Night Vision, Now With Awesome Dorky Headwear

We've seen night vision goggles before.  And they usually look like regular military gear -- hi-tech and serious.  This new Hi-Res Night Vision System is all that, too, but it's also dorky as hell.  And that's a good thing.

Created by SA Photonics, you'd sooner laugh at the sight of a dude wearing this than be scared.  I mean, it's like the perfect head gear for a Comic Con event.  Of course, when the headwear is paired with a guy wearing military fatigue and a real automatic in his hands, the sentiment can change really fast.  Keep your eyes locked on the neck up, though, and you'll be fine.

The Hi-Res Night Vision System is a fully digital night vision system, which should explain the bulky helmet hiding all the electronics.  It doesn't use any type of optical glasses; instead, your vicinity is scoped using cameras, with images fed back your way via a pair of swiveling displays (one for each eye).  Since the images are processed digitally, they can overlay what you end up seeing with HUD imagery -- a definite advantage when you're in the field.

Unlike traditional night vision solutions, which capture small traces of light for enhancing images, the new gear incorporates more advanced methods like contrast/edge enhancement, speckle reduction, symbology overlay and video recording.  It also expands the wearer's horizontal field of vision to 85 degrees using  a partial binocular overlap.

More than anything else, of course, we just love how dorky the Hi-Res Night Vision System looks.  It will be presented at the 2011 SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Symposium in Orlando next week.

[SA Photonics via Gizmodo]