Admit it: inside every geek and tech nerd is a secret desire to be a superhero or spy. They always get the coolest stuff. Jack Nicholson said it best as the Joker, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" In essence, James Bond and Batman are ideal dealnews customers 'cause of their love for all things hi-tech, which got us thinking — what would we carry if we were in their shoes?
After meeting with our crack team of lawyers we learned that it probably wasn't a good idea to list hidden cameras, microphones, or weaponry (it turns out there are a lot of legal issues regarding the latter). So, instead we set out to list the perfect gadgets to have on your utility belt or tucked inside a tuxedo pocket. We opened up the dealnews vault, scoured our list of contacts, and went through a few dark alleys to bring you our exclusive Q-branch.
A handheld lie detector is the kind of secret gadget no spy should be without. With the de-FIB-ulator ($39.95 + $9.95 s&h at Gadget Universe, best by $6) , there's no need for a clunky polygraph machine or waterboarding. The person just needs to hold this device, or talk on the phone that it's hooked up to, and after a few baseline questions the face will grow horns and a longer nose when he or she lies.
In old spy movies, when an agent discovers paperwork on a villain's desk he uses a miniature, analog camera to copy the nefarious documents. But does that really work? What if the room is too dark? There you are with plans for world domination and your photos are blurry! That's why the Planon Docupen ($139.99 + $7 s&h after a $20 rebate at JR.com, best by $14) is so handy. Just swipe the seemingly normal pen down a page to fully scan it. And with an internal memory of up to 100-pages, you don't have to worry about an arch-nemsis with thoroughly written preparations.
Alternatively, there's the slightly stalker-ish Trackstick II GPS Tracking Device ($169 + $2 s&h at Shop.com, lowest total price we could find, search for "Trackstick II"). This device keeps tabs of where it's owner has been. Once retrieved, plug it into a USB port and a Google Maps route will show you where it's been.
If you can't hide and retrieve the Trackstick from the person you're following, try the Loc8tor Loc8pl Plus Pack ($146.01 + $10 s&h at TheNerds.net via coupon code "GOOG5" and Google Checkout, best by $12). With a range of 600 feet, the handheld base can guide you in the direction of its three small homing devices. Though great for covert operations, we found it's even better for finding our keys.
As for storing these gadgets, we discovered that stuffed with our iPhone, wallet, and keys our utility belt looked more like a fanny pack. That's why we found the frequently mentioned SCOTTEVEST Technology Fleece Jacket ($49.99 + $10.99 s&h at Brookstone via Amazon.com, best available) so stylish. Its 12 hidden pockets even include a secret holder for a bottle of water — or perhaps a perfect Manhattan. (Martinis are so done.)
As always, should you or any of your fellow geeks be caught or killed, dealnews will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck.
Staffwriter Dave Odegard spends his weekends freelancing for certain undisclosed government agencies and his weeknights fighting crime from rooftops.