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Seeing Color in the Night

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the less-green-for-more-green dept.


Roland Piquepaille writes "In 'Things that show color in the night,' the Boston Globe reports that a company named Tenebraex is helping color blind people to travel. But it's also developing goggles to help soldiers and physicians to see all colors at night, and not only the green color of current night vision systems. These goggles, which should become available this summer, will be sold for about $6,000 to the Army. But as states one of the founders of the company, with monochrome night vision, 'blood is the same color as water.' So these expensive night vision devices might be more targeted to Army physicians than to regular soldiers."

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Does it run under Ninnle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490783)

Well? Does it?

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490817)

Where are the pictures? Too much text and no pictures...

Voyeurism (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491815)

Once this technology drops to $500 or so, the major use will be for voyeurism. Porn drives the internet.

Fuck Roland Piquepaille (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490819)

I'm tired of this idiot and the way he copies other articles so the silly slashdot editors can direct traffic at his half assed blog and help him make some money. He's even more annoying than the proprietary Micheal Simms.


Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491025)

Which is exactly why the only link to his blog is his name... and the only link in the summary is to the actual article...


Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491211)

He's not half as bad as the Apple whore behind Rougly Drafted [] .

Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491375)

In that case I propose a general rule - no links back to blogs of posters should be permitted. I have seen very many articles where people link to their blogs.

Surely, this is about creating _generalised principles for proper behaviour, and moral imperatives for good governance of a discussion form_ as opposed to simply _doing what is possible to damage and ostracize an individual because you think he is an ass_? If the latter is the purpose then please enlighten the audience.

FUCK The Military-Indusrial-Congressional Complex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491429)

While no statement I'm about to make should be construed as suggesting or recommending that any person commit an illegal act of any kind, you should realize that George W Bush's view that he can be trusted to judge the rest of the world from a unique perch of pure wisdom is sheer make-believe. One of my objectives is to review the basic issues at the root of the debate. No matter how much talk and analysis occurs, it would be downright blathering for Bush to overthrow the government and eliminate the money system. I'll probably devote a separate letter to that topic alone, but for now, I'll simply summarize by stating that if Bush can overawe and befuddle a sufficient number of prominent individuals, then it will become virtually impossible for anyone to criticize the obvious incongruities presented by Bush and his vicegerents.

While Bush has a right, as do we all, to believe whatever he wants about sesquipedalianism, his imprecations are merely a stalking horse. They mask Bush's secret intention to do everything possible to keep moonstruck thugs venal and heartless. The spirits of our ancestors grieve as they watch him stonewall on issues in which taxpayers see a vital public interest. But that's not the end of the story. His warnings are a load of bunk. I use this delightfully pejorative term, "bunk" -- an alternative from the same page of my criminal-slang lexicon would serve just as well -- because we must do away with the misconception that mediocrity and normalcy are ideal virtues. Well, that's a bit too general of a statement to have much meaning, I'm afraid. So let me instead explain my point as follows: If his trucklers had even an ounce of integrity, they would acknowledge that Bush's latest "revelation" (really, hallucination) is that he is a paragon of morality and wisdom. Mean-spirited parvenus like Bush always lie. Even an occasional truth is intended only to cover up a bigger falsification and is therefore, itself, a deliberate untruth.

Bush's perorations are geared toward the continuation of social stratification under the rubric of "tradition". Funny, that was the same term that his subordinates once used to obliterate our sense of identity. Efforts to vilify our history, character, values, and traditions are not vestiges of a former era. They are the beginnings of a phenomenon which, if permitted to expand unchecked, will compromise the things that define us, including integrity, justice, love, and sharing. Bush's harangues should be labeled like a pack of cigarettes. I'm thinking of something along the lines of, "Warning: It has been determined that Bush's subliminal psywar campaigns are intended to exercise both subtlety and thoroughness in managing both the news and the entertainment that gets presented to us."

We should give Bush a taste of his own medicine. The mere mention of that fact guarantees that this letter will never get published in any mass-circulation periodical that Bush has any control over. But that's inconsequential, because Bush should slither back under whatever rock he crawled out from. He vehemently denies that, of course. But he obviously would, because it doesn't do us much good to become angry and wave our arms and shout about the evils of his calumnies in general terms. If we want other people to agree with us and join forces with us, then we must raise issues, as opposed to guns or knives. I feel no shame in writing that Bush needs to stop living in denial. He needs to wake up and realize that for the nonce, he is content to divert our attention from serious issues. But within a short period of time, he will foist the most poisonously false and destructive myths imaginable upon us.

