A new video released by a division of the US Army shows off some new night vision technology that looks insanely futuristic, highlighting people and weapons like a cyber landscape and putting previous night vision to absolute shame. Gone are the green-washed, grainy views of the people around you, now replaced by glowing figures of interest and details of the surrounding area.
The video was posted last week by the Lancer Brigade, also known as 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Divison who are stationed at Joint Base Lewis, Washington, and quickly gained traction across social media. They claim it is an upgrade to the current night vision binoculars, and they call it the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B). It is unclear what iteration this technology is, as ENVG-Bs has been in service for a while now, but the soldiers definitely seem happy with the upgrade.
What you are seeing in the video is a combination of cutting-edge night vision – with higher resolution and contrast than previous iterations – and real-time augmented reality that identifies edges and illuminates them to the user. This way, it makes it extremely hard to miss crucial pieces of information on the battlefield.
ENVG-B does away with the traditional green phosphor tubes and replaces them with white phosphor tubes, which offer better contrast in poor conditions. Alongside this, the new goggles feature an integrated thermal imager that enables the wearer to see through dust, smoke, and other visual obstructions. Powered by inbuilt batteries, the whole system weighs around 2.5 pounds (1.13 kilograms), so it is not the lightest object to have strapped to your head, but it can last for over 7.5 hours on a full charge.
It is unclear whether the new tech will be rolling out to the US Army as a whole or just a select few soldiers, but it appears to be part of the United States Army Futures Command, which aims at modernizing the Army force.
This tech is not necessarily brand new, though. According to a video posted in July 2017, edge-detection on thermal sites was in use back then, demonstrating an ENVG III and a specialist thermal sight called Family of Weapon Sites Individual (FWS-I) communicating with one another and using real-time edge detection. Using this combination, the sight mounted on top of a rifle can transmit the scene in front of it directly to the soldiers’ headset, allowing them to engage in combat without exposing much of their body.
Watch as the FWS-I and ENVG III work together using edge detection. Video Credit: ARNEWS)