When a kid's toy claims to offer "night vision," it usually means some red- or green-colored lights to actually illuminate the darkness. Real night-vision devices, on the other hand, use an electronic imager to let user navigate in total darkness with an infrared light that's completely invisible to the naked eye. They also cost several hundred dollars, and are not for kids.
Jakks Pacific has decided to bridge the gap between light-up toy and half-grand military technology with the EyeClops Night Vision. It's a functional night-vision device that uses an infrared imager and LCD monocle to let kids navigate around in complete darkness. The company claims its built-in IR LEDs let the goggles see up to 20 feet in completely dark environments. While Jakks Pacific didn't have a final version available at Toy Fair, it did offer a prototype demonstration of the mechanism that indeed made a nearly pitch-black room navigable.
The company also revealed the EyeClops BioniCam, a digital-camera-equipped version of the EyeClops digital microscope. Like the original EyeClops, the BioniCam can magnify objects by 100x, 200x, or 400x and display those objects on a television. This new model adds its own LCD screen, so you don't need to plug it into anything to see things close-up. It can also record pictures and video of your subjects to an included USB memory key, so you can upload them to your computer and share them online. The EyeClops Night Vision and BioniCam are both scheduled to ship in fall 2008, and will retail for about $80 each.