Bush likes outbursts that tinker about with a lot of halfway prescriptions. Could there be a conflict of interest there? If you were to ask me, I'd say that my long-term goal is to enable adversaries to meet each other and establish direct personal bonds which contradict the stereotypes they rely upon to power their prurient stances. Unfortunately, much remains to be done. As you may have noticed, people often get the impression that addlepated lackwits and Bush's subalterns are separate entities. Not so. When one catches cold, the other sneezes. As proof, note that it strikes me as amusing that Bush complains about people who do nothing but complain. Well, news flash! He does nothing but complain. We cannot afford to waste our time, resources, and energy by dwelling upon inequities of the past. Instead, we must build bridges where in the past all that existed were moats and drawbridges. Doing so would be significantly easier if more people were to understand that if incendiarism were an Olympic sport, Bush would clinch the gold medal. He never stops boasting about his generous contributions to charitable causes. As far as I can tell, however, Bush's claimed magnanimousness is completely chimerical and, furthermore, it is not news that his encomiasts don't worry me, since they're generally not in positions to make significant decisions (except maybe "right shoe on right foot"). What speaks volumes, though, is that just because Bush and his gofers don't like being labelled as "oleaginous chiselers" or "indelicate goof-offs" doesn't mean the shoe doesn't fit. Okay, now it's time to offend a few people. Actually, I hope not to offend anyone, although Bush's goals coalesce with those of the most bitter quidnuncs I've ever seen. At the risk of sounding a tad redundant, let me add that Bush somehow manages to maintain a straight face when saying that his hypnopompic insights are not worth getting outraged about. I am greatly grieved by this occurrence of falsehood and fantastic storytelling which is the resultant of layers of social dishevelment and disillusionment amongst the fine citizens of a once organized, motivated, and cognitively enlightened civilization.

Bush really shouldn't pursue a twofold credo of corporatism and obscurantism. That's just plain common sense. Of course, the people who appreciate his tactics are those who eagerly root up common sense, prominently hold it out, and decry it as poison with astonishing alacrity.

I could tell Bush that given the public appetite for more accountability, he has let his two-faced nature get the better of him, although he obviously doesn't care. I could tell him that he should just exercise some common sense and some common decency, but he wouldn't believe me. He probably also doesn't care that his methods of interpretation are a hotbed of chauvinism. So let me appeal to whatever small semblance of reason Bush may be capable of when I tell him that if you've read any of the apolaustic slop that he has concocted, you'll unquestionably recall his description of his plan to scupper my initiative to offer a framework for discussion so that we can more quickly reach a consensus. If you haven't read any of it, well, all you really need to know is that Bush uses the very intellectual tools he criticizes, namely consequentialist arguments rather than arguments about truth or falsity. He occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to destroy our culture, our institutions, and our way of life.

Here, too, we can see how Bush's musings are part and parcel of a larger game plan to brainwash the masses into submission. In reaching that conclusion, I have made the usual assumption that his announcements were never about tolerance and equality. That was just window dressing for the "innocents". Rather, if everyone does his own, small part, together we can face our problems realistically, get to the root of our problems, and be determined to solve them. I, not being one of the many dotty, malignant tin-pot tyrants of this world, will not say what is right and what is wrong when it comes to Bush's zingers. But I will say one thing: I am convinced that there will be a strong effort on Bush's part to prosecute, sentence, and label people as evil, uncompanionable trolls without the benefit of any evidence whatsoever when you least expect it. This effort will be disguised, of course. It will be cloaked in deceit, as such efforts always are. That's why I'm informing you that if it were up to Bush, schoolchildren would be taught reading, 'riting, and racism. Here's the heart of the matter: He thinks that national-security interests can and should be sidestepped whenever his personal interests are at stake. Of course, thinking so doesn't make it so.

Now, I'm no fan of Bush's, but still, we are observing the change in our society's philosophy and values from freedom and justice to corruption, decay, cynicism, and injustice. All of these "values" are artistically incorporated in one person: George W Bush. We can all have daydreams about Happy Fuzzy Purple Bunny Land, where everyone is caring, loving, and nice. Not only will those daydreams not come true, but his backers have been staggering around like punch-drunk fighters hit too many times -- stunned, confused, betrayed, and trying desperately to rationalize his grotesque, unconscionable snow jobs. It is indeed not a pretty sight. When we provide information and inspiration to as many people as possible, we are not only threading our way through a maze of competing interests; we are weaving the very pattern of our social fabric.

