New Unistellar ENVISION Smart Astronomy Binoculars (UPDATED)

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Unistellar ENVISION

Unistellar – maker of some of the very best smart telescopes – are launching a brand new product which is a bit different from their previous offerings.

Namely Smart Augmented Reality Astronomy Binoculars – named ENVISION.


What are Unistellar ENVISION Binoculars?

This is what we know so far:

  • ENVISION are binoculars that provide an augmented reality experience when you look at the night sky.
  • This will enable users to easily identify and be guided to objects like planets, constellations, galaxies and other deep sky objects.
  • This sounds similar to how you can currently use an app like Stellarium on your smartphone to know what you are seeing when you look at the night sky.
  • The difference being that with apps like this you are just looking at a digital image and not really seeing them with your eyes. With ENVISION it will be overlaying your view of the night sky.
  • With these binoculars you will also benefit from increased brightness and clarity from the 50 mm aperture lenses. Note the Swarovski smart binoculars outlined below are close to $5k and only have an aperture of 32mm!
  • In addition, the 10x magnification allowing you to get closer to what you are viewing.
  • We don’t yet know the weight, but these should be handheld binoculars given the 10×50 specifications and that there are no promotional pictures of them mounted on a tripod.
  • It doesn’t appear that there will be an in-built camera to take and process photos, like with a smart telescope. Thererfore, they will be for observational astronomy, rather than astrophotography.
  • Unistellar are also promoting their use for terrestrial purposes whereby they can be used in the daytime and will help you find notable landmarks when hiking. See the image below:
  • The price when on general sale will be $999, but Kickstarter backers will be able to get a pair for $599.

Unistellar ENVISION vs Swarovski AX Visio Smart Binoculars

Interestingly, Swarovski launched the AX Visio Binoculars earlier this year.

These are also smart binoculars with an augmented realty function but the differences being:

  • The Swarovski AX Visio are specifically for wildlife observation, with the AR functionality working to identify 9000 different animal species (i.e. for birding).
  • The Swarovski AX Visio has an in-built camera, whereas the ENVISION does not.
  • Possibly this is because quick shooting in daylight when using the binoculars by hand is possible with the Swarovski model, but doing so for shooting the night sky with the ENVISION would require the binoculars to be tripod mounted and even possibly using a tracking mount to get sufficient long exposures for night sky imaging.
  • The Swarovski AX Visio are priced at a hefty US$4,799! Substantially more than the ENVISION even at full price.

Will you be ordering the ENVISION binoculars?

What are your thoughts on this? Excited or not?

You can get more information on the Unistellar website – where you can also sign up to be notified when they are available to order – and we will update this page when the Kickstarter is launched on 25 June 2024.

About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.

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