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Smart Home

This camera-equipped phone charger keeps a Lookout

This boring USB charger hides an HD security camera inside.

Lookout/YouTube screenshot by CNET
Lookout/Indiegogo screenshot by CNET

At first glance, Toronto-based startup Lookout's Lookout Charger is just that -- a typical USB phone charger. But this unassuming device actually has a high-definition security camera hidden inside. Not only is the charger designed to capture footage of intruders discreetly, Lookout also markets its covert camera as a way to spy on mischievous teenagers and cheating spouses.

To the right is a quick overview of the Lookout Charger's specs, straight from its Indiegogo campaign.

The charger's built-in storage, 1080p HD resolution and US and international adapter prongs all give it a surprisingly robust set of hardware specs.

At the same time, the Lookout Charger might be a little too simple. It doesn't come with a related app, there's no live-streaming functionality and it doesn't work with any smart-home platforms. Instead, the camera records when it's plugged in and you can connect it to your laptop or computer via a USB adapter to view the saved footage later on.

I'm not convinced a charger would provide a good vantage point for a camera, since a lot of outlets are located way below eye-level. Regardless, you'll definitely have to get creative about where you install this thing.

The Lookout Charger is just finishing up its Indiegogo campaign with nearly $100,000 raised so far. Its early bird price tiers are sold out, but models are still available starting at $75 (£60 or AU$100 converted). Units are available to ship internationally and are slated to reach backers in July 2017.

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