Bush's more than pathetic. He's mega-pathetic. In fact, to understand just how pathetic Bush is, you first need to realize that at this point in the letter, I had planned to tell you that the communicative efficacy of his connection with jaded deadheads (especially the unprofessional type) will cause cynical roustabouts to issue a flood of bogus legal documents one day. However, one of my colleagues pointed out that the police should lock Bush up and throw away the key. Hence, I discarded the discourse I had previously prepared and substituted the following discussion, in which I argue that he contends that he is beyond reproach. Sounds rather brutish, doesn't it? Well, that's Bush for you. Well, Bush, we're all getting a little tired of you and your kind messing up the world and then refusing to accept responsibility for what you've done. We're fed up. And the day is coming when you'll be held accountable for your crazy belief systems. Please forgive the following sermon, but it can't be avoided in this discussion: He has certainly never given evidence of thinking extensively. Or at all, for that matter. My eventual goal for this letter is to respond to George W Bush's monographs. I'm counting on you for your support.

Kilgore Trout

Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492271)

No. Ronald Piquepaille has mended his ways. The story links straight to the relevant article and not to his blog. The last few stories from him have done the same. It's time to declare victory and move on to some other gripe.

Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (1)

Edie O'Teditor (805662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492645)

He's still a pencil-necked plagiarising froggy twat. Kick him while he's down, I say.

Re:Fuck Roland Piquepaille (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18492669)

Frogs have twats?

press release disguised as news (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490829)

but we knew that from reading who the submitter is

anyway here is the product page from Tenebraex []

Depth perception (2, Interesting)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490837)

Will adding color help with depth perception? It's one of the big issues with current night vision.

Re:Depth perception (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490867)

it is? why? is it showing the same image to both eyes?

Re:Depth perception (4, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491601)

The real problem is one of magnification. Most night googles provide some amount of magnification (ie zoom) providing depth perception and zoom requires heavy math on the part of the googles to separate the images just the right amount to provide a sense of depth that would be faulty if you simply zoomed. Its possible but computationally heavy.

Re:Depth perception (2, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18493049)

If you notice, many night vision goggles have one lens for capturing the 'input' (actually the intensifier) which is split and fed to the two lenses for your eyes. So, yes, in many cases they are getting the same image for both eyes. i.e. it is not true binocular vision.

Re:Depth perception (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490927)

I doubt it. It will help some if the colors are vibrant enough for the human eye to read more "cues" than were available with green-vision, but otherwise it still comes back to the matter of binocular vision. You need two sensors set apart from one another at the approximate distance of your eyes in order to replicate that ability. Otherwise, it's like strapping a television screen to your face and a camera to your head, and walking down the street. You can do it, but it's disorienting.

Re:Depth perception (1)

musther (961493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492387)

Actually, it's like walking down the street with one eye closed, and it's not that hard to do.

Re:Depth perception (1, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491317)

This isn't a problem; there's binocular NVG headsets available, usually worn by pilots.

Yes, not everyone gets the cool binocular headsets, but that's a matter of the Army being too cheap-ass to properly equip troops, not a technical problem. It's the same reason the Army doesn't bother giving troops body armor, armoring vehicles, or providing adequate medical care.

Re:Depth perception (4, Insightful)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491667)

Actually, as an infantry officer, I prefer the monocular. If you get whited-out, you still have one good eye. It takes a bit to get used to, but once you are used to it, the monocular is an excellent system.

Re:Depth perception (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491811)

I thought the headset-worn monocular systems covered both eyes, but showed the same image to both eyes from a single image intensifier tube.

Re:Depth perception (2, Informative)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492345)

No, the PVS-14 only covers one eye.

Re:Depth perception (1)

Gorbag (176668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492427)

I've heard this from Marine officers too: Apparently many of the guys prefer having an eye be dark-adapted, as even in very low light situations it often gives a lot of peripheral information the scope won't give you (very limited field of view). My own experience on the NITE course is that the two-eye one tube standard issue scope takes a lot of effort to use; autofocus comes to mind as a substantial first improvement rather than color. As for depth perception - you get some info just from focus :-).

Re:Depth perception (0, Flamebait)

GigG (887839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491685)

Insightful my ass. The parent is trolling for karma by attacking the Army. Probably the same Army that he bitches about tax spending going to.

