US-based night vision tech company SiOnyx has introduced an action cam that it claims can shoot color footage and stills in the dark as well as in normal daylight conditions. The Aurora uses infrared technology and a specially developed sensor with large pixels to shoot in conditions as dim as 0.001lux.

SiOnyx says the camera’s performance compares to night vision optics that cost ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ and that this is the first time such night-vision capabilities have been available to the consumer.

The Aurora uses a 1in sensor with 0.9 million large pixels that are created using what the company describes as a proprietary laser process. The process creates ‘the ultimate light-trapping pixels’ that have increased quantum efficiency and so avoid excessive noise and restricted dynamic range while producing images 10x brighter than a standard CMOS sensor. The sensor design is based on military-grade IR sensors that the company usually makes only for the defence market.

The Aurora can produce viewable images even in what would appear to the human eye to be darkness

The pixels have extended sensitivity to light between 850 and 940nm in the near-infrared area of the spectrum, and a maximum ANSI of 820,000 - and so can produce viewable images even in what would appear to the human eye to be darkness. The camera can also shoot still images (albeit obviously at a very low resolution), as well as timelapse sequences and 720p video.

The camera is also fitted with GPS, an accelerometer and a compass for adventurers, and can be used underwater for 30 minutes to a depth of 3ft.

The Aurora will cost $799. For more information see the SiOnxy website.

Press release

SiOnyx Announces World’s First Day/Night Action Camera For Consumer Market, Turns Night Into Full-Color Daylight

Aurora Features OLED Display, Ip67-Grade Waterproofing and AR-Compatibility; Compass, GPS & WiFi Built-In With iOS and Android Apps, Retails at $799

SiOnyxTM (Beverly, MA), a leader in infrared imaging technology – today announced the official launch for the SiOnyx AuroraTM, the only HD action video camera with true day and night color imaging. SiOnyx Aurora is just under 8 ounces and sized to fit comfortably in one hand for easy operation.

Available in August direct from SiOnyx at sionyx.com at a retail price of $799, Aurora is based on the SiOnyx Ultra Low Light technology that is protected by more than 40 patents and until now was only available in the highest-end night vision optics costing tens of thousands of dollars. This identical technology has now been cost-reduced for use in Aurora and other upcoming devices from SiOnyx and its partners.

SiOnyx has developed a new semiconductor process that dramatically enhances the infrared sensitivity of silicon-based imaging. Its ultra low-light technology enables richly-defined color images and video during the day and twilight, combined with unmatched high-resolution viewing in near total darkness. Sample videos as well as images may be found at www.sionyx.com

Through the free companion apps on iOSTM and Android®, you can review your experiences in real-time or control the Aurora directly from your phone. Designed for an active outdoor lifestyle, Aurora is also fully certified with an IP67 waterproof rating.

Aurora offers transformative night video for a wide range of uses including boating, hunting, fishing, nature watching, emergency response and other activities where clear night-vision is of importance. A removable neck strap allows you to keep it accessible on any adventure. Aurora uses GPS combined with an accelerometer and compass to accurately guide your way, day or night.

“Outdoor enthusiasts play day and night; capturing those adventures doesn’t need to stop when the sun goes down,” said Stephen Saylor, President and CEO of SiOnyx. “Aurora’s unique Ultra Low Light technology enables night video that people will swear was taken in full daylight.”

About SiOnyx:

Founded in 2006 by Professor Eric Mazur and Dr. James Carey of Harvard University, SiOnyxTM has commercialized a patented semiconductor process that dramatically enhances the sensitivity of silicon-based photonics. SiOnyx’s platform represents a significant breakthrough in the development of smaller, lower cost, high-performing photonic devices in applications ranging from simple light detection to advanced digital imaging and more. The company markets its low-light technology under the XQETM family of CMOS images sensors and has also entered the consumer electronics market with the launch of the Aurora day/night action camera.