Swarovski just lifted the veil on its new smart binoculars which effortlessly recognize birds with a simple point-and-focus mechanism. The innovation lies in its integration with the Merlin Bird ID database, boasting over 9,000 species. Not only does it identify birds, but it also gauges the likelihood of the sighting based on the bird’s usual habitat.
The binoculars are more than just bird identifiers. They come equipped with a multifunctional wheel, reminiscent of a camera’s, offering access to a suite of identification databases for various wildlife including mammals, dragonflies, and butterflies. Additionally, an integrated camera allows for capturing and sharing images and videos directly to a smartphone. The design is future-proof, with provisions for adding custom databases, like those for star constellations or airplane models, catering to a range of outdoor enthusiasts.
A standout feature is the discovery sharing capability. When you spot something intriguing, you can mark it and pass the binoculars to a companion. They’ll be guided by flashing arrows to the same point of interest. This feature was impressively demonstrated at CES, proving its efficacy even in crowded environments.
The design includes three lenses, with the central one housing a 13-megapixel sensor capable of shooting high-definition photos and videos. With 8GB of storage, it can store an hour of video or 1,700 photos. The binoculars also offer exceptional magnification and image quality, thanks to Swarovski's superior lenses known for their high light transmission, minimal distortion, and vibrant color representation.
As a novice birdwatcher, these binoculars present an opportunity to bridge the knowledge gap with seasoned ornithologists. They offer a way to engage more deeply with the natural world, even for those without extensive birding expertise.
However, the AX Visio comes with a hefty price tag of €4,600 (about $5,000), reflecting its advanced capabilities and premium build. Expected to be available for home delivery starting February, these binoculars are poised to transform the wildlife observation experience for enthusiasts and professionals alike.