Re:Depth perception (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491871)

I'm "attacking" the Army by complaining how it doesn't adequately supply troops? Maybe I'm attacking the top brass that controls those things, but I don't think I'm attacking the Army as a whole, certainly not the soldiers who have to put up with doing battle without any armor, or having to accept substandard medical care.

Ultimately, the blame for these things lies at the very top.

And yes, I do bitch about my tax money being spent on the military: I can think of many better things to spend $1 TRILLION on than an unjustified war. A standing military for national defense is a good thing; starting wars in other countries for no good reason (and the consequential gigantic military expenditures) is not. If you disagree, I'm sure the Pentagon will happily accept your donations.

Re:Depth perception (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492177)

Then check the Constitution because it is Congress that hands out the money. But the US Army is the best supplied military in the history of the world. The medical care problem I agree with you on though. That the VA.

Re:Depth perception (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492917)

And yes, I do bitch about my tax money being spent on the military: I can think of many better things to spend $1 TRILLION on than an unjustified war.

I'm sure you're pretty smart in other areas, but that's an ignorant statement.
Instead of forking over tax money & being worried about what it gets spent on, then bitching about your own mistake, why don't you donate that money to causes you're happy with, or better yet start your own cause, then in either scenario, write it off on your taxes at the end of the year ?

The only thing between you & doing that is your own arrogance on the subject.

Re:Depth perception (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491859)

"Yes, not everyone gets the cool binocular headsets, but that's a matter of the Army being too cheap-ass to properly equip troops, not a technical problem. It's the same reason the Army doesn't bother giving troops body armor, armoring vehicles, or providing adequate medical care."

Do you think the military budget is bottomless? The 80/20 rule applies to soldiers as much as it does to anything else; if very marginal increases in real utility double the cost of something it is frequently foolish to waste finite resources on obtaining that marginal benefit versus other possible expenditures. The military is very good at this calculus, and a soldier is a very expensive piece of capital equipment that they will go to great lengths to protect on that rather dismal basis alone. I think many people do not appreciate just how high the dollar value of a US soldier is; if spending an extra thousand or two would save a bunch of soldier lives the military would do it if at all possible because the payoff would be obvious.

In any case, for many combat roles the monocular rig is functionally superior to a binocular rig, so it would be a foolish expenditure regardless and makes your mini-rant an ignorant platitude.

Re:Depth perception (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491963)

You're right: when the nation is busy spending $1 trillion it doesn't have (i.e., going into debt) on a war that has no justification, it's hard to afford all the extra niceties like body armor, vehicle armor, and medical care (I'm not going to bother Googling for the references for you; they've been all over the news for several years now).

If you're going to ask a soldier to risk his life for a purely political goal, the least you can do is provide him with the very best equipment and medical care money can buy, budget-be-damned. If you can't afford that, you don't need to go to war.

Re:Depth perception (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18493207)

Yes, not everyone gets the cool binocular headsets, but that's a matter of Democrats being too cheap-ass to properly equip troops

Had to fix that for ya. Lets take a look at what the Democrats felt were vital for the troops in the Iraqi funding bill.

-- $25 million for payments to spinach producers
-- $120 million to the shrimp industry
-- $74 million for peanut storage
-- $5 million for shellfish, oyster and clam producers

I'm sure spinach, shrimp, peanuts, and shellfish will help keep troops alive.

Re:Depth perception (1)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492243)

depth perception has nothing to do with color, it's about your two eyes.

If the screen inside the goggles are lcd or some kind of display, the depth perception will not be that great unless there is some kind of techonolgie to make it look 3d

This could be quite useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490851) helping advancing armies from getting too many tickets for running red lights.

not for physicians only! (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490897)

If I was a soldier on recon or something, I'm pretty sure I'd like the ability to tell whether that liquid on the ground was water or blood.

Re:not for physicians only! (2, Funny)

zcubed (916242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491213)

Paris Hilton should get one and then we wouldn't have to look at the green vids anymore.

Re:not for physicians only! (1)

NightFears (869799) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491315)

Never mind. The original article never mentioned any physicians. Just one more idiosyncrasy coming from Roland.

Re:not for physicians only! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491537)

Distinguishing and following blood trails would be easier. Tracking people is quite like tracking animals, and while it sounds gory, this matters.

