Just mention night vision goggles before kids, and their active imaginations will conjure up the images of the various cartoons and movies with soldiers patrolling the battlefields and surveillance areas, with those green colored torches on their helmets, in the dead hours of the night.
Yes, night vision goggles can be a fascinating toy-gadget for kids, but they aren't just simple play-stuff. As we will soon find out, they can also be put to some interesting uses. In the following sections, we shall first look at the working of the night vision goggles, and then note down a few of its fun and useful applications.
Let's understand the basic working of the kids' night vision goggles. Basically, there are two types of night vision goggles called the active and the passive night vision goggles.
In the passive night vision goggles, only the available light is amplified, and you can't see anything if there is total darkness.
Active night vision goggles, on the other hand, have an inbuilt infrared 'illuminator' (back-light) that acts as a source of light for illuminating the scene even in the darkest conditions. The light being infra-red isn't visible to the naked eye and is only detectable to those wearing the goggles.
The night vision goggles work on the principle of photoelectric effect, which states that if a polished plate is exposed to electromagnetic radiations, it emits electrons (the electrons are called photoelectrons).
In the night vision goggles, this photoelectric effect is used to amplify the photons or packets of light energy. A lens system collects the light from the night scene falling upon it, and sends it to a glass plate coated with photoelectric material on the back side of the goggles, which converts it to a proportional number of electrons.
These electrons are then passed through another device called the photomultiplier, which multiplies the number of electrons so that for every electron entering it, many more electrons exit it. Thus thousands of electrons are ejected and all strike a fluorescent screen.
As the electrons strike this screen, they give rise to tiny flashes of light. Since there are now many more electrons than there were previously(photomultiplier), the screen is able to create a much brighter version of the night-scape.
The kids' version of the night vision goggles, are a miniature representation of the technically advanced cameras and the night vision goggles that are used by the US army. These smaller models are meant to be used for learning and play.
Often when the family is going on trips or treks, these can be a nice gift to the kids, as they can allow them to observe the beauty of the landscape and the nocturnal animals when journeying during the night.
Night goggles can also help you in eliminating unwanted pests that enter the house. Keys and other small yet essential items that often fall in the dark corners of our bed and furniture can be easily spotted with the help of these goggles!
If you have big farm houses stretched in the pastures, you can provide these inexpensive night vision goggles to the watchmen, who will surely be able to provide better surveillance by using them.
For kids, these goggles are secured by head traps and are supported by lateral jaw straps. They are made of heavy duty plastic and are made as to withstand some amount of rough usage in the dark hours of the night.
There are customization facilities in the night vision goggles, that can help you get a fitting depending on your comfort. They are usually also designed such that adults and kids can observe distances up to 50 feet.
These goggles are fairly priced, and are perfect under nearly-dark conditions, providing a clear picture in the darkness. So, the next time you are looking for an interesting toy for a kid, go for the night vision goggles, and let them enjoy the darker world as well.