Designed primarily for military use, these LightSpeed binoculars are capable of transmitting "untappable" voice and video signals to another set of binoculars using infrared.
The LightSpeed system exploits free-space optics—the ability to pass data between two points via an optical beam. The method usually involves lasers, but this system uses eye-safe infrared LEDs, similar to those used in TV remotes, says Leo Volfson, president of Torrey Pines Logic, which created LightSpeed. "The binocular has an attachment that fits over the ocular side," Volfson says. "It produces a beam that comes out of the right eye of the binocular. On the left side is a receiver. If you look at me and I look at you, we'll be able to talk or send information." Range is determined by the strength of the optics. Unlike radio-wave transmissions, data transfer through the LED beam is undetectable.
There is no word on how much these things might cost, but the Volfson believes that his product has potential outside of the defence industry. That's right—bird watcher's worlds are about to get rocked by technology. [Popular Mechanics]