Keep an eye out for the BL-C230A from Panasonic. If you see one, smile! You’ve just been captured for posterity and somewhere else, perhaps somewhere hundreds of miles away, someone has footage of you. It could be that your image has been instantly e-mailed to the owner of the BL-C230A. It could even be that the owner is watching you as you stare at it, dumbfounded.

The BL-C230A from Panasonic will sit and wait, staring unblinkingly at its assigned slice of the world, watching patiently for some action. Should it hear a sound, see movement or detect body-heat – Predator-style – it will go into action and start filming the unfolding shenanigans, day or night.

Looking at the information sheet from Panasonic, they seem to indicate that it is meant for indoor use only. I think this is something put there for their own protection — as in, if a lawsuit should come from someone who was recorded in a park, Panasonic will be able to say that they only meant their device to be used indoors. It would not exactly help if the BL-C230A were to be used in a public restroom — that definitely qualifies as indoor use.

… you can just dial-in and watch the 30fps, H.264 stream over the 802.11b/g network. You can also pan and zoom remotely and connect up to 16 of these critters together to make a truly UK-style surveillance network.

That’s more than a little bit menacing — a lot of cameras watching your every move. Even worse, according to Oh Gizmo!,

The BL-C230A provides a constant 640×480 H.264 full motion video stream which can be monitored from a browser, anywhere in the world, using a personalized secure address that Panasonic provides for free. The website interface also allows you to remotely pan and tilt the lens, or zoom the image (digitally) to get a better view when you see shenanigans going down.

Is there anything that can save us from the adorable, yet menacing, BL-C230A?

2 Comments

  1. I have to say, I would love to have one of these to watch my stuff while I’m gone, but I’d hate to be monitored by one that someone else was controlling!

    I wonder if the reason Panasonic states it is not for outdoor use is because it is full of holes? There’s a speaker and lots of inputs — I don’t think it would wear well outside in the rain and humidity.

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