While it doesn't get much mention nowadays (being very un-PC), blood trails were followed by both sides when tracking each other in Viet Nam.

Re:not for physicians only! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491585)

You would, wouldn't you? But the generals prefer you don't see the horrifying picture of bleeding soldiers in red puddles. It brings down the morale.

From the general (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491983)

"Bring me my red shirt!"

Re:From the general (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492955)

"Bring me my brown pants !"

Re:not for physicians only! (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492067)

Don't worry you will not need to see the blod as you can recognize the smell of rotting flesh or the smell of your wounded prey from a mile away after being in war for awhile.
It cannot hurt to improve the technology though.

More than just combat issues, here... (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490905)

There are some non-gun-toting people who need to operate in a stealthy or semi-stealthy manner that would make use of this sort of thing. Think of the National Geographic-types that are setting up a pre-dawn shoot and trying to remain less visible, or the guys working on a forward helicopter refueling station who definitely prefer to be harder to see and definitely want to know the difference between stepping in a puddle of water and a puddle of hydraulic fluid.

Psshhh (4, Funny)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491037)

The non-gun-toting people are not as interesting. Besides, I do not condone the voyeurism of animals.

Re:More than just combat issues, here... (1)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491111)

Hydraulic fluid tends to be clear like water.

Re:More than just combat issues, here... (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491171)

What hydraulic fluid are you talking about? Pretty much every kind I've seen in the aviation field (from grandparent) is red/pink/purplish.

Re:More than just combat issues, here... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491261)

Hydraulic fluid tends to be clear like water.

Actually, it's usually tinted for use in different systems so that you can tell which system is leaking. That's why your car's transmisstion fluid is tinted red - so that you can tell right away that you're in Deep Doo-Doo when you have a leak!

Also, more viscous fluids (like various hydraulic goos) have very different-looking spectral reflections... I mean, they just seem to catch the light (especially colored light) differently than other fluids (dark oil, or coolant, or water). I would imagine that those same aircraft mechanics might also really like being able to differentiate the various colors of cable and hose claddings, too. Not my area of expertise, obviously. But I can imagine lots of people in supporting roles, though, that would really benefit from a wider visible spectrum in the dark.

Re:More than just combat issues, here... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18493075)

Private security cameras are the biggest market. I would love to be able to surround my home with digital cameras that work day and night, recording everything that comes near the property.

"Blood the same color as water????" (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490911)

That statement seems very strange.

I thought these things were infra red based. That means that fresh blood should be body temperature/bright, while water should be area temperature/dark.

Sure, it might be the same 'green', but is should be dramatically different, one very dark green, the other a shiny bright green.

Am I misunderstanding something here? Or did they just use a bad example?

Re:"Blood the same color as water????" (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490981)

Actually it depends on the technology. If the two are the same color, the implementation they're talking about probably uses an ultraviolet spectrum.

Re:"Blood the same color as water????" (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491049)

I thought these things were infra red based.

Nope. Green-vision systems work on light-amplification principles. Infrared is a different technology that's more useful in tracking than it is as generic night-vision.

Re:"Blood the same color as water????" (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491057)

normally, i'm sure they're not infrared based. otherwise they wouldnt look like just green-tinted black and white videos, they'd look funky as hell, like this: []

there are infrared cameras, but they're not the same as a night-vision [] camera.

Re:"Blood the same color as water????" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491097)

I think nightvision is based on the light reflected from an IR torch (and the moon etc); infrared light emitted by fresh blood will be much too weak to be distinguishable from the light of the torch.

Different Technologies (5, Informative)

DG (989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491115)

There are three main technologies used for night vision in military equipment:

1) Active IR: This is the old-style IR spotlight. This uses a just-below-visible IR spotlight and an IR-sensitive optical device (usually a driving periscope) Despite being IR-based, it is fairly narrowband and so isn't sensitive to heat - it is more like an "invisible spotlight". Not used much anymore.

2) Image Intensifiers (aka "Starlight"): This is the technology behind "night vision goggles" or NVGs for short. They magnify the available light. They are also slightly sensitive to near-IR, so you can see IR-based LEDs, stobes, glowsticks etc - wearing one, you can see the IR LED flash in a TV remote control. The older Gen 1 goggles used an element for each eye, so you had grainy binocular vision. Newer systems from Gen II to Gen IV give an increasingly sharper and clearer picture, but tend to be monocular, so no depth perception - and I've seen some pretty funny things happen because of it. These don't see heat either.

