Night Vision

  • Science
    ​Sci-fi aficionados will likely be familiar with the 2000 film Pitch Black, in which Vin Diesel plays a character with predator-like night vision. Well, such a scenario has come a step closer to reality, as scientists have enabled mice to temporarily see near-infrared (NIR) light.
  • A thermal imaging system being developed for the US Army Laboratory uses polarized infrared light to reveal details like facial features. The technology will allow soldiers to pick out details even in total darkness, such as tripwires, booby traps, buried landmines, and mortars and UAVs in flight.
  • Science
    ​In the movie "Predator," Arnold Schwarzenegger hid from an alien's night vision system by covering himself in mud. He might have found things much easier, however, if he'd had access to a newly-developed thermal camouflage material.
  • The US Army and US Marine Corps are fielding two different night vision systems that provide better depth perception and add thermal imaging to image intensification technology that will give soldiers clearer night vision even when dealing with overgrown areas.
  • Science
    ​Night vision goggles help the human eye see in the dark, but the devices are bulky, requiring several layers of lenses and plenty of power. But thanks to research from ANU, a new type of nanocrystal could grant night vision powers to a standard pair of specs, without adding any weight.​
  • Yet another entry into the ever-expanding home security system field is the CleverLoop, which comes in a variety of configurations and is aimed at renters and small businesses. We recently got hold of one and put it through its paces.
  • In recent years, home security systems have become cheaper while adding more functionality. San Francisco-based startup Angee Inc. is looking to take things a bit further by adding some computer smarts to create an automated security system that is portable and doubles as a personal assistant.
  • BAE Systems is developing a combination night vision and thermal imaging system that not only allows soldiers to rapidly acquire and engage targets in all weather and lighting, but also to remotely aim their weapons without looking through the sights.
  • Science
    A biohacking group in California has managed to develop eye drops that temporarily give a human being powerful night vision. The chemicals used are still very much at the experimental stage – this isn't something you'd want to try at home just yet – but the first trial has been very successful.
  • Modern technology has given homeowners camera-based DIY security systems that, in addition to acting as a deterrent, can help catch criminals either in the act or afterwards. One such system is the Oplink TripleShield system, which I recently had the opportunity to try out.
  • We're now well within the midst of a gold rush, when it comes to smartphone cases that "do things." The Raspberry Pi-based NVC (Night Vision Camera) case has its own trick up its sleeve – it lets the iPhone 6 see in the dark.
  • Thermal imaging cameras tend to be bulky ... and very pricey. California-based Seek Thermal is aiming to bring thermal imaging into the consumer realm with its thermal camera smartphone accessory.