Double Takes

Separated at Birth was a popular column in the 1980s magazine, Spy, which paired photos of celebrities in uncanny ways. But people’s faces have no monopoly on similitude. A product may also bear a striking resemblance to something entirely unrelated. As you browse through the hundreds of thousands of items offered by B&H, it’s easy to imagine what might have motivated a particular product designer. Here are some suggestions, with the actual product on the left and its possible inspiration on the right.

Spy vs. Spy with the PenCam

It is amazing to watch the evolution of surveillance gadgets that modern technology brings us. Hidden cameras are now tucked away inconspicuously in smoke detectors, motion detectors, stuffed animals, clocks, and countless other innocuous products.

Today, it’s easy for manufacturers to squeeze a great deal of functionality into a tiny package. Integrated circuits have millions of transistors packed onto tiny chips, wristwatches offer a thousand functions, and cell phones can access the Internet and capture still and video images. Of course, those tiny integrated circuits enable the manufacture of most of these devices in the first place.

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