Much like the toaster, the microwave and the sandal, the flashlight hasn't changed an awful lot since being first engineered in the late 1300s. Thankfully, we're finally seeing a little innovation in the space with Hammacher Schlemmer's Infrared Flashlight Video Recorder. Upon first looking it over, it's hard to tell that this thing is different from any other heavy duty tactical flashlight; underneath that matte black finish, however, are 17 infrared LEDs and a video camera capable of capturing footage (with audio!) up to 13 feet away from the device itself. Both video and snapshots are captured in VGA (640 x 480) quality, and while only 15 seconds can be logged on the 128MB of built-in memory, the miniSD expansion slot opens that up immensely. The rub? Nah, it's not the absurd $399.95 price tag, it's the "three C-sized batteries" requirement. Drat.

[Via OhGizmo]