Optikos Corporation has invented an interesting iPhone camera accessory that will allow users to take close-up and distant night vision video or still shots when under poor lighting conditions. While the invention may apply to other devices such an Android smartphone in the future, the main patent figures that are illustrated in their patent filing show an iPhone as you'll note in our report below. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published this patent application last Thursday. Optikos originally filed their invention with USPTO in May 2013.
Optikos states that "in contrast to passive military night vision apparatus, the night vision attachment of the present invention is an "active" apparatus which generates infrared radiation used to form the image. Since the scene being viewed is being "illuminated" (in the infrared) by the attachment itself, the attachment of the present invention can use a solid state imager much less sensitive, and much less costly, than the image intensifier tube arrangements typically used in military night vision apparatus. The preferred form of solid state imager for use in the present invention is a complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS) device, although other solid state imagers may also be used."
Optikos Corps patent FIG. 1A is an exploded diagrammatic perspective view of a an iPhone and an inventive attachment separated from the iPhone: In patent FIG. 1B we're able to see a diagrammatic perspective view of an iPhone and attachment of FIG. 1A showing the attachment mated with the iPhone to convert it for use in taking digital photos and or video or allowing a user to visualize her surroundings under low ambient light level conditions.
Optikos appears to be a company of inventors that sells testing services, engineering services and beyond but not necessarily end user products. At this time it is unknown if they're considering selling this as a commercial product on their own or planning to license this out. I contacted Optikos this afternoon and was unable to find anyone to comment for this report. If they return my call with new details I will pass it along.