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Night vision and military optics for iPhone and iPad

If iPhone accessories are your thing, than the products being developed by Special Operations Apps will really get your juices flowing. We’ve seen a fair few camera and lens attachments designed to improve the iPhone’s naturally aspirated 8-megapixel shooter with varying levels of functionality like telephoto and fish-eye lenses, but this kit is of a different calibre.

SlashGear reports SOA has announced a new attachment called [SOA]2  which is designed to be used with the iPhone or iPad and a military camera. This allows HD video recording, which is geotagged and frame stamped, so it can be geolocated within 7m.

The key advantage of replacing the traditional scope or goggle system used by the military is that the user isn’t locked into a screen and the device is easily removable. Not to mention using existing consumer technology (such as an iPad) means it’s highly versatile.


What’s more the specialised apps, developed to work in partnership with the hardware allow the iPhone or iPad to operate as a heads-up display, providing extra information as what can be seen through the night vision scope. Think of this as an enhanced version of Google Goggles, able to identify objects and provide information on them in near darkness.

Chris Byrd, VP of sales and marketing for US Night Vision explained, “With [SOA]2 and USNV Hardware, warfighters can use their smart devices as a calibrated, heads-up display for optics to improve situational awareness. No longer will they have to squint through a scope and close one eye — or be locked into goggles.

The [SOA]2 system cases and attachments are made of tough materials, ruggedised and strengthened. In the case of the adapters for the various optical attachments, the company has employed an near unbreakable material known as Ultem 2300.

The product line is still in development and the company have even stated that they’re interested in using a similar system for use with Android and Windows Phone devices too. Given time, soldiers may well exchange their night vision goggles for night vision smartphones and if we’re really lucky, civilian consumers might get a taste of the action too.


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