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Night Vision

Driving a car in the country at night can be a scary. The combination of poor visibility and animals or other hard to spot obstacles on the road poses an obvious threat to both the car and its occupants. Some luxury models now have the option of forward looking infrared (FLIR) night vision systems, so you can see the animal in time to swerve. Unfortunately these systems are pricey, even as an aftermarket add-on, but that may soon change through the work of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM) in Freiburg, Germany. The researchers have invented a way of bringing down the cost of the infrared lenses in FLIR systems down by 70 percent - opening the way to cheap FLIR cameras for the mass market. Read More

Is there a black cat in that pile of coal, and if so, what's she doing? A new way of finding out is the USBGeek Infrared Night Vision HD Spy Cam Car Key, a tiny video camera with an infrared LED providing illumination for 1080p HD videos taken in the darkest of rooms. Read More

Imagine if you could turn your iPhone into an advanced night vision recording device, tuned to your every espionage whim. No, there's not an app for that ... but there is the USNV Night Vision iPhone Adapter. Before you get too excited about it, you should note that it doesn't directly turn an iPhone into a night vision scope – you'll still need an actual separate scope. What the NViA does is bridge the iPhone with the night vision scope to leverage iPhone features like video recording, geo-tagging and messaging ... because when you're in the middle of a midnight tail, sometimes you want to go back and scour the footage for more clues – or I assume that you might want to do that, if you were some type of vigilante running around the city with a pair of infrared goggles. Read More

The HoverMast is a hovering surveillance machine that can be deployed from a small vehicle such as an armored SUV. The machine, developed by Sky Sapience and currently at the prototype stage, can be deployed to an altitude of up to 50 meters (164 feet) within 10-15 seconds. Read More

Digital camera technology has just taken a huge leap forward with the development of a microdisplay panel that's millions of pixels beyond what is currently used in the highly detailed electronic viewfinders of Fujifilm's most recent X-series cameras (X-S1/X-Pro1), and more than double the panels in Sony's latest alpha and NEX cameras. MicroOLED's new bright and detailed, low power OLED panel has been viewed by a number of industry pundits as the final nail in the coffin of the optical viewfinder. Read More
When it enters service, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter will lay claim to the title of the most advanced warplane in the world. Its pilots will have the most advanced helmets as well ... and there's more to it than protecting the pilot's head against knocks. Unfortunately, the gap between designing the helmet and building it has proven wider than originally thought and issues such as poor image quality are so severe that the F35's testing program faces serious delays, so F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin brought in BAE Systems to provide a substitute. Read More
Since 2009, Mercedes Benz's luxury class models have included an Active Night View Assist Plus feature that detects pedestrians on the road and highlights them on the display on the instrument cluster using infra-red light projectors. The company has now taken the assistance system a step further with a new spotlight function that specifically directs light on people on or near the road so that both the driver and the pedestrian are alerted to the presence of the approaching vehicle. Read More
The benefits of car night vision systems that enable drivers to see people or animals more clearly on dark, unlit roads have already started appearing in luxury cars. But these systems rely on near-infrared (NIR) radiation, which requires the cars to be fitted with infrared headlights to illuminate the road ahead. Falling into the “thermal imaging region”, Long-wavelength (LWIR) cameras require no such external light source but the sensors require constant cooling, adding to the cost and complexity of such devices. Researchers have now developed a new type of detector which functions at room temperature allowing it to be used in cars and other mobile applications. Read More
Anyone who likes to get their gear off for a spot of naked sunbathing in the backyard may have to think twice in the future. Researchers have developed a new nanotechnology-based “microlens” that could lead to a new generation of ultra-powerful satellite cameras and night-vision devices. Thankfully, the new lens is used for infrared imaging, so the technology is more likely to be used for security and monitoring climate change and deforestation than spying on naturists boosting their vitamin D levels. Read More
A team at University of Florida has developed a new thin film technology that can convert infrared light into visible light. In layman terms, we can stop eating carrots to improve our night vision because it might soon be applied cheaply to our eye glasses, car windshields, even our cell phones, and it could be here in a little as 18 months. Read More
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