Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Inventio-HD 720P Video & Audio Recording Sunglasses Review


Inventio-HD 720P Video & Audio Recording Sunglasses Review

I was contacted by Spytec here recently and asked if I could do a review of the Inventio-HD 720P Video & Audio Recording Sunglasses, and they look like a great product that already has some pretty good reviews so I’m looking forward to getting a pair and trying them I’m glad I got my hands on a pair. They’re right up my alley!

Unfortunately, I’m just starting the process of leaving Afghanistan so anything shipped to me right now may not make it in time so I’ll have to wait until I get back. [boo!]

Update – Back from Afghanistan and received a pair of the sunglasses from Spytec so I’ll now do my own review.

Being able to record video is actually great for preppers because you can take a quick inventory of your stuff for future reference, record cache locations, do route assessments, and lots of other very useful things. The discrete nature of these recording sunglasses make them particularly suited for preppers who have a concern for OPSEC.

Here’s a video of it in action by Steffen Tronstad:


I use video and audio recording devices quite a bit (I’m also a Private Investigator on the side) so I’m pretty familiar with them and issues they have so it’ll be was great to try them out. It’s too bad I didn’t have these in Afghanistan because one of the bad things about most video recording devices is that they don’t point where you do. On a weapon-mounted system, you have to flag your buddy to record him. A helmet mount is better but you have to be wearing your helmet and it’s pretty attention-grabbing when you do. A lot of commands don’t let you record due to “legal reasons” so these would have been much better. Just remember that it catches every single under-the-breath comment.

We usually use a few GoPro HD Helmet Heros when we’re transporting people because they’re pretty awesome. We use them mostly to cover our butts in case someone accuses us of roughing them up (we do quite a bit of drug rehab transports) and for training afterward. Damn, I should be doing a GoPro review too. Maybe I’ll do that when I get back too so I can do a video review with the video camera.


The Inventio recording sunglasses wouldn’t be so obvious though so they’d definitey be nice as a backup and for up-and-close conversations. I don’t think we’d want to completely replace the GoPro’s but it’s not always a good thing to have a camera right in someone’s face, especially when you’re trying to ask them questions. What I really like about them though is that they record what I’m looking at, unlike the GoPro, which records what I’m facing. We miss quite a bit because of that. The Inventio glasses would solve that problem.

When I was looking for videos, I did come across one that the guy was reviewing sunglasses that recorded video and audio and he was literally saying it was a piece of shit. Luckily, my superhuman powers of observation notices that the glasses weren’t the same type and they’re not even Inventio 720P sunglasses, so whew! I did think it was strange that his review was so starkly different than the ones below.

So, what did I think?

The Inventio HD’s are well-constructed except for one minor flaw that I saw. The flap that covered the USB connector underneath the left arm didn’t survive 5 minutes at my house. I wasn’t doing anything particularly rough with them except I wore them on my hat for a few minutes while I was inside. Not sure exactly where I lost it. Other than that, the physical construction is great.

In the instructions, it tells you that if you push the on button for a couple of seconds, you’ll see a green light come on. Unfortunately, in the diagram, no where does it mention exactly where this green light is. Not a big deal if the light actually does come on because if you keep rotating the sunglasses around, you’ll see the light come on just inside the left arm, under where the USB port is. I actually saw the light first coming through the USB port and then saw the faint green light. However, if for some reason you were doing something wrong or it wasn’t working due to a dead battery or whatever, you wouldn’t have any idea where to look. Minor detail I know but those kind of things drive me crazy sometimes. Luckily once you’ve seen the light, you’ll remember where it’s at so it’s not a big deal but that goes for everything in the manual.

As you can see from the photo, they’re kind of a sport-looking pair. Great for younger people but kind of look a little out of place on me, considering what I usually wear. They’re just a tad large but not distractingly so. From a wearer’s perspective, you wouldn’t know you had them on. There are certainly bulkier sunglasses on the market so they’re not gonna be out of place. If you’re sitting on a Kawasaki while you’re wearing them, they’ll fit in nicely. I ride a home-built (mostly home-built) rigid-frame Harley so it’s kind of like drinking milk at a biker bar, but I’ve been known to do that in my spunkier days.

