NVC: Night Vision For Your iPhone

We saw Flir bring out the Flir One, a thermal imager for the iPhone. Well now MSM Labs is making the NVC case for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. NVC stands for Night Vision Camera. The NVC case also acts as a battery backup and has a microSD card slot for storing the images and videos shot with this camera.


Right now the NVC is only a prototype and MSM Labs is looking for funding through Kickstarter. I do have my suspicions about this night vision camera. I have a feeling it is a standard digital camera but without the standard IR filter that all digital camera lenses have between the CCD and the lens. The IR Filter aka Hot Mirror blocks out IR light so the CCD captures only visible light.

There are hacks that one can do to DSLRs and even GoPros so that they can capture IR light. If this device is how I think it is, then it is no different than my Poorman’s Night Vision scope. From the kickstarter video, it seems as though there are two settings. A purplish tint to the image or the stereo typical green image we associate with night vision. Any camera without an IR filter can capture in absolute darkness as long as there is IR light. I think the array around the NVC lens are IR leds. Does that matter? Well it depends on what you intend on using this for. Some people have weapon mounted their Flir One equipped iPhones which can prove to be useful. You could mount this NVC iPhone to a weapon but I do not think you will be able to see very far unless you use another source of light. Even with a SureFire IR light, you wont be able to see past 50 feet. If you had something obnoxiously bright, like a SureFire Hellfighter with an IR filter (different type of filter than the camera filters) so it lets out only IR light, then you could probably see about 100 feet just because there is so much light.

The project looks promising and gives iPhone users more versatility with their phones. If this interests you, check out their Kickstarter and help them out.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Markus

    Am I the only one who thinks the whole idea behind those things (NVC and Flir One) is completely flawed? As soon as the next version of your preferred phone changes dimensions ever so slightly, some button is moved to another spot or the connector changes, chances are your somewhat-expensive NV/IR gadget will become useless… Or you have to keep your old phone around just for using it with your NV gear, making the whole setup even more cumbersome. And since you can’t swap batteries in newer phones, there’s another limit on its lifetime right there…

    Sure, a couple hundred bucks is way cheaper than a couple thousand for “real” NV gear, but IMHO still not cheap enough to consider it a throwaway item once the next iPhone/Android/whatever comes out.

    • J.T.

      The only one out there that I would consider is the Seek Thermal camera. It just attaches to the Micro USB port in the bottom of the phone. They are going to make one for the Proprietary port iPhones have as well. As long as you don’t switch between platforms, there is no issue.

      • NotoriousAPP

        I have a Seek Thermal Imager, it’s the bomb.

    • flyingburgers

      There’s different markets. For stuff like a FLIR One being used by a professional or real estate agent, they can keep their phone for many years. (iPhones have a 3 year sale lifecycle and a 5 year support lifecycle, better than a corporate laptop). For the consumer market, it depends on the cost. $250 is basically disposable, given that the cash cost of a phone is something like $700 now.

      • Steve Truffer

        If you’re unaware, very few AOSP phones will exceed $700. HTC, and now Google/Motorola, offer phablets with premium everything that do exceed 7 bills, but most (which can run the gamut of quality) are sub-$300, with flagships rarely breaking $500.

  • Excessively IR heavy night vision for my iphone . . . great

  • Nicholas Chen