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Smart Binoculars Can Identify Birds You're Looking At

We're all going to want a pair of these!

AX Visio smart binoculars for twitchers
AX Visio smart binoculars | Swarovski Optik

Last year OGN sang the praises of Merlin, a fabulous free app developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, that can help you identify over 9,000 birds. Now, it seems, ease of identification just got even easier as sports optics manufacturer Swarovski Optik has integrated Merlin smarts into a pair of high-end binoculars to name birds and other animals at the touch of a button.

The user simply brings the target creature into focus manually and then selects the target by pressing a button. The system then consults the Merlin Bird ID or Mammal ID database and the result is displayed onscreen. Other settings on the dial can activate the camera, a compass, or mark objects so that the binoculars can be handed to a friend, who will then be guided via direction arrows to the item of interest.

The AX Visio smart binoculars also caters for future-proofing by downloading system updates and potentially allowing third-party developers to come up with new digital functions for the system.

The binoculars are not just smart, they look smart too thanks to acclaimed Australian designer Marc Newson who was responsible for the overall look, with priority focus on "a modern appearance and intuitive handling for the smart binoculars, combined with an ergonomic design that feels comfortable to hold."

One drawback, though. Launched at CES this week, the AX Visio smart binoculars will go on sale in February for a whopping US$4,799. Of course, give it a few years, and such tech should become somewhat more affordable. In the meantime, the video below has more.


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