Chilli Technology Watch Cam hands-on (literally)

Recording secret footage of illicit meetings is all the rage at the moment. Whether it's catching a FIFA official accepting "gifts" or just filming a random stranger putting a cat in a bin, there's something to be said about capturing moments that people would prefer not to be captured on video.

And that's essentially what Chilli Technology's Watch Cam is set-up to do - it is its raison d'être. Otherwise, why else would you carry around a video camera on your wrist?

Certainly, you wouldn't used the Watch Cam to film your family holidays. It's only 640 x 480 resolution, and the lens is so minute (to remain hidden) that it doesn't really let enough light in to offer particularly realistic or sharp pictures. Indeed, the image quality is more akin to CCTV footage - another indication of the Watch's purpose.

The lens is also hard to aim with, often leading to shots where the subject isn't quite in frame. Also indicative of the sort of footage most often associate with undercover documentaries.

Additionally, the microphone is tiny, so is also lacking in the quality stakes. It does its purpose, but crackles and pops if the subject is too close. That's fine, however, if you're surreptitiously recording a conversation though.

On the up side, at 2GB in capacity, the watch can store plenty of pics, video and audio files before bulging at the seams, so can be left running for a while. And it comes with an in-built rechargeable battery which charges through the USB connection, giving 1-2 hours of recording when full.

The USB connection also allows you to drag off the files, or even store other material through drag and drop, effectively turning the device into a USB memory stick.

And then, of course, it's also a watch. In fact, it's quite an attractive one, with only a fraction more girth to fit in the techno bits and bobs.

Stored on the watch (and on an included mini CD) are the drivers and some software to set the internal clock, which isn't the same as the hands on the face - they need to be set manually. This will date stamp the video and/or pictures you take.

Let's be honest, this isn't the height of spy technology, after all it's only £44.99 (from chilli-tech.com), but it is a spot of fun. It's the modern day equivalent of the plastic spy kit you used to get in corner shops (with a fake moustache and glasses) and Pocket-lint already knows several boys both young and not so that will get up to all manner of mischief with one.

And if you do get the inclination to dress up as a fake sheik in order to trap a minor Royal into a compromising situation, this could be the watch for you. We reckon News of the World journos are all getting one each for Christmas.



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