GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You might not notice it when it's mounted outside a parking garage or on top of a police car.
But this tiny camera is a game changer for police officers because it can constantly scan license plate numbers on every car that that drives by.
The ELSAG license plate hunter is made in Greensboro by Selex ES.
Every unit is set up and tested before it goes out the door because the camera has to react to different styles of plates, from different angles in a variety of weather conditions.
Demand for the system has grown so much that they had to expand.
On a vehicle, the camera unit is pretty unobtrusive. It scans plates on the road or in a parking lot, only looking for ones that have been entered in the system as potential violations.
The ELSAG made a real difference in several recent investigations.
Last month, Pennsylvania police searched for a suspect - when four men were missing. His vehicle was picked up by a license plate scanner.
Two years ago, when two journalists were shot in Virginia, the suspect was also found and stopped by a state police officer running a license plate scanner.
Now, Burlington police have them installed them on their vehicles.
It can also run in the background - reading plates as the officer works on other things through the day.
Not only are they proud to turn out the ELSAG in Greensboro, they also contract with more than 300 vendors across the state for parts and services.
This piece of North Carolina technology has turned into an extra set of eyes for law enforcement officers and most people never know it's there.