Israeli Google Glass-style tech does night vision, too

Lumus and Opgal, firms on the cutting edge of optics, join forces to create something completely different

Lumus smart glasses in action (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Lumus smart glasses in action (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Two cutting-edge Israeli optics companies have joined forces to develop a Google Glass-style night-vision display system. Leveraging their advanced technologies, Lumus, which makes personal displays for the eye, and Opgal, which develops thermal cameras for night vision, have developed the Therm-App mobile device that, mounted on headgear, transmits high-resolution images to the Lumus wearable display, enabling the user to see in the dark as they would in the daytime. The product is in development and is planned to be available in the coming months, the companies said.

Lumus is less well-known than Google, but the Israeli company’s “near to eye personal displays” are similar to the American firm’s famous Glass devices. Lumus, like Google, is developing a system that lets users access the Internet, watch TV or video, play games and engage with augmented reality applications.

The difference between Lumus’s devices and Google Glass is that the Israeli company’s product looks a lot cooler than the American’s. Instead of an orb-like attachment that covers one lens of a pair of glasses, the Lumus device looks like a super-modern pair of sunglasses.

According to Lumus, its chief advantage the Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) technology, an ultra-thin lens design that embeds miniature, see-through elements in front of the eye. A projector embedded in the temple of the eyeglasses receives an image from the mobile device and projects it into the side of the LOE. As the image travels to the center of the lens, it is reflected into the eye via see-through elements, creating the effect of a virtual large screen, the company said.

Opgal develops and manufactures thermal imaging and near-infrared illumination camera solutions, mainly for security purposes. In the security market, Opgal enables transportation, city and state governments, industrial and utility customers to detect, recognize and identify security threats constantly, even in complete darkness and difficult visibility conditions, according to the company.

Opgal has several consumer-oriented applications, most notably its new Therm-App, possibly the world’s first Android thermal imaging camera. Users can attach the camera to Android devices and take photos in the dark, with the imaging hardware and software seeing the images using night-vision technology.

The fusion of the Lumus’ and Opgal’s technologies is greater than the sum of its parts — a pair of Lumus LOE glasses that lets users see in the dark. “The combination of these two breakthrough technologies — Therm-App night vision with Lumus wearable displays — presents an exciting and, more importantly, useful solution for professionals who require hands-free operation in complete darkness or limited visibility,” said Amit Mattatia, president and CEO of Opgal. “This innovative solution provides security teams, search and rescue first responders and other types of professionals working in darkness with lightweight, portable and powerful night vision capabilities,” added Mattatia.

“The combined solution of the Therm-App and Lumus eyewear demonstrates how our patented Light-guide Optical Element (LOE) technology allows for a new level of comfort, style and effectiveness for night vision applications, which can be utilized in numerous applications,” said Dr. Eli Glikman, chief product officer of Lumus.

Click below for a video hands-on of the Lumus Therm-App glasses:

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