3) Thermal Imagers (aka TI): These are heat-sensitive, and can see through most smokes. These are much larger units, and are usually used as part of vehicle weapon system sights or dedicated surveillance equipment (NOD-IR) Most modern tanks have them, LAV-25s and Bradleys have them, and there are manpack versions to use in an OP - but you won't be bolting these to your helmet anytime soon.

Up close, these can see through clothing. Don't ask how I know this. ;)


Re:Different Technologies (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491239)

Just want to comment on your point 2) - I have a couple of video cameras without IR filters, and they can see the IR remotes light up, too. For those who are trying to see through people's clothing, this is your test in the store :) (Then all you need is an IR illuminator like the one from BG Micro.)

Re:Different Technologies (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491741)

Thermal Imagers (aka TI): These are heat-sensitive, and can see through most smokes. [...] Up close, these can see through clothing. Don't ask how I know this. ;)

Neat ! Oh and, BTW, how did you happen to know this ?

Re:Different Technologies (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491745)

There's one other way to do it, and it is always full-spectrum:

Really freakin' huge diameter binoculars(/telescopes) with unity magnification. Refractive or Reflective optics as per choice (though reflective would probably be lighter.)

But it's really bulky, especially if it needs to work with starlight.

I'm actually surprised no one has made matched-color wheel image intensifier before. It's a fairly obvious modification to existing technology, especially to anyone that's studied image intensifiers used in astronomy. Even if it is mechanically complex. I'm not sure I'd want to use one on the battlefield, but there are plenty of uses that allow sufficient care.

Re:Different Technologies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18492409)

Up close, these can see through clothing. Don't ask how I know this. ;)

DG, i always wondered why bob from account temps seemed so disheveled as he left before his first day was over. now i know!

Re:"Blood the same color as water????" (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491753)

Heat radiation is another wavelength than near-infrared. It's the same sort of infrared that's used in your remote, it doesn't feel warm either. Simply put it is just "redder than red", beyond the spectrum we can see. A nice experiment is to look at a glass of red wine with a night vision camera: it too will be clear as water. since red wine lets red light through, and your camera sees red light, it's transparent.

So... (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490913)

Tenebraex says that blood is the same color as water, hmmm?

I'll pass, kthx.

artificial sun (1)

totalctrl (974993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490915)

isn't it easier just to build a "real" artificial sun?

Re:artificial sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18490975)

Cute, but I'll run with it.

One of the key advantages of night-vision is that you can see in the dark. And only you. The opposition presumably would not have this advantage.

Re:artificial sun (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491221)

One of the key advantages of night-vision is that you can see in the dark. And only you. The opposition presumably would not have this advantage.

I always wondered if it would be possible to have an "artificial sun" broadcast in a spectrum not visible to the unassisted human eye but one that could also be viewed with special googles. At night a battle field could be blanketed with this artificial "light", but only the good guys with proper goggles would benefit.

Re:artificial sun (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491493)

Yes. That would be active infrared, presumably with some sort of IR floodlights.

Re:artificial sun (1)

DAtkins (768457) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491953)

They have this already, actually in a number of different configurations. The most common, I suppose, would be the XM992 Infrared Illuminant Cartridge. It works just like the old white phosphorus flares. There was an episode of FutureWeapons where they demonstrated how this looks with and without night vision goggles. (The grenade launcher was the "future weapon", not the flare...)

Re:artificial sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18492615)

There is a show i think it was on the discovery channel called future weapons that had something similar to what you're wondering about. It would send up flares that broadcast in the ir band which blankets the area. Those with the proper goggles could see. The flare produced no visible light so those without the goggles would just continue to see "dark".

Color in the night??? (1)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490929)

I had something that did this exact same thing!

I think it was called a flashlight.

In all seriousness though, this is a decent idea but has few practical purposes. Yes the article does mention that water and blood look the same under the scope so army physicians should have a pair, but it's the rods, not the cones of the eye that are much more sensitive to movement which is what the soldier needs to pinpoint a target.

Re:Color in the night??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491697)

In all seriousness though, this is a decent idea but has few practical purposes.

You don't see a practical use in being able to tell the difference between:

water vs blood vs gasoline?
brown car vs green car?
white wire vs yellow wire?
red shirt vs blue shirt ?

The practical applications map pretty much 1:1 with NVG applications.

