BENGALURU: Last week, a woman used a spy camera to capture evidence of adultery by her husband, a 32-year-old techie.
Spy cameras, over the years, have helped people in various ways: catch cheating spouses and bribe-takers, help anxious mothers keep an eye on house maids, conduct journalistic stings on powerful people, and more.
Many shops in Bangalore flourish in the spy camera business. City Express takes a look at these shops that are concentrated in the SP road near Town Hall
Spy Zone, a store on SP Road, has seen a spike in their sales over the past year. Increasing paranoia among parents, after the surge in crimes against children, is one of the reasons why spy cameras are becoming more popular says, Mohammed Azeemuddin, store owner.
“But otherwise, a lot of people want to spy on their spouses or girlfriends or boyfriends,” he says.
Eye on housemaid
A couple in his shop, in their early thirties, wanted two cameras, hideen in desk clocks, to record what their maid was up to. “They were scared after reading reports of maids mistreating their wards and taking them out on the roads to beg that they decided to get spy cameras in their house,” he says.
Spy cameras are usually hidden in everyday objects, like pens, phones, water-proof watches, eye-glasses, external chargers, photo frames, earphones and more. Now they even fit spy cameras into shirt buttons.
The clientele at Spy Zone comes from various walks. They get enquiries from advocates, auditors, reporters, techies, real estate agents and housewives. Between five and ten customers walk into their store every day.
Indo Spy Devices, Rajajinagar, offers advanced systems that allow people to live monitor their footage. A customised set-up could cost a customer upto Rs 2 lakh.
“These systems come with a 500 GB hard drive that allows the cameras to capture a lot of footage. These are bought by people who own commercial businesses,” says Rajneesh G K, its owner.
His last customer was a Kannada film director who wanted to interview a prison inmate in Mysore for a documentary.
“However, we mostly get people who want to spy on their husbands or wives. Matrimonial disputes are increasing by the day, and this has increased our business as well,” he says.
Spy Citi, another shop on S P Road, has not noticed any spike in customer traffic so far, but says business has been steady over the years.
“There are always people who want to keep an eye on someone or the other. A lot of people who own small shops want to keep an eye on the people who they hire to take care of the business,” says Waseem, the owner.
Spy Citi offers a wall clock spy camera that can store up to three months of footage. This camera costs Rs 20,000 and sees many takers, according to Waseem.
The cheapest spy camera available at the store costs Rs 1800 and is a pen camera. Products at Spy Zone are relatively cheaper and come for between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000. Wall clock and pen cameras are popular. The stores are also aware that spy cameras can be used for illegal ends, and warn their customers. The stores put up posters of the legal repercussions of using spy cameras for blackmail.