Night vision isn’t just for military and law enforcement personnel anymore. Now, night vision capabilities can be found on your smartphone, glasses or even contact lenses. Check out a brief history of night vision as well as the products you can add to your collection.
Night vision traces back to World War II with the American RCA company and the German company AEG Telefunken as the founders. Generation-O offered the first active devices that projected infrared light on a target and then created an intensified image that was sensitive to light at those frequency levels. Humans can’t see infrared light, so these devices were used by snipers to find enemies in the dark. However, these devices had many problems, including that if the enemy also used night vision, they could see where the sniper was hiding.
Night vision technology improved in the ’70s. Generation 2 devices distorted the images less, had a longer life and provided greater amplification. Generation 3 continued to improve the technology in the ’90s and Generation 4 devices are currently under development.
Although night vision was originally developed for military use, hunters also have found the technology to be useful. Riflescopes for a hunter’s artillery is common in the gaming world. Many of these devices provide useful information for hunters, such as your scope, elevation, ballistics information, load and velocity.
But, if you don’t want to add the extra weight to your favorite hunting gun, you can invest in night vision binoculars. These can be useful for tracking animals because you can use both eyes to identify moving objects in front of you.
For Drivers and Motorcyclists
Night vision eyewear is another new use for the consumer market. The eyewear can be helpful for long road trips or nighttime motorcycle rides so you can see everything clearly. Night vision windshields and motorcycle helmets are also being developed.
In addition to driving gear, night vision contact lenses are in development at the University of Michigan. The research team has developed a detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum by using a new technology known as Graphene, which is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb design. Assistant professor Zhaohui Zhong explains that this technology lets you interact with your environment in a different way because it expands your vision.
For aspiring horror filmmakers, there are night vision cameras. For example, the Ghost Hunting Camera made by the Cleveland Paranormal Supply Co. is perfect for ghost hunters and horror documentarians. This camera films 1080p HD at 60 frames per second, has a built-in infrared light and 16-megapixel resolution. This means you can capture any spirits that may be about or you can create your own ghostly movies in the dark.
There also are security cameras that can shoot in low light to identify criminals. From your home to your business to your film project, these cameras are replacing the standard devices that don’t have night-vision capabilities.