Night vision goggles ought to be fun

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nv-gogglesWatched enough spy movies to come to a conclusion that night vision googles is one essential tool that no covert operative should go without? You can now re-enact your own spy theatrics with this pair of Night Vision Goggles. It allows you (and your kids who obviously want to have a go at it) to view up to 15 meters ahead even in pitch black darkness. Just make sure that there isn’t going to be any sudden flashes of light lest you end up dazed. The Night Vision Goggles will work using infra-red light and at full power the light is still barely visible to the naked eye. They are pretty expensive at £99.99 a pop for a kid’s toy though, so be careful with this when playing.

9 reviews or comments

Anonymous Says: August 15, 2009 at 9:11 am

Found these for 1/4 the cost on amazon.

Derek Says: August 17, 2009 at 8:19 am

These run on infra-red light which is COMPLETELY invisible to the human eye. So the statement, “at full power the light is still barely visible to the naked eye” can’t possibly be true.

Also the statement, “Just make sure that there isn’t going to be any sudden flashes of light lest you end up dazed” doesn’t apply to these night vision goggles. Since it uses IR to see in the dark, a flash of light in the light spectrum visible to the human eye would not be amplified by these goggles. You are thinking of the night vision goggles that do not use IR but rather amplifier light already there, light from the normal spectrum of light that the human eye can see. Two totally different kinds of night vision.

One interesting note about the latter of the two night vision goggles is that if it were a true pitch black, such as in a house with 0% light whatsoever, they would not work, as they need some light to work, no matter how little. Also, the advantage of the latter night vision goggles is that they do not have a limited range of visibility as the IR ones do since they are not dependent upon how far the IR light beam from the goggles reaches.

A quick and dirty explanation of how IR goggles works is basically that the IR LED’s on the goggles act as a flashlight that displays a light completely invisible to the human eye, but that the optics on the goggles convert to a visible image which is then displayed on an LCD.

Eletruk Says: August 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I got a set of these off a closeout shelf at some store. They do work. They have IR emitters to light up the area, a CMOS sensor collect the image, and a really tiny LCD screen to show what the camera picks up. The real issue is the field of view is incredibly small. If you can imaging holding your fist up to your eye with a penny sized opening, then you can pretty much see how much this thing shows you. Also interesting is that it is in color, so if there’s enough light in the room, you will see color, if not, it’s all grey shades.

Zim Says: October 1, 2009 at 2:08 am

I recently purchased a pair of these for $50.00 from a well known retailer. They work pretty well for what they are and how cheap they are. The feild of vision is small yes but what are you going to be doing with night vision goggles anyways besides trying to impress your friends and sneaking up on them. The package itself says that your depth perception will be obstructed, oh well. So your not going to be doing any kind of special ops with these. But as a big kid who likes toys these rock. They didn’t have stuff like this when I was a kid at least not for kids.

Imp Says: December 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

While Derek is right that far IR light is invisible to the human eye, but the eye does not shut off entirely at 650nm, so near infrared light is not completely invisible.

There are three factors:

1) The human eye can see up to ~725nm (I’m not positive where the cut off is or if it is the same for everyone, but I know can see 680nm, but I couldn’t see through a filter that cut out at 740nm). The rods which are more sensitive to light so take over in the dark don’t see in this range at all (they stop at ~650nm), so it is the less sensitive cones that you have to rely on. In addition to being less sensitive in general, the cones become less sensitive at longer wavelengths (at 650nm they need 10 times as much light to see as at 550nm it just gets worse at longer wavelengths). So out at 700nm, there needs to be a lot of light, but the eye can still see.

2) A CCD or CMOS sensor can work far into the infrared
(like the 8,000nm to 14,000nm that is needed for thermal imaging), but that requires special manufacturing, so the inexpensive ones normally work well around 650nm to 850nm.

3) IR LEDs can come in many different wavelengths, but inexpensive ones are 760nm, which aligns well with the peak sensitivity of the sensor. However, 760 is just the peak, the LED actually produces light from 710 to 810nm.

So with an LED that is producing some light at 710nm, and an eye that can see at 725nm, it is entirely possible to see the light from the IR LEDs.

I’ve also seen an 800nm IR flashlight that I could see in the dark, so I suspect that I’m being overly conservative in my estimates of the sensitivity of the eye and the range of light that an LED produces.

Luis Says: September 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Good article!thanks
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youraloserXD Says: November 2, 2010 at 10:08 am

wow O_o

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