In the dark, soldiers have two options if they’re to see: night vision or thermal imaging. Both have their advantages and disadvantages—but now, BAE’s new goggles mean there’s no need to choose.

Usually night vision goggles are used to understand the immediate environment—they amplify the small amounts of available light—while thermal imaging is used to identify people (or targets) at a distance, because heat shows up in stark contrast to the surroundings. With the U.S Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, though BAE has created a set of goggles that combine both technologies.

Currently being readied for use in the field, the new goggles overlay thermal and nightvision images for the soldier. Meanwhile, a wireless link to a weapon’s scope also means that the user can see their sight imagery inside the goggles. In turn, that means that aiming lasers are no longer required, allowing soldiers to remain covert. Details of how the technology works remain scant, but BAE claims the devices are light and low-power, making them efficient for use in the field. [BAE via Engadget]