Predator: the 1987 movie that has young Arnold Schwarzenegger and crew running around in the rainforest, bravely fighting (mercilessly being slaughtered by) a lone well-camouflaged gang initiate from space.
When it came out, this movie was sciencefictionally innovative, most notably for it’s take on the invisibility cloak and for the way it visualized alien eyesight.
When the invisibility cloak was activated, it looked like the predator was covered in scales of liquid glass that bend light around him, rendering him nearly invisible to the human eye. And totally freakin humans out.
The predator’s eyesight was based on infrared light and depicted as brightly colored prey moving in an uncolored world. Basically they used a thermal imaging camera for those scenes.
Our technology has come a long way since 1987. We might not have invisibility cloaks (or do we) but we certainly have image intensification and thermal imaging technology that looks just like the predator’s, except better.
Image intensification is what you know as night vision. The light from the moon and the stars and any reflected infrared light is taken in, amplified, and displayed to you in the visible spectrum. It makes night-time look like day-time but kind of black and white or greenish. You still can’t see hidden or camouflaged people with it though.
Thermal imaging takes the infrared light that is emitted by warm bodies, amplifies it, and displays that to you in the visible spectrum. It makes warm things light up and cold things dim so that even in camouflage it is easy to tell where surroundings end and people begin.
Now, guess what thermal night vision fusion is. Go ahead guess. It’s amazing that’s what! It is the clearness of night vision combined with the awareness of thermal vision.
Look superzoom cameras and low light cameras are great for viewing-only missions but what if it’s not a nice flying ufo alien. What if it’s Ripley’s alien or a Predator alien and it’s got off the craft. And it’s here. With you. Now.
What if it uses the environment to hide itself from you. Not simply in the shadows. Not simply further away. But in the brush. Or behind the thick curtain of slowly falling snow. Or behind your living room curtains. Neither your superzoom nor your low light camera can help you see what simply is hidden from view. And if it hunts you, you do not have the luxury of focusing your attention on a screen anyway. You need to look around continuously and be ready to fight or flee.
That’s why the third installment of this UFO / alien series is about the AN/PNQ-36 fusion goggles from Insight Technology. You can spot an alien in nearly any hiding place. You can even see the heat from its footsteps if it is warm blooded. You can mount the goggles on your head to free your hands. You’ll have full range of motion and they’ll stay with you in a tussle.
You are not prey.
You are the predator.
Be the predator. [2:20]