One of the best success stories to come out of CES 2019 is a Canadian one. Vancouver based NexOptic showcased its newest product: DoubleTake. The moniker for this innovative product is two-fold because 1) the device uses a dual lens system; and 2) when you hear that the DoubleTake device is being marketed as binoculars, well, you’ll need a closer look because it doesn’t at all resemble the conjoined telescope-style we’re accustomed to. Although the device is hand held, DoubleTake digital binoculars look vaguely like a VR headset, which is on-brand for NexOptic; a company that specializes in digital lenses and artificial intelligence.
Reviews online have compared DoubleTake to the stuff of sci-fi dreams. Or, for bibliophiles, perhaps this is a muggle version of Harry Potter’s “omnioculars”.
The reimagined binoculars also caught the attention of online tech publication Digital Trends, which awarded DoubleTake a place on it’s Top Tech of CES 2019 for photography. Again, what do binoculars have to do with photography? Not much in the traditional sense, but NexOptic has incorporated a multitude of digital features into this device that border on cinematic:
- BladeOptics – NexOptic’s proprietary optical lens designs, which allow for better image resolution and design options
- AI-enabled control of optical functions such as light, shutter speed and motion (image stabilization)
- 4K video and 12MP support
- SD card slot option
- Real-time media/display sharing from device to smart phone
With all of the above features, it seems as though DoubleTake has more in common with the mirrorless cameras of the world than it does with a tried-and-true pair of Bushnells. The main disadvantage to a traditional pair of binoculars is that the design doesn’t allow for more than one user at a time. With its 5″ LCD display, DoubleTake could accommodate a small crowd of viewers – and more when the display sharing function is utilized.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Darcy Daugela, Executive Chairman at NexOptic. We discussed DoubleTake’s debut at CES, how they plan to position this product in the market, and the positive industry buzz created by DoubleTake being named to Digital Trends’ Top Tech list.
Geeks & Beats: As a Canadian company, what did it mean to have your product so well-received on a global stage like CES?
Darcy Daugela: It is very exciting for us as a company to receive validation from the tech industry for this product, which we hope will be the first of many.
G&B: How has being named to the “Top Tech of CES 2019” benefitted your company and its product?
DD: The additional media attention has been very positive in terms of solidifying relationships with our investors and securing retail contracts.
G&B: The features on DoubleTake are more like a camera than binoculars, what do you view as the competition for this device?
DD: DoubleTake combines the functionality of both a DSLR camera and binoculars, but will more directly compete against DSLRs. Ultimately, we will position this device in its own unique segment within the market.
DoubleTake will allow you to capture pictures and videos, share live on a large 5-inch HD display, and even live stream what you’re looking at. It has cool new instant zoom features for easily tracking moving objects like birds, wildlife, or game play at sporting events. Take it to your favourite sporting event or concert and turn your cheap seats into great seats.
NexOptic Technology Corp
The target consumers for DoubleTake are avid outdoor enthusiasts (bird watchers, boaters) and the device has a rugged dust-proof and water resistant design to hold up against the elements. The production model will feature a neck strap, although it already weighs considerably less than traditional binoculars and DSLRs. DoubleTake’s sleek design and features will also appeal to consumers looking for the functionality of a DSLR without the bulk: zooming in and recording your kids in the school play or at their sporting events for example. The ergonomic hourglass-like shape of DoubleTake was developed for NexOptic by design studio NewDeal Design – the same company who fabricated the Fitbit.
DoubleTake binoculars are still in the prototype phase of production, but look for this Canadian-developed product in stores and online toward the latter part of this year. Overall, NexOptic’s DoubleTake seems to be a product that has sustainability beyond it’s challenging of the status quo.