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Tiger Vision: Linking Invention With Industry

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This article explains the benefit and the development of "Tiger Vision," a night and day vision device for use in patrol cars.

The concept for Tiger Vision came from a former San Antonio (Texas) police officer who had worked patrol and served warrants. While on patrol, he frequently encountered situations in which he needed to see into dark areas from the patrol car without losing peripheral vision. In order to provide this capability, Tiger Vision was developed. It is a small, lightweight, handheld device that can be plugged into a patrol car cigarette lighter and held out the window of a patrol car. Tiger Vision uses a CCD (charged coupled device) image sensor instead of light-intensifier tubes or thermal technologies. It includes a powerful infrared light source that illuminates up to 100 yards for a width of approximately 10 feet. The image is shown on a 4-inch screen in the patrol car. The device also allows observation under changing light conditions, from full light to low light to very low light. The light can be attached to a video recorder for recording any evidence observed under the light conditions. In consultation with two engineers, the former police officer, Mark Jones, built several generations of prototypes in the early 1990s and demonstrated them at several Texas police agencies. Based on recommendations from these agencies, Jones contacted the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-Rocky Mountain, which in turn referred him to the Border Research and Technology Center in San Diego, CA, which arranged a demonstration with the U.S. Border Patrol's office in Laredo, Tex. Jones then began work with the Office of Law Enforcement Technology Commercialization specialists, who shared their expertise in facilitating the licensing agreement with ITT Night Vision.

Date Published: January 1, 1999