Back in the day, we would watch detective/spy shows and movies like Batman, Dick Tracy, and James Bond wondering if we’d ever have access to the high-tech tools used by these heroes to defeat bad guys and solve crimes.
We’ve come across a lot of Android gear over the years attending trade shows and reviewing games for Hardcore Droid. It’s not a joke around the house that I have a ton of great spy gear but no cool spy missions.
To help alleviate that, we sorted through everything to find out what type of real-world spy applications could be accomplished using Android-powered smart tech.
Instead of pulling your cell phone out, Vufine+ allows you to see your smartphone display in what feels like picture-in-picture in your vision. On its own, the is simply a novelty that somewhat replicates Google Glass, but without the AR capabilities enabled by the camera on Glass.
However, when paired with the rest of the spy kit, Vufine+ is a great way to keep one eye on your phone while keeping your attention open to what’s happening in your direct FOV and peripheral vision. It does require an HDMI-capable device, so the Galaxy S7 is out, but there are a ton of great smartphones that do support Vufine.
Of course, to truly leave your phone in your pocket, you’ll need Bluetooth earbuds and a voice assistant to help you navigate most options. That’s where Rowkin’s BitCharge comes in handy. These tiny Bluetooth earbuds can either be paired to each other and to one device or individually to different devices allowing you to stay in touch with the guy in the van and home base.
Simply start a voice-chat app before heading into the field to allow multiple people to stay in touch. BitCharge earbuds also come with a USB charger capable of providing extra battery life to any USB-powered devices.
For generations, Dick Tracy made us want to communicate through our watches. While there are plenty of smartwatches on the market, the Huawei Watch still stands out as a timeless classic that’s yet to be surpassed.
Giving you even more access to your phone’s features than Vufine and voice assistants, the Huawei watch is customizable and compatible with all Android Wear apps in the Play Store. It’s more than just a phone in a watch – it’s a vital spy tool.
Technology to convert your steps into electrical energy is nothing new. What SolePower does is provide an insole that can be used with any shoes. Your BitCharge’s battery bank can be attached to your foot and charged as you walk through your spy mission.
There’s nothing worse than losing power in the field, and SolePower is a versatile tool that can be used with your hiking boots, tango shoes, or whatever footwear is needed to complete your mission.
Car chargers are a dime a dozen, but ZUS is something different. Not only does it allow you to charge two USB devices twice as fast as a standard USB converter, it also monitors your battery’s health and can be used to locate your car, monitor parking meters, and more.
You can run spy missions with the comfort that your van or Batmobile is safe and easy to find. It’s a great way to keep an eye on two places at once while staying connected to your mode of transportation. You can even try plugging it into the lighter socket of a car you want to track.
It’s not just your car. Keeping track of everybody and everything is a necessity during spy missions. Tile is a handy device that can ping your phone and vice versa. This makes it a handy spy tracker to have on hand.
Slip it into the pocket or car of anyone you want to tail, and you can monitor their movements from a comfortable distance.
While staying connected is important, Batman shows us that sometimes it’s the stealth of a ninja that’s needed. While you can’t set off an EMP, what you can use is Ransomly, a Bluetooth beacon that blocks installed apps, replacing it with a ransom message.
Meant to teach children to limit their tech usage, a few minor tweaks makes Ransomly a handy device for your bag of spy gear.
Sometimes you need to keep an eye on your back or in specific areas to monitor for possible mission interruptions. For this, we introduce Blink, a wire-free home security and monitoring system that is portable, easy to install, and can provide you with live-streamed coverage wherever you’re at.
Of course, you’ll need to leave a hotspot nearby as well to connect this WiFi device, but it’s fully controllable through your Android device and a few network tweaks. Multiple devices can be connected and the low-battery usage means they’ll last through even longer spy missions.
Another option to possibly confuse the bad guys is to install a Sengled Pulse bulb or two throughout the area you’re exploring. If you’re hiding and need an escape, you can connect to one of these smart bulbs in another room through Bluetooth to make a noise and distract them. You can also kill the lights in the room you’re in for the protection of darkness.
Of course, this won’t work with incompatible bulb sockets, and you’ll need to stay within Bluetooth distance (30-100 ft, depending on building construction) for this trick to work, so don’t put your life on this one trick working. You can use a Philips Hue bulb too, but you’ll need to hardwire to the router.
Vidius HD Drone
If you need to see over a wall or into a higher up window, there’s nothing better than the Vidius HD nanodrone by Aerix. It’s the world’s smallest quadcopter and capable of livestreaming 720p video to your Android device in real-time with minimal latency.
When paired with Vuzix, you have an FPV drone that won’t block out your vision, though there’s also a headset included to use your phone for VR-like FPV. Although limited to 5 minutes of solid flight/recording time, it’ll only take 30 minutes to charge through USB, and both the drone and controller fit in one pocket.