguised as smoke detectors, clock radios and stereo speakers are also available. For $14.95 a month, a busy working mom can monitor hidden cameras in her home through a computer at work — or even a cell phone — with a new service called "Mommy Track." It just goes to show you that Big Brother is no match for Big Mother.

2. The TeddyCam Buster
In the old days, you'd hear people ask, "Ever feel like someone's watching you?" In these times, it might be more reasonable to ask, "Ever feel like someone's not watching you?" The Spy Finder hidden camera detector is here to help close the prying eye of technology.

This $230, handheld device sends out a burst of ultra-bright lights that point out where a hidden camera might be located, according to The last thing the person who's spying on you might see is you tearing the eyes out of his TeddyCam.

3. The Voice Pretender Phone Disguise
How do you stop an ex-lover from repeatedly dialing your number? The Pretender — a $70 device that fits over any phone — lets you disguise your voice so that you can deal with any creep.

Press one button, and a woman's voice will sound like a man's. Press another, and a gruff guy might sound like the woman of his dreams.

The Pretender, available on multiple Web sites, offers six different vocal settings. You also get four different background sound effects — a crying baby, a smoke alarm, etc. — to help you shuffle someone off the phone.