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U.S. Army Seeks Scope-Like Sunglasses

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Even as they work to improve today's tactical shades, U.S. Army researchers are trying to develop next-generation sunglasses with real-time tint, zoom magnification and other scope-like features.

The research is being conducted by officials at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, according to a press release from the service.

The so-called active eyewear system is designed to "protect the user from ballistic fragmentation and lasers, as well as provide vision enhancement in a single lens," it states.

What kinds of enhancement, specifically?

"The lens will be able to quickly adjust from very clear all the way down to a true sunglass state, allowing the soldier to more readily adjust to rapidly changing lightning conditions," the release states. "Soldiers will benefit from features such as zoom magnification, variable polarization, multi-spectral enhancement and selective light filtering capabilities."

The future specs could also include technologies that better protect and/or augment troops' hearing, it states.

Unfortunately, there may not be an actual product anytime soon. The release didn't specify any kind of schedule for the research, let alone a time frame for testing and fielding.

Here's hoping the Army researchers share whatever breakthroughs they come up with to the folks at places like ESS and Google Glass.

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