If you’ve hunted at night you know seeing and identifying your target is the toughest part of the game. For years, many have held that the best method for finding your prey was to use thermal detection. The limitations of thermal became quickly apparent, however. Low resolution meant that you couldn’t be sure of what you were seeing unless you got close, and low refresh rates meant that as you moved, the screen would visually smear until you were stationary again. Over the last year, thermal imaging prices have dropped significantly yet quality has improved. Over at IR Defense, innovation has taken on a whole new meaning.
Scott Henry is the mastermind behind the IR Hunter from IR Defense, a thermal weapon site that challenged the whole design concept of other products on the market. We spoke with Scott last January at the 2013 SHOT Show and were impressed with the form and function of his thermal weapon site. Not content with their disruptive innovation, in less than a year, they’ve switched to a BAE thermal core and made other improvements resulting in the Mk II version of the IR Hunter.
Little did many know that Scott and company were also busy on another game changing thermal optic that would come to be known as the IR Patrol. The IR Patrol is essentially the IR Hunter Mk II technology reduced to a monocular size. It’s helmet mountable, weapon mountable and can be hand held as well.
As of this writing, the IR Patrol is just being publically announced and I’ve not tested this in the field. However, I’ve been in discussion with both Scott Henry and Dave Rhomberg, VP of Sales and Marketing, for some time. I’m super excited about the features and price point of this thermal monocular.
Let’s start with resolution – 640×480. Okay, it’s not 4K but for thermal it’s outstanding. Combine that with a 60Hz refresh rate display (think 60 frames per second) and you have a high end platform that should easily allow users to navigate, spot and identify game while walking at night. The eMagin OLED, 10,000:1 contrast VGA display has no up or down scaling from the sensor. It’s one to one pixel for pixel with the BAE thermal sensor, yielding what appears to be a remarkable clear image.
The user interface looks particularly impressive. A single milspec thumb sized joystick controls the device. This is a major step forward! No fumbling with buttons in the dark! The control has five positions: up, down, left, right and depress. I’ve used similar interfaces on drone controls and they are both fast and intuitive. I expect this to be an improvement over the already outside the box user interface innovations of the IR Hunter.
Removable batteries means that you can carry a spare set in your pocket. Beats having a dead rechargeable unit.
Even with the features and technology of this thermal monocular, IR Defense says the IR Patrol is “The world’s most cost effective 640×480 resolution thermal monocular.” That would be a pretty impressive accomplishment.
The IR Patrol will make it’s live debut at SHOT Show in the TNVC booth (#6502).
IR Defense Corporation
For sales information or Investment inquiries
David Rhomberg, Vice President Sales and Marketing
855-474-8683 x 112, [email protected]