BEVERLY, Mass. - Since its inception during World War II, night vision technology has become virtually synonymous with monochromatic green images.
People all over the world have tried to add color to night vision for years, but they've all failed until now.
The company to make it happen is right here in Massachusetts.
Paul Stump is the CEO of Beverly-based Chromatra. For the past four years, the company has been working to perfect a device known as ColorTac, which shows color by essentially amplifying whatever light is available.
“Night vision was developed for the military. Unfortunately, our adversaries now have night vision. Color for night vision will be a game changer for the military,” Stump told Boston 25 News.
The result is an image similar to what we'd see with the naked eye in daylight.
ColorTac is now being tested out by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies -- including Massachusetts State Police, the FBI and police departments in cities across the country.
Aaron Washington was the commander of the Mass. State Police SWAT team for 10 years and says ColorTac technology is a groundbreaking development for law enforcement and the military.
“This tech is awesome it is truly a game changer. When the folks are out there on the front lines it will truly save lives" Washington said. “Now, you don't have to go to white light and you can see color. Much different than seeing that green hue."
Here’s an example.
Through the standard goggles you'll see nothing more than just a dirty shirt, but with the color night vision technology, you might see it’s actually covered in blood.
“Medics on the battlefield or tactical situation that can’t use white light, they have to feel or use different techniques to find the blood … where that patient is bleeding. With the ColorTac, it’s one quick observation," Washington explained.
He said the ColorTac goggles actually proved to be hugely helpful during the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium this year when an aircraft entered the no-fly zone and state police couldn't reach it over the radio.
Authorities were unable to identify it and were about to call in the military until they used the color tac googles and saw it was a news helicopter and not an imminent threat.
“It was important we made contact with that chopper and determined its intentions," said Washington.
As for what's next with this technology, Stump says the calls keep coming from around the world.
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