We at All the Stuff are always interested in anything educational or ecological, and observing wildlife in the wild certainly is both. This gadget adds the sense of hearing to the experience, which is especially important for birdwatching.
Now, if you took physics in high school, you’ll probably remember that a parabolic reflector like the one on this device reflects to a specific point F, which is where the microphone is located:
In this way, the parabolic dish amplifies sound waves coming from directly in front of it. It’s aimed through a viewfinder similar to a rifle scope.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to actually block nearby sound sources. This means that sounds from where you’re pointing it at will be louder, but background noise will also be amplified. In other words, it’s a nice tool to have when birdwatching in the woods, but won’t work at all next to a busy street.
Irritatingly, there’s no record function, though you could replace the headphones with a digital recorder. In any case, it’s not really sensitive enough for taping bird calls anyway – it’s more of a toy, even though it’s a very cool one.
On a final note, you should know that it is almost always illegal to listen in on conversations people think to be private. In any case, this directional microphone is really not sensitive enough for any real spying – the FBI presumably has something better.