The video hole in the front center is almost invisible. Since I’ve received training on spotting things like this, I see it right away but most people aren’t ever going to notice. To make it a bit more discrete, they should consider incorporating the hole within some kind of aesthetic feature and especially not make it a circle.

The video from the glasses is pretty good. In normal distances, it works pretty well, although it doesn’t have enough resolution to pick up license plates later on (which is immensely important if you’re doing counter-surveillance). At close distances, however, the video is aimed a hair too high so in order to pick up things you’re looking at, you’ll have to aim your head down too low to be discreet.

The audio is a different story, depending on how you use the sunglasses. For normal conversation, it works very well. The mic is hidden under the left arm, next to the USB port and won’t be noticed by anyone while you’re wearing them. Where they fall short though is at louder volumes. …

I figured one of the ways people might want to use them is during sporting things like riding motorcycles so I took my scoot out to the store. At idle, it works fairly well but as soon as I hit the gas, the audio clips and sounds terrible. It really needs some kind of auto-leveling circuitry if you’re gonna be using it. Even the wind passing by when I pull in the clutch makes it sound pretty bad. Unfortunate considering there’s nothing like the purr of a Harley. You may get away with one of those cafe bikes since they sound like chainsaws anyway.

The video playback is fairly simple. The device opens up in Windows as an external memory device and the video files are buried inside just a couple of folders. If you’ve used a camera with a USB connection, it’ll be fairly straightforward. If not, just keep opening up folders until you find them.

I do have to commend Spytec from resisting the urge to put the Spytec name or logo anywhere on the glasses. I know their marketing department must have had a hissy-fit when they lost that battle but I’m glad they did. These aren’t supposed to be used for clandestine operations but if you’re looking to be discrete, the last thing you want is a brand showing, especially one with the word ‘spy’ in it.

One thing that would be nice is some way to know when it’s recording without having to take the glasses off. If you hit the button while wearing them, you have to just assume it’s recording and once it stops, either due to running out of room or battery, you’ll have no idea.

It’s too bad you couldn’t see the light while wearing them or be able to tell some way that it’s recording. Not everyone would want to be able to do this so an option would also be nice.

Another issue is that you have absolutely no idea how much battery you have. Even if you plug it in to the computer. I really hate that.

Making the glasses blu-tooth compatible would solve a couple problems but might increase the size of the glasses. These days, I would expect they’d be able to connect it to an iPhone app to stream video, see the memory usage and battery charge and remotely operate the glasses. Now don’t get me wrong, these things are crazy cheap for what you’re getting and adding this kind of functionality would add not only production costs but quite a bit of R&D.


Good job Spytec. Let me know if you come out with anything ultra-discrete. I know people that may want to check them out. In the meantime, they’re a good compromise.

If you want a true sporting recording, you may want to spend the extra (a lot extra) cash and get a GoPro HD Helmet Hero. If you’re looking for an inexpensive solution to discretely wear sunglasses that could pick up something worth recording in just a few seconds, and do it at 720p with sound, these are great.

These would be great for recording youtube videos, taking on a family camping trip or out shooting in the desert. Depending on your local laws (or how well you follow the local laws), these would also be useful for recording events such as demonstrations or to catch some crazy civil unrest in full HD glory. Even some of my Molon Labe readers could find some use for them.

Would I use these? I probably will at some point, either out with friends (I have a trip to the Bahamas coming up soon), or doing private investigation work. Would I recommend them to others? Most likely. As long as you know the limitations, they’re great. I think they would be great for preppers for many uses.

For the money – and in the genre – I don’t know any better pair of recording sunglasses on the market.

If you’ve used these, please either comment below or point me to your review. I’d be interested to know what you think.

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.

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