Super Ear (Image courtesy Hollywood Gadgets)By Andrew Liszewski

Besides of course the reduced risk of a thermo-nuclear war the end of the cold war also meant a bunch of cool gadgets and technology originally developed for spies and other shady types have now been made available to the general public.

For instance this Super Ear made in Germany and used by the C.I.A. is able to hear even the quietest of sounds through a 12-inch concrete wall! It uses an ultra-sensitive microphone that acts like a stethoscope when placed against the wall picking up vibrations caused by any noises on the other side. (Well from both sides actually.) A built-in amplifier then boosts the signal up to 25,000 times its original level making it audible through a pair of included headphones. Of course the website warns “CAUTION: Not to be used for invasion of privacy” so I guess any would-be spies will have to find another solution.

The Super Ear is available for $179.95 unless you work for the C.I.A. where you can find them kept with the office supplies.

[ Super Ear @ Hollywood Gadgets ]