Rumors have circulated that the military team that breached Osama bin Laden’s compound and killed the terrorist leader might have been wearing “cat vision” contact lenses that give the wearer night vision for a limited time without having to wear bulky, heavy night vision goggles (NVG).
A Popular Science article from 2004 mentioned this technology.
The blink powered night vision contact lenses allow a person to see clearly in low- light environments by enhancing ambient light up to 200 percent. These lenses use plasma technologies to eliminate the cumbersome and expensive image-intensification tubes used in convention night-vision goggles. The advantages of using the contact lenses above night-vision goggles are 1) full peripheral vision, 2) more comfortable interface, 3) a more cost-effective system, and 4) less disorientation with use.
Of course the military is silent on top secret high-tech equipment deployed for night raids and combat.
Conventional NVGs include The “QUADEYE” night vision system designed by Elbit Systems of America for aviators; it can also give ground personnel some return of peripheral vision that’s usually robbed by standard night vision goggles (NVG).
QUADEYE is designed around four, advanced, 16mm, image-intensifier tubes. Its modular construction permits the user to select between using only the two inner channels or four panoramic channels.
Additionally, QUADEYE® provides for projection of avionics head up display symbology or the aircraft’s targeting sensor’s video image into the goggle’s eyepiece through a high-resolution display.