As any of us who are searching out NVDs is bound to ask "what is the best", there should probably also be the accompanying question of "where is the industry going?" Like any other technology, the next generation is often much superior to the last and, in some cases, it's "just around the corner".
I'm not suggesting anyone who's interested in night vision equipment endlessly await the next advance, but often doing so will see a lowering of cost and increased availability of previous generation components. Perspective also helps one decide what they want for themselves. That said, I'm interested in learning where night vision is going next and what opinions exist on how far away that is. No doubt others harbor similar questions.
To begin, from the development of helmet mounted NVGs and heads-up displays, there's been some interest in a panoramic view NVD. When last I researched this industry, the US Air Force was interested in visor display NVD with a 100-degree angle of view for pilots. Any word regarding where is the industry on this? A visor may be clunky, but I doubt many would argue against a wider field of vision in dark environment tactical situations.
Likewise -- and of more interest to my upcoming projects -- the US Army was pushing the industry in the direction of a fusion between image intensification and thermal imagery, called ENVGs. This would theoretically result in NVGs that creates a clear, sharp, green-tinted picture with the ability to see under practically any environmental condition.
What seems like the next obvious development would be the new imaging technology combined with panoramic display. Of course, there's likely to be little non-military use for such a combo outside of law enforcement and/or aviation.
Any news on the production of 16mm LITs, instead of the standard 18mm? These would lighten the weight of NVDs. I've heard ITT is supposedly making them in small quantities right now.
Since ITT Industries, Northrop Grumman Corp., and Insight Technology, Inc. are behind these developments, perhaps folks here could offer some insight?