It was an invasion of Israel by 13 heavily armed terrorists emerging near Kibbutz Sufa from a tunnel Hamas dug from Gaza that helped set off the current IDF ground operation in Gaza — and the night-vision technology used by the IDF detected the movement of the terrorists and allowed soldiers to foil the dangerous attack.
Now, that life-saving technology is available to local security officials and even individuals, says the Israeli vision-tech company Opgal. As news of the Hamas terror tunnels spreads, there has been a significant uptick in interest in Opgal’s low-cost Android-based night-vision system, said company CEO Amit Mattatia. “While we haven’t done a poll of why potential customers are considering buying one of our systems, there has been a definite and significant spike of interest in our technology since news of the thwarted tunnel attacks came out,” he told The Times of Israel.
Karmiel-based Opgal’s Therm-App mobile device consists of a low-cost night-vision camera mounted on an Android phone. The camera can display high-resolution images on the phone, enabling users to see in the dark about as clearly they would in the daytime. The system is capable of tracking vehicles up to 1,500 meters away, and people at a distance of up to 500 meters. The camera has interchangeable lenses and works in all weather conditions, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of security scenarios, such as in a factory or an outdoor night patrol, said Mattatia.
The device was introduced last month and priced at $1,600, but the price has been cut to $999 in an effort to introduce professionals to the system. Although the price cut is not connected to the war, the company is happy to be making an affordable security system that could be used in kibbutz and moshav villages in the south and elsewhere to enhance security, Mattatia said.
“This is the lowest-priced system of its kind anywhere — and in fact is the only night-vision camera designed for use with Android phones, with all the advantages that provides,” Mattatia said, noting the ability to record images and videos using the phone, uploading them to a computer for later analysis using other security apps, like face recognition software. The system comes with an SDK that can be used to create apps for security and other purposes.
“As the world’s first night vision camera of its kind, Therm-App has received tremendous response from the market,” said Mattatia. “We’re very proud to be offering a system that can enhance the safety of Israelis in the south, giving them an extra layer of protection from terrorism.”