These smart AR binoculars by Unistellar could be game-changers for stargazing – and that's not all they do

Unistellar Envision smart binoculars laid flat on a gray background
(Image credit: Unistellar)

Smart telescope maker Unistellar is bidding to deliver "the first technological revolution in binoculars in decades" via a crowdfunding campaign for its new Envision smart binoculars. 

The company is at the forefront of the smart telescope revolution that we've labelled "the future of astrophotography", with a range that already includes the Odyssey and Odyssey Pro models.

Now it's expanding its horizon to binoculars: the Envision will use augmented reality (AR) to overlay useful information about everything around you at the push of a button, directly on to your field of view.

Contextual info can be personalized, and includes a database of maps together with four user modes: Smart Scouting, Guided Navigation, Shareable Target-Lock and Classic Optical. 

And we're excited by it. Imagine scoping your surroundings with the Envision binoculars and being able to contextualize what you see with info such as water sources, landmarks and points of interest? 

Or say you're wildlife spotting during safari and locate a leopard. You can then activate the Shareable-Target Lock mode to keep track, even handing the binoculars to those around you, who will be guided back to the same subject. 

For avid stargazers, the viewing experience sounds equally immersive, with the Guided Nagivation mode suggesting points of interest: stars, nebulae and galaxies, together with useful information about what you see.

Unistellar Envision smart AR binoculars superimposed over images of a daytime landscape and the night sky

(Image credit: Unistellar)

You'll need to be connected to a smartphone through Unistellar's companion app to make full use of the augmented reality features, but even without its standout feature, Unistellar says these binoculars have premium optics.

For budding astronomers and next-level navigation, Unistellar is billing the Envision smart binoculars as a first-of-its-kind, combining patented augmented reality features and premium optics, at a competitive price.

Beyond the smart features, we don't know an awful lot about the binoculars' technical details, although more will be revealed once the crowdfunding campaign officially begins.

Speaking of which, we're always at pains to point out that crowdfunding campaigns such as Envision are no guarantee of product completion and delivery. However, Unistellar's track record is, ahem, stellar. It delivered the eVscope smart telescope after gaining more than $2.2 million backing (and consequently strategic support from Nikon), and we've favorably reviewed some of its previous products, including the Odyssey Pro, so the campaign feels like a fair bet.

Early backers of the Envision crowdfunding campaign can claim the smart binoculars for $599 instead of the full price, which is $999, and the reduction is limited to the first 1,000 backers. There's no official word on when exactly the campaign starts other than 'soon', but you can be notified by clicking the link on Unistellar's campaign page.

You might also like

Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.