Re:Color in the night??? (1)

finity (535067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492799)

The bad and good guys only wear red and blue shirts in Halo these days ;-) []

How Big? (1)

mogr1d (1063534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490943)

I don't know if I misread the article but did they ever said how big these goggles are? Battlefield medics need good line of sight, and probably end up toting around enough stuff as it is. I'm not sure if this is going to sell well, especially if they're aiming it at the medics. Still its a cool bit of technology and I hope they're able to adopt it to something better like NERF Glow in the Dark Football/Basketball/Soccer!

Re:How Big? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491005)

They are huge - picture that mind reading device Dr. Brown has on in Back to the Future except on your face.

On size, depth, and cost (1)

SeanBaker (13440) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491167)

You're right, medics don't need more weight, nor restrictively-large NVGs. But these things won't get any smaller unless someone buys the Gen-1 product, and a medic operating on a Blackhawk, working at a unit Casualty Collection Point, or even BN Aid Station (if light discipline is in effect) could gain a lot from having these available to him / her. By purchasing early revision models, the Army gets better casualty care near the front lines now, and hopefully even greater gains down the road.

Additionally, from the manufacturer description of how this system works, it sounds as if may be possible for it to be adapted to the PVS-21, allaying concerns about lack of depth perception (which, as noted above is an issue of binocular - not color - vision).

The Night Is the Hunter (2, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18490997)

How about some of these color nightvision goggles fitted with the bat ears [] that allow human echolocation?

Those kinds of sense boosters could make night, with less distractions away from the target, the most effective time to purse targets.

For the record... (5, Informative)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491011)

I have color blindness, but I can still see colors. Most color blind people can see colors, they simply have trouble distinguishing one color from the other, particularly when they are close... For instance, I have no trouble telling the difference between a red light and a green light, and I have no trouble distinguishing the colors on a weather map. But ask me to identify a particular color as pink or purple, and I can see the color as either or both at the same time. That's why I can't see the damn number on the test page! Most color blind people do not see in Monochrome, as it would seem that most of the non-color-blind world tends to believe. For more info, check out the wikipedia entry... []

Re:For the record... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491137)

I was 20 before I found out I was color blind. If I had not taken one of those "pick the number out of the dots" tests during a general medical screening for a new job, I would have never known.

I can use it as an excuse though if my wife thinks I dressed my daughter funny.

Re:For the record... (1)

It'sYerMam (762418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492275)

What you (and I) have is termed, at least by my optician, as colour deficiency. Colour blindness is indeed (apparently and technically) a complete absence of colour-sensing ability. For the record, I also find it interesting that I have better colour vision if the patch of colour is larger. I am useless, for example, at reading resistor colour codes.

'blood is the same color as water.' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491021)

But are they both the same color as tears?

Small, small tears?

I had read about this on another site. (-1, Troll)

Metropolisforever (1080379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491033)

The people on [] this site are obsessed with Slashdot.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491187)

take a wild guess why. plz mod down to oblivion.


Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491469)

It's an innocent hardware site, you stupid troll.

So what is it doing, exactly? (2, Informative)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491073)

I wonder how this device works. There's no information about it at Tenebraex's website [] , so it doesn't say. I know that in basic biology you learn that eyes are made up of rods and cones. Rods distinguish light and dark and cones distinguish color. Cones don't work very well in the dark. Rods do. So we can't "see" color as well in the dark. It's interesting that this is both a biological and a technological problem.

Re:So what is it doing, exactly? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491179)

I wonder how this device works. You were probably looking for more than this, but...

From the article:

The technology, called ColorPath, combines a standard scope with a pair of rotating filters that vary the intensity of light coming from different colored objects. The brain interprets these variations as differences in color, enabling the viewer to recognize red and blue objects obscured by the green glow of today's night scopes.

Re:So what is it doing, exactly? (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491621)

If they are using rotating color filters (or variations on the idea) then this isn't really new technology. One of the competing color TV standards used this technology. NASA uses similar technology to get color from a monochromatic camera. Not to mention the Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii who used the color filter method to produce color pictures for the czar.

I thought that the green color was chosen because the eye was most sensitive to it.

Re:So what is it doing, exactly? (1)

deuxbits (667773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491447)

There is a small amount of information about it in the beginning of the article. Rotating (synchronized) color filters. This and other methods have all been developed by a company called CANVS. [] they've been doing this type of stuff for many years.

