Lee Marks is the founder of £3m-turnover gadget retailer Spymaster. He caters for a range of business clients (though that’s all confidential, of course) who want to protect their assets, watch their staff or protect against industrial espionage.
Here are Marks’ five top-selling gadgets that entrepreneurs can’t do without.
1. Biro recorder This innocuous biro with built-in UHF transmitter can record crystal clear sound for up to 800 metres. Click to your jacket pocket or scribble away freely. You know James Bond would have tons of these, and they won’t break the bank at £180. However, FYI: these are slightly illegal to use in the EU.
2. Standard 16-hour recordersThis is just a bog standard recorder, but it’s small and fits in your pocket. We journos use them all the time when our shorthand is below par. Cheap and cheerful too.
3. GSM listening devices These are extremely nifty little gadgets. Concealed inside a smoke detector, lamp, cigarette packet, or anything for that matter, the device allows you to call in as though you were phoning a standard mobile and silently listen in to what’s being said in your absence. These gizmos work from any distance and can be hidden anywhere, be it a boardroom, bedroom or car. Prices range dramatically from £500 up.
4. Night vision equipment.This is a slightly unusual addition to the top spot. Marks’ believes that the huge decreases in price have created a demand for goggles, cameras and binoculars. Be it for spotting animals in your garden, or catching a thief in the dark, prices start at a mere £150.
5. Spyphone. These work like the GSM devices, but also operate as a regular mobile phone. Leave it on your desk, or in your warehouse and dial in to find out all the comings and goings. They’re an expensive investment however at £1200 – £2,800 a pop.