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SpyTec Inventio-HD 720P Video Glasses

A few months ago Brandon asked me to review a pair of “spy” glasses that have a built in camera in them.  Being somewhat of a techno geek I was interested in giving them a try but wasn’t real sure what to expect as I have seen several different types of “spy” glasses marketed and didn’t know what was going to show up.  I was actually very surprised when I opened the box and found the SpyTec Inventio-HD glasses inside.

SpyTec Inventio


  • 720p HD Video Recording at 30FPS (.avi format)
  • 8GB of Internal Storage (Not expandable)
  • Built in Video Stabilization
  • 5mp CMOS camera
  • 16-bit Audio
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery

Initial Impressions

When I first opened the box I was happy to see a sportier pair of sunglasses that I wouldn’t mind being seen wearing out in public. The package came with the glasses, three pairs of lenses (grey, clear, blue mirrored), a nice zippered carrying case, neck strap, cleaning cloth, and a USB cable.

The only thing that I really didn’t care for during my initial inspection of the glasses is the use of yellow on the ear and nose pieces. This is just a minor detail, but I am somewhat of a low-key person so I would like to see them offered in a sold black or even a more subdued color than bright yellow.

After an initial once over of everything I plugged the glasses into my Macbook and left them to charge overnight per the included instruction book. I returned the next morning to find them fully charged and ready for use.

Field Use

For those that haven’t been to the site before or not read over my bio I live in the Mountains of NC. The terrain can be unfriendly at times and the weather can change from hot and sunny to windy and rainy in a matter of a few minutes. My first test of these glasses would expose them to both conditions.

I decided to take a short ride on one of the local mountain bike trails and see how the camera performed with its “advanced video stabilization” when exposed to the bumpy terrain of a local mountain bike trail. The day started out beautiful with little chance of rain and turned into riding through a brief thunder storm.  Fearing that the glasses would succumb to water damage I decided to pick up my pace and ended up crashing near the end of the ride.  The glasses hardly moved and no damage was noted to them (my pride was a little banged up though). When I made it back to the car I realized how wet they ended up getting during the ride and was a little concerned about how the electronic would hold up.

When I got home I plugged them into my Macbook to check the video files and was a little worried when it did not recognize them. My first thought was the water exposure had killed them and that was going to be the end of this review. Then I realized I wasn’t using the supplied USB cable and had them plugged in with the USB cable for my Canon DSLR. A quick cable swap and we were back in business (or at least I thought we were). I started going through the files on the camera and found that I had got my on-off sequence mixed up and when I thought I was recording I was actually not so all of the video from this trip is useless files of me standing around when we would take breaks (I will discuss this further in the next section on what I would change).

Robbie Testing SpyTec Inventio-HD

Robbie wearing the SpyTec Inventio-HD glasses shooting

The next test I had for these glasses was going to be a little different than the first and that test was to take place during some firearms training at work. I replaced my range glasses (Oakley Flak Jacket) with the video glasses fitted with the grey lenses for range duty.  This time I double checked what mode I was in and had better results when it came to video recording.  The glasses held up well and the video was surprisingly stable considering they were subject to recoil from a 12 gauge and a .308. And while the lenses are not impact rated like my Oakley’s they did protect my right eye from a small piece of rock that was kicked up during one of the drills with only a minor scratch on the lens.

SpyTec Inventio-HD Video – Carbine Shooting Drills

What I Would Change

I think any fair review of a product should always include things that could possibly be changed to improve the product. I only have a few things I think could be improved with these glasses.

The first thing is the color. As previously mentioned, I am just not into the bright yellow and would like to see an option for solid black or another more subdued color.

The second thing is to add some auditory signal to the recording mode. The LED embedded in the glasses is extremely hard to see in bright sunlight and cannot be seen with the glasses on.

The final thing I think could use improvement is for the glasses to work with any available mini USB cable and instead of the proprietary cable. I always have a standard mini USB for use with my DSLR and card reader and having to carry an extra cable to download video for the glasses is unnecessary in my opinion.

Wrapping Up

With the current price and available features these glass are very hard to beat. They offer great resolution and 8GB of storage in a compact package that does not draw near the attention that something like a GoPro would; and with the camera lens centered between your eyes it captures an accurate point of view.  Knowing what recording mode you are in can be a little hard when you first start using them and I would like to have some kind of auditory indicator in addition to the LED indicator but I would still recommend them to anyone looking to record their adventures without the bulk and expense of a GoPro set up.


