So I'm not going to say where I saw it, but it was one of the weirdest things I've ever seen an operator wearing.
And it gave me the idea to explore the concept of what might be out there that's better than the "known" state of the art.
During an assignment I saw a Soldier wearing what is known as the "QUADEYE" night vision vision system made by Elbit. It freakin' looked like the guy was from Starship Troopers or something -- literally two sets of PVS-15s hanging off the helmet.
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.
So this is the known. But what about rumors of scientific advances with something even lower profile? I heard a rumor that the Team guys who busted bin Laden might have been wearing "cat vision" contact lenses that literally give the wearer night vision for a limited time without having to wear the bulky, heavy NVGs.
Now, all I'm finding on this is a mention from Popular Science back in 2004.
The blink powered night vision contact lenses allow a person to see clearly in low- light environments by enhancing ambient light up to 200 per cent. 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.
While one site says this is a hoax, the entry is seven years old. Seems to me this kind of thing -- especially in a time of war -- might be doable over that amount of time. And since the Tier 1 guys get things like stealth helicopters that no one had ever seen before, why couldn't they have night vision contacts?