“You’ll never see your world the same way again,” promises one Vancouver-based tech company.
Judging from the splash made by its latest product at CES 2020, that company may just be right.
NexOptic Technology Corp. took to Las Vegas this past January to launch the DoubleTakeTM, its latest venture in the world of lens innovation. An innovative optical development company, NexOptic’s self-professed “humble” beginnings were marked by a proof-of-concept prototype for a telescope system that looks not unlike a 21st-century iteration of a classic, boxy Brownie camera. This device boasted flat optics, a square aperture, and an unprecedented 1:1 lens stack depth to aperture ratio.
Fast forward to 2020 (no, we’re not going to crack a joke about hindsight) and now its portfolio includes a machine-learning-based form of artificial intelligence known as the ALLIS, a neural network that works with image sensors to produce extraordinary, low-noise imagery. Also in development is a telephoto lens system for mobile phones; the goal is creating the world’s largest smartphone aperture, meaning that the camera on your smartphone—which, depending on your make and model, is likely already pretty extraordinary—will one day be capable of capturing images that are even higher in quality from much further distances.
CES Unveiled Las Vegas is the show’s official media event; it’s where the cream of the crop, so to speak—from the buzz-worthy start-ups to the big brands—unveils the latest and most cutting-edge products in the lead-up to CES. Press, industry analysts, and influencers from around the world
clamour for a first glimpse of what is sure to be the most talked-about, game-changing debuts of the show. It is here that the CES Best of Innovation Award Honourees are featured. And it was here that the DoubleTakeTM, toted as “binoculars reimagined,” was unveiled, quickly creating a stir. Forbes named it as one of the “Five Coolest Travel Gadgets at CES 2020”; the Paley Center for Media short-listed the DoubleTakeTM as one of the 13 overall best products at the show.
So what, exactly, had everyone talking?
Well, for starters, these aren’t your classic, double-barreled binoculars. Once again, the company seems to show an apparent love for the box cameras of yesteryear, as the DoubleTakeTM is designed as a small, rectangular device. We could go ham over its impressive specs, including its dual Blade OpticsTM lens system that boasts a focal length of over 500mm. We could applaud its smart connectivity with GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB-C (though really, what tech products can get away without connectivity these days?). We could rave about its instant 10x optical magnification. But what has us really excited is the 5” high-definition LCD display.
It’s the implications of this screen that get us galvanized. It changes the very nature of the traditional binocular experience; no more pressing a gadget to your eyes, adjusting, waiting, squinting, viewing, and then passing the binoculars to another so that they, too, can share in the view. The digital display on the DoubleTakeTM makes the experience communal.
We don’t know if this design element had any influence on the name—we suspect not—but we can’t help but feel it’s appropriate. Views are better when shared. Travelling with your partner? Now easy targeting, instant zoom, and the capturing of stunning HD videos and pictures can all be enjoyed together. It’s the perfect travel gadget for safaris, hikes, or exploring new cities. Views of the Eiffel Tower from the Place du Trocadéro will never have been clearer; animals loping across the African savannas can be safely and clearly viewed from a comfortable distance.
Subscribe for updates at the NexOptic website to be one of the first to try this impressive new device once it becomes commercially available.
Images via @nexoptic (Instagram)