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Transforming the Sport Optics Industry Through Creative Design

Rhys Hanak - November 13, 2018

For an inventor, there is no better feeling than creating a product that positively impacts people’s lives. With the advent of the Digital Revolution, inventors have been creating such products en masse; taking outdated analog devices and transforming them into digital solutions for the modern age.

But despite the rise of smart watches and digital cameras, some products have—for one reason or another—avoided the digital wave. One such example happens to be the sport optics industry, which for years, has remained curiously “in the dark” when it comes to technological innovation (save for the occassional digital binocular or digiscope).

Now, with the compact form factor and high-magnification imaging capabilities afforded by our Blade Optics™ technology, we believe that binoculars can truly enter the digital age.

From Telescope to Binocular

The moment we demonstrated the power of our proof-of-concept telescope, we knew that we had to find a way to share the experience of Blade Optics™ with as many people as possible. So began the transition from telescope to binocular.

We weren’t the first to take the learnings from a telescope and apply them to the binocular space. Back in 1608, German-Dutch inventor Hans Lippershey created what scholars consider the world’s first telescope, which he affectionately called a “kijker”, or “looker” in English.

Master lens grinder? Absolutely. Master marketer? That’s up for debate.

Lippershey was paid 900 florins after submitting his patent for the telescope to the States General of the Netherlands—but not before he modified the telescope into a binocular device, at the behest of the States General.

In this same spirit, we’ve scaled down our original lens design to transform the look, feel, and capabilities of one of the world’s most prolific imaging devices.

Binoculars Reimagined

* Please note that our product’s final design and feature set may differ from the prototype concept discussed below.

When trying to take the perfect picture, we all too often lose our connection to the very moment we are trying to capture.

With that simple idea, we took our innovative lens technology and approached world leading strategic technology design firm NewDealDesign.

An appearance model of our sport optics device.

Let us be the first to say that building a consumer product that leverages cutting-edge technology is not easy. It took months of ideation—in which we overcame a gauntlet of industrial design challenges—to reach what we now so proudly call a “transformative imaging device for the outdoors”.

By combining novel technology with intuitive product design, we are convinced that this device will be unlike anything else on the market.

Setting New Standards in Imaging

While we designed this product to be incredibly simple to use, its feature set is anything but.

For starters, we’ve managed to achieve a 500mm effective focal length in a 70mm space—potentially making this device one of the most compact imaging products in the world.

An example of a conventional 500mm lens.

Focal length, like aperture, is vital in capturing high-resolution images. It tells us the angle of view (how much of the scene will be viewable) and the degree of magnification (how large the object will appear). The lower the focal length number, the wider the angle of view—and vice versa.

So what does this 500mm focal length mean for image quality?

Essentially, our product is capable of capturing incredible photos and ultra high-definition 4K video.

Moreover, since our product features a dual lens system, users can instantly switch between 100mm (2X magnification) and 500mm (10X magnification) focal lengths—aka wide or narrow views. This establishes our device as a hybrid solution for accurate imaging in both long-range and close-range scenarios.

Technology That Enhances The Outdoors

Over the past couple of years, smart product design has allowed outdoor enthusiasts to enhance their experiences in the outdoors without compromising immersion.

In other words, “digital” is no longer synonymous with distraction.

This means that modern consumers now expect digital experiences that are distraction-free—an expectation that is very much in line with the ethos of our inaugural sport optics product.

What was once a chasmic divide between technology and nature is now no more than a simple question: “Will this product enrich my experience of “the moment”?”

“The moment” refers to when we take a second to step back and enjoy life.

The silent pilgrimage of a family of deer. The awe of a thundering waterfall. The view from the peak of a conquered mountain.

To ensure that you’re able to capture these moments and more, we’ve designed our product to leverage the latest in digital technologies; a high-resolution 5” LCD screen and powerful Ambarella H2 processor enable the potential for cutting-edge software features such as image stabilization, real-time high-resolution panning, and artificially intelligent imaging—all of which come together to create a truly seamless imaging experience.

A Robust Travel Companion

We knew that our product had to be ruggedized if people were going to feel comfortable bringing it into adverse environments.

That’s why we designed our product to be both shockproof and IP67 rated. An IP67 rating ensures that our device will be fully protected from dust, while also being able to withstand 3 feet of water submersion for up to 30 minutes.

And when it comes to weight, our device is one of the best in its class. Weighing in at just under 1.5 lbs, this product is over 80% lighter than a number of industry-leading 500mm equivalent DSLR cameras.

A good travel buddy should never slow you down.

Seeing Further

Since day one, we’ve sought to change the way people view the world. With a 2019 product launch just on the horizon, we believe that this device—in the hands of consumers across the globe—will be just the beginning of the transformative change we set out to create.

Rhys Hanak

When I’m not sharing NexOptic’s story with the world, you can find me in the mountains hiking or out on a run.