For centuries, early humans were envious of other animals. Fish could breath under water, birds could fly in the sky, bees could make honey, and of course cats could see in the dark. Once we got intelligent enough to invent inventing, we humans could finally emulate these animals we have always jealously observed from afar. Scuba gear allowed us to become fish. Airplanes allowed us to become birds. Sugary junk food allowed us to become bees. Then, during WWII, night vision technology was invented and finally humans could see in the dark just like cats.
Gradually, the bulky "Generation 0" machines of WWII were replaced by hand held 1st Generation night vision scopes, which were widely used during the Vietnam War. These devices were capable of amplifying ambient light to create a natural night vision image that somewhat resembles our own eyesight. In other words, the amplified light would make everything around you visible, as far as the eye could see. Today's 1st Generation scopes still use the same technology, but with several decades of image quality advances, and much needed decreases in size and weight. The old Generation 0 gimmick of using invisible IR light to illuminate your target has also be implemented into modern 1st Generation devices. This option is most useful in conditions where there is no ambient light at all, which would diminish light amplification functions, but then your visible range would become limited by the brightness of your IR light source.
2nd Generation and 3rd Generation night vision scopes were invented during the late 20th century. Even though these advancements were superior for their time, they were prohibitively expensive to buy, and often hindered by many government trade restrictions, paricularly outside the USA. Therefore, 1st Generation technology was continually improved over the decades, and has actually never become obsolete. Newer variations, such as thermal vision (heat vision) have become more popular, since they bring a completely different ingredient to the table. Of course, it is always interesting to read about the even more advanced night vision technologies being researched today, but they won't be available for decades to come. When night vision contact lenses are finally released to the public, be sure to check this blog for more information.
1st Generation Night Vision Scopes are available in our online shop.
If you are interested in 2nd Generation or thermal vision devices please contact Spytech stores for a quote:
(416)482-8588 - Spytech Toronto location