TechHidden dangers in your vacation stay: How to detect spying mirrors in hotels and rented apartments

Hidden dangers in your vacation stay: How to detect spying mirrors in hotels and rented apartments

A frame from the guide on recognizing Phoenician mirrors
A frame from the guide on recognizing Phoenician mirrors
Images source: © Youtube, ©Optical Mirror

9:24 AM EST, January 15, 2024

As vacation time draws closer and we prepare for stays in hotels or rental apartments, safety checks may not be our top priority. Our focus is typically on planned activities and relaxation. However, it is well worth taking a few moments to conduct a brief inspection as such facilities may harbor hidden cameras, or sometimes, even a transparent mirror. Although these practices aren't widespread, encounters do occur.

What is a transparent mirror and how does it work?

A transparent mirror is a special kind of mirror that reflects only a portion of light, allowing the rest to pass through. This excludes scattered and absorbed light. The mirror is coated with a thin layer of metal, usually aluminum, and is placed between two rooms - one brightly lit and the other dimly lit. This arrangement allows one to observe others unseen. You might have come across such mirrors in interrogation rooms depicted in police dramas in American movies and TV shows. However, police stations aren't the only places where you can find them.

How can you identify a transparent mirror?

A two-way mirror can sometimes be found in hotels or rented apartments. Clearly, none of us wants to be spied upon, especially given we don't know who might be doing it or if they're recording our actions. Hence, it's worthwhile to conduct a simple test using a mirror and a marker. If these aren't accessible, your own fingernail will suffice. On TikTok, we found a video demonstrating how to perform the test using a marker. You can watch this video below:

The alternate method involves pressing your fingernail against the mirror. When in close proximity, you should observe a "gap" between your nail and its reflection in the mirror. If this gap is absent and you can virtually touch your reflection, there's a risk that you're dealing with a transparent mirror. It's important to remember that many factors, including lighting and mirror material, can affect reflection. An illustrative video on how to conduct a mirror test using a fingernail is available below.

However, it's important to note that these methods aren't foolproof indications of a transparent mirror. They merely suggest that there might be something amiss with the mirror, warranting further inspection or discussion with the facility owner. A flashlight trick can also be utilized. After turning off the lights in the room, bring the flashlight close to the mirror. If a transparent mirror is installed, you might be able to illuminate and see the room on the other side, or spot a hidden camera.

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