15 Responses to SpyTec Inventio-HD 720P Video Glasses

  1. Jake July 26, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I’ve actually been considering these glasses, thanks for the review! How do they perform in low light scenarios?

  2. Robbie July 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Jake, I really can’t comment on the low light situations at the moment as I have not really tested that out. I am still using the glasses so I will give them a shot in some low light situations and let you know how they do. They are advertised as having a high ISO but I cannot find any specifications on just how high that ISO is. I have a feeling that if it’s above ISO 1600 with a sensor so small you would probably run into a lot of noise. Give me a day or so and I will get back to you on the low light stuff.

  3. Christopher Ottolini July 26, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Price?? How long recording time can you do??

    • Robbie July 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Christopher, The recording time can vary based on a few factors but two hrs is a pretty good average and they are currently $129.99 on the SpyTec website.

  4. David July 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Looks like sight angle needs to be adjusted to point of sight. Every time you went to battery the view was looking down at the reciever and ground.

    • Robbie July 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      The angle was my fault. If you look at the picture you will see they are above my electronic ears and that caused a downward tilt on them that I didn’t notice until after I downloaded the video. It would probably be much better if I was wearing plugs instead.

      • Modern Armament July 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

        I was going to comment on the angle, but this explains it. I was thinking “The angle is a far worse problem than color or recording mode not having an obvious flashing light” lol

  5. Jeff July 29, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    The Pivot Head glasses from PivotHead,com seem to have much better quality. I’m subscribed to a competition shooter’s YouTube channel called waktasz who uses them to shoot his videos. Might be a better option.

    • Robbie July 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      Jeff, I checked out the pivothead website and the camera location is in the exact same spot at the Inventio HD glasses. The pivothead glasses do offer some additional features (1080p, more styles, more colors, etc) but all that comes at a cost of $300 per pair. That’s more than double the price of the Inventio HD. It may be a better option for people who do not mind spending the extra money for a few extra features. However, I stand by my statement that for the price the Inventio glasses are hard to beat.

  6. Mitchell August 5, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    “For those that haven’t been to the site before or not read over my bio I live in the Mountains of NC. The terrain can be unfriendly at times and the weather can change from hot and sunny to windy and rainy in a matter of a few minutes.”
    I live here as well, and couldn’t agree more with that statement…
    I can’t see buying these specifically because of the bright yellow on them, I wonder what they were thinking when they decided to go with yellow??

  7. Lori May 19, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Got ripped off by SpyTec!! First of all they state on their website that their products are shipped discretely, yet it comes to me with the product name clearly written on the front of the envelope, then they said they would reimburse my return shipping costs upon receipt of my shipping invoice, even went as far as to tell me the cheque is in the mail and yet they had no intention of reimbursing this money but they got their product back! They stopped returning my calls, I even filed a complain with the BBB and they aren’t responding to them either! Scam artists!!!!

    • Brandon May 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Wow Lori I’m really sorry to hear this.

    • Spy Tec Inc May 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      I’d like to offer our representation of what occurred:

      1. Non-Discrete Shipment Issue: We do in fact ship all of our shipments discretely. However, this customer is located in Canada (and we are in the US) and therefore the shipment had to go through customs. The customs personnel apparently made the mistake of putting the customs form (with our company name) on the outside of the box. We apologize for this occurrence, but it is quite unusual.

      2. Reimbursement of Shipping Costs: We offered to reimburse the customer’s return shipping costs. We told this customer to ship back the item USPS 1st class or Canada Post. The customer shipped back the item international overnight and informed us that the price was $70 which is nearly the cost of the product she ordered. We do not reimburse international overnight return shipping, however we told her we would reimburse her for $20 of the return shipping (the actual cost the return shipping from her address should cost). The customer refused and demanded another product for free and we told her that this wasn’t possible. This was the last we heard from her.

      3. Reimbursement of Product Cost: We have refunded the full price of the returned product.

      • Brandon May 19, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

        Thanks for responding.

    • Robbie May 19, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      On a different note the glasses are still kicking and have endured several training/range sessions, a few motorcycle rides, and various other uses since I got them. Might even do a follow-up review on them since they have seen over a year of use and still work like they did the day I took them out of the package.