Sometimes engineers win by not trying too hard.
This kids’ toy is more effective than some products costing many times more. (We’re looking at you, StealthView.) Of course, it’s not true night vision — like the camcorder modes you’ve seen in Paris Hilton videos(don’t front), an IR lamp bathes objects in light that its sensor can”see” in the dark. While true night vision will actively amplify ambient light, this essentially acts as a flashlight that works without visible light. Sure, it shows you what’s out there in the dark, but you aren’t really seeing what’s out there; you’re viewing a video of what’s out there.
The upside is that because it doesn’t rely on light amplification, it works in total darkness. The EyeClops also allows you to swap back and forth between two modes: one shows a monochrome image, the other adds a more soothing green glow that will help prevent night blindness. A focus ring helps provide some clarity, but don’t expect 1080p quality here,it’s more akin to grainy security cam footage.
And as you might imagine, it’s ridiculously easy to use. One of our”testers,” a 4-year-old boy, was able to suss out all the goggles settings and was playing in the dark within less than a minute. Range is limited to about 50 feet, so it isn’t your best choice when firearms are involved. But for recreational stakeouts, this toy was aces.