Ballistic eyewear is a pretty simple affair. All most people are looking for is a way to protect their eyes. Some people will even opt to use rose, amber, or smoke-tinted lenses to provide themselves with more contrast so that they have an easier time picking out targets on the flat range. Other than that, most manufacturers are content to produce ANSI-rated glasses that come in several different variations of stylized frames so that the shooter can keep their look fresh while they’re out on the range. Revision Military is setting out to engineer a better solution for ballistic eyewear that not only protects your eyes, but also reduces eye fatigue, and optimizes your eye’s performance for the environment you’re working in. Revision Military’s new I-Vis Lens Technology does just that and today we’ll explain how, and what my experiences with this new set of innovative ballistic eyewear have been so far.
More Eye Protection Articles @ TFB:
- Bolle Safety Introduces New Gunfire Kit 2.0 Wraparound Eye Protection
- SUPER POLARIZED – The New GATORZ Marauder Sunglasses
- New Bushnell Performance Eyewear for Spring/Summer 2022
Revision Military’s New I-Vis Vision Enhancement Ballistic Eyewear
So what exactly sets apart the Revision I-Vis Lens technology from standard tinted lenses? Revision’s goal for this new I-Vis lens technology is to provide operators with the ability to better adapt to changing battlefield situations and locations around the world all while maintaining the user’s protection against dust and impacts. While a simple solution to providing better contrast in various target shooting situations has been to use amber or rose-tinted lenses, these solutions actually make your brain and eyes do more work to correct for the inaccuracies you’ll see through those types of lenses (amber is a good example as seen in the photo below). When you look through one of these types of lenses, your brain automatically attempts to recolor your environment to remove the color from your lens thereby removing any benefit you receive from the lens over time and making it harder to switch back to regular vision without the glasses.
Revision Military’s I-Vis Lens Technology uses artificial intelligence to identify the best lens color and darkness to be used for various types of environments. They’ve gleaned this data using loads of photos and even satellite imagery to give users lenses that maintain color neutrality while providing the benefit of enhancing color depth which also has the secondary benefit of reducing brain and eye fatigue, as well as improving visual awareness, reaction time, and depth perception which for the warfighter should contribute to better survivability and lethality.
Revision Military brought out industry personnel to the mountains of Idaho to test out this eyewear in various situations including spotting random objects in a natural environment, attempting to spot mountain goats and even high altitude shooting against unpainted targets out to 1,000 yards and more with the help of SIG Sauer’s Cross rifle. A lot of science and engineering went into these lenses with Revision even going as far as to seek out the help of Dr. Richard Colo who is known around the world for improving the performance of top shotgun athletes by focusing on their visual efficiency.
In total, Revision Military will be offering six different lens color variations for their Stingerhawk high-impact eyewear including:
Suited to dry, high-altitude environments dominated by grays, tans, and blues such as those found in northern Afghanistan.
Developed for typical desert environments with browns, tans, small terrain changes and low rocks, shrubs and minimal plant life.
Modeled for dense, lush foliage including trees, rocky areas, and limited sky visibility through the canopy
Modeled for use in areas like northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Brings out color definition and contrast in areas of white, gray, and blue found in snowy wooded areas, rocks, and mountains.
Modeled for use in areas like northern Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Brings out color contrast in overcast, snow-covered scenes.
Their most technically complex lens designed to thrive in the widest range of environments and settings.
For comparison, Revision also furnished me with one pair each of standard “smoke” and “amber” colored lenses – both pretty typical offerings on the current market for shooters. These two versions do not use the I-Vis technology and are simply there to show how much less color depth and detail you’re getting using these types of lenses.
Raw Image (Without Lenses)
My Experiences with Revision I-Vis
Over the last month or so I’ve had the opportunity to test out these lenses in a number of different environments ranging from the deserts of Arizona, the mountains of Idaho, and of course the unforgiving landscape that is my current home state of Tennessee. Each of these environments offers different visual challenges and while all of the 6-different types of lenses work great, some lenses work better than others at allowing subtle details to show through. Since each of you is probably reading this on a different colored screen with different color temperatures and ranges, the best way I can share my experiences with you is to simply write them here.
My first experience with these lenses started out in Idaho on the Norton Lakes Trailhead. Norton Peak has a good amount of variation in both landscape and color but is mostly dominated by huge mountain peaks, dotted with a wide variety of vegetation and rock types as well as some very specific wildlife – Mountain Goats. While the I-Vis lenses didn’t give me superman vision the Cano and Alto lenses (optimized for dense rocky forests and high-altitude environments respectively), they did help me spot a lot of subtle differences in the terrain and foliage during the hike.
At the start of the trailhead, we also put the lenses to the test by trying to find various objects hidden along Norton creek – both with and without our choice of lenses. Needless to say, I had a much easier time spotting the various objects (shirts, plastic army men, frisbees, camouflage jackets, etc) with the lenses on than I did with my unaided eyes.
I wanted to get a better handle on whether or not these lenses actually worked so for the next work trip I brought along several pairs of the new I-Vis lenses and shared them with my buddy Hop (from TFBTV) while we were at Gunsite Academy. Gunsite Academy is located near Chino Valley, Arizona, and is more or less a typical desert environment consisting of browns, and tans, with minimal plant life and a small difference in terrain elevation. For this task, I selected the Aros lenses (suited for this exact environment) while Hop chose to run the Verso lenses which are Revision’s most technically complex lenses that are designed to thrive in the widest range of environments and settings.
Versa? verso? way better contrast than my normal sunglasses, plus wraparound impact protection. pretty slick. if you knew you were in one type of environment for a long time you could get the lenses best suited to it, without having to try a bunch and guess which was best. since somebody already did the research for you.
Both lenses excelled at providing us with good color separation and in my opinion, the Aros lenses made the Arizona landscape much more beautiful to look at by bringing out the various shades of crimson that are hidden within the rocks and hills near Gunsite Academy. Even while looking through riflescopes in this type of environment I didn’t find the lenses to be obtrusive but rather quite helpful as they provided even more color contrast and allowed me to more easily pick up the targets dotted throughout the landscape at Gunsite.
One final small note about eye protection. While I didn’t exactly get to test out the impact resistance of these new ballistic glasses, I did manage to get a nasty impact in the head with a ricochet from an adjoining range. Just proves that no matter how unlikely it is that your eye will be struck by something, It’s always a safe bet to have them on when you’re at the range just in case.
Thoughts So Far
I really like what Revision has done with this new lineup of I-Vis Ballistic Eyewear. The lenses clearly aid the user in more easily picking up recognizable patterns through clever use of modern technology and hard visual sciences. While the benefits that these lenses offer can potentially be lifesaving for a modern military operator, for the rest of us they can provide a clearer look at the world around us and maybe even shave a couple of seconds off of your stage time at your next competitive shooting match. Even hunters could benefit from these lenses as many types of prey around the United States are often camouflaged within their home environment making the subtle differences in color and texture much more important if you want to bag a target.
At the time of writing, Revision Military has not provided me with any pricing or official release date information but these should be out on the open market for civilian and military alike sometime in 2023 with potential additions being made along the way which might include prescription lenses using the same I-Vis technology. However, for the time being, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this new type of eyewear. Do you think the modern shooter could benefit from increased color depth, and contrast as well as reduced eye fatigue? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!