“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

When people think of private investigation, one of the top things that comes to mind is the cool spy-like gear and gadgets they use to gather evidence and conduct surveillance. Here are 5 of the coolest tools in the PI toolbox.

1. Hidden Camera Detector – Have a feeling someone’s been watching you? A hidden camera detector can find some of the tiniest cameras stashed in smoke detectors, air vents, and even embedded in devices like alarm clocks and radios. The device pulses LED light and detects the reflection or flashback from the camera lens to alert you to the presence of a hidden camera. And because it detects flashback from the lens, the camera doesn’t have to be currently working or turned on to be found.

2. Wrist Watch Audio and Video Recorder – What seems like a normal stylish wrist watch doubles as an audio recorder with a pinhole camera that also records video (in color). This gadget can record between 1.5 to 5 hours depending on whether you’re recording just audio or both audio and video. The footage is later downloaded to a computer and saved as evidence.

3. Invisible Touch Detection Spray – Suspect someone has been getting into your personal belongings or that an employee has been sneaking into the cash box? A fine mist of touch detection spray dries quickly and is invisible to the naked eye. The spray stains the skin for up to 5 days and is illuminated with a simple UV light. You’ll catch them fluorescent-handed.

4. GPS Detector – Wonder if your activities are being tracked? A GPS detector finds GPS transmitters and devices by detecting the frequency they use to send data to whomever is tracking you. GPS detectors pick up both digital and analog frequencies from radio waves, cellular data, Bluetooth, WLAN, WiFi and more.

5. EMF Meters/Detectors – EMF means electro-magnetic frequency and an EMF meter both detects the presence of and strength of this frequency. This device is also referred to as an E-Meter and a Ghost Meter. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, an EMF detector comes in handy for finding all kinds of devices that give off EMF. And should you happen to end up following a target through a cemetery or haunted forest, it might just come in handy in other ways.

PIs use lots of gear and gadgets to record activities, perform surveillance, and help clients get to the truth they need. Our list includes 5 of the coolest tools of the trade a PI may use.