Generation

NVG7-3P Night Vision Goggles

Starlight technology night vision devices have their amplification and feature specifications categorized into generations, which were originally defined by the US Military. Official generation specs exist for generations 1 through 3, gen 1 being the oldest and lowest technology. Some manufacturers also offer "generation 4" devices that outperform gen 3, but there is not a corresponding military definition for gen 4. Also available for starlight technology is digital night vision which performs between gen 1 and gen 2 but can also be used in daylight. Thermal night vision is also available. Unlike starlight technology, thermal sees in the far infrared and can detect differences in temperature. For a more in-depth discussion see the Night Vision portion of our Learn About Optics section