Chasing Tail Lights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491087)

Hopefully this can help Linus to see MS's tail lights. Those things are getting pretty distant. If it weren't for trying to catch up to Windows 95, MS would be past the horizon already.

It's that special military pricing (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491129)

These goggles, which should become available this summer, will be sold for about $6,000 to the Army.

And sold to consumers at Best Buy for $49.99 ($45.99 at Amazon).

Re:It's that special military pricing (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491389)

You forgot to mention that at Best Buy, you'll be bullied by the spiky-haired-with-facial-piercings saleskid into getting a service plan for $199.99. And when you take it back because it's defective, they'll blame it on you and refuse to exchange it.

Re:It's that special military pricing (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491547)

During Gulf War I this was exactly the situation with GPS locators. The milspec units were in short supply with a high cost and long lead time, so many soldiers had their family buy them civilian units for their use. The interesting thing is that while the milspec units had a very high theoretical edge in accuracy in practice the civilian units were generally as accurate because the milspec units were older technology that couldn't make full use of the extra information in the military signal whereas the civilian units used nearly every bit of information contained in the unencrypted signal.

less green (0, Redundant)

dim5 (844238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491365)

Slashdot is foregoing Roland's blog for the actual news source?

Looks like the army isn't the only one to be seeing less green.

Thanks, I'm here all night.

I don't see what the problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491525)

Okay, we all know the color spectrum. Isin't there a similar structure for the infrared spectrum?

What I mean is, just take CCD camera technology and instead of sensing RGB values, have it sense differnt wavelengths of IR light... then map them to RGB colors for the screen. Essencially, remapping the spectrum.


Re:I don't see what the problem is... (1)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492411)

Except those wouldn't necessarily correspond with the true colors you'd see under visible light.

Re:I don't see what the problem is... (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492465)

Materials reflect different amounts of specific wavelengths of light. If you want to see how much green a material reflects, you pretty much have to shine some green light on it. You might be able to get a partial mapping by using a database of materials with their IR and visible spectrum reflections, but there's no simply mapping that can be done.

Colorblind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18491575)

It always amazes me that in a society that feels the need to accommodate everyone, there are very few allowances for colorblind people. It doesn't really affect me that much, but it'd be nice if, for example, game developers would put a colorblind mode into videogames that would use an alternative to color-coding.

Cool to see a company working on the problem.

Military Pricing (1, Redundant)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18491941)

....will be sold for about $6,000 to the Army.
So the actual retail value would be what? About $50 each?

Commence to Jigglin'! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18492321)

IANAH, (I am not a hillbilly), but these seem perfect for night jigglin' [] .

switch, maybe? (2, Interesting)

PhetusPolice (934823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492555)

I've come to understand that seeing in only one/two color(s) (ie black and white, nightvision, etc) helps see movement a LOT easiar, which is why many predators have black and white vision. If I were a soldier on the field at night, I'd prefer to keep my nightvision on as a default, but I'm sure it would be useful for them to see in colors for a brief moment to determine what it is they are looking at (such as water and blood). But to always see in color at night might actually inhibit a soldier's ability.

Re:switch, maybe? (1)

Dave Emami (237460) | more than 7 years ago | (#18493057)

I've come to understand that seeing in only one/two color(s) (ie black and white, nightvision, etc) helps see movement a LOT easiar, which is why many predators have black and white vision.

If I recall correctly, it's not that seeing in black and white makes seeing movement easier, it's that an eye optimized for seeing movement only sees in black and white. Rods (monochromatic) are more sensitive and work in low light, whereas cones (color) require brighter light. If you replace the cones with rods, you get an eye that's more sensitive (hence detects motion better) and works better in darkness, but can no longer see in color. Going from monochromatic to color nightvision gear wouldn't reduce a human's ability to detect motion, because the number of rod cells in their retina would remain the same. The difference would be that the cone cells would be working, whereas before they weren't.

Colors in the night... (2, Insightful)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492709)

This reminds me of a question my Grandfather posed to me when I was young (30+ yrs ago). When the lights are out, can you not see colors (objects) because it is dark or because they don't have any color w/o light shining on them, a bit like "does a tree falling make noise if no one is there to hear it". I haven't thought of this in a while, I am sure there is a scientific answer, I would guess the prior, the characteristics that make an object a certain color are still there when the lights are out.

Re:Colors in the night... (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18492973)

You cannot see color because your retina isn't sensitive enough,
specifically the cones. For a related problem, see reading in moonlight.
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