Computers & Mobile Craft & Design
Alt.CES: Video-recording ball point pen



The stylish looking black ballpoint pen has hidden talents as it contains a pinhole video camera so small you almost can’t see that it’s there. The PenCam‘s intelligent design includes 2GB of built-in internal memory for storing your video. Viewing or copying the videos is easy, and you can connect the standard USB plug straight into your computer to view your movies. No special cables, no adapters, no drivers, no worries! What’s more, you can use the USB port to recharge the pen’s battery to give up to 90 minutes of video recording time before needing recharging again. The PenCam DVR is perfect for sales people, lawyers, law enforcement, mystery shopping, covert surveillance or internet fun. It’s an affordable business person’s accessory or a cool gift idea!

• Captures color AVI videos in 640 x 480 & still images in 1280 x 960 resolution
• Footage recorded on 2GB internal memory; 1 hour of video & 9,000 still images
• Integrated USB connector allows for easy video/image back-up
• Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery lasts 90 minutes on a full charge
• Built-in microphone

One could imagine how wobbly and nausea-inducing the video would be — particularly while the pen is being used for writing! Still, this looks like a fairly impressive package with a lot of gear packed into the pen’s barrel. Totally James Bond circa Octopussy.

What do you think, readers? A $99 gizmo that will never get used or a serious tool for “sales people, lawyers, [and] law enforcement”?

14 thoughts on “Alt.CES: Video-recording ball point pen

  1. There are dozens of tiny video recorders like this on dealextreme. I’ve been considering stripping one down for an RC airplane/submarine camera.

  2. @Travis – great idea. I haven’t used it once since I bought it and was looking for something it would be useful for. A cam for a RC plane would be pretty sweet!

  3. I bought the one from dealextreme. It isn’t great enough for something as fast moving as an RC plane. It blurs if a person moves quickly in frame. But, don’t get me wrong, its a great camera for a nice price.

  4. Yeah, the older pencams on DX blur too much for an onboard camera, but the newer ones are better. I bought a keychain camera that works quite nicely, and has the advantage that the lens is “inline” with the body so it can be strapped onto a body/wing, whereas the pencams have to be mounted perpendicular to the body in order to get a forward view.


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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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