The word monocular is derived from the Greek word “Monos” which means “one” and the word “oculus” which means “eye”.
Monocular is a kind of Telescope (Refractor Telescope) which is used to show far objects closer and magnifies it by which we can see things more closely through it and clearly.
Its weight and Volume can be half or less than a Binocular which makes it less expensive than Binoculars(more commonly used) but almost the same features but can be used with one eye.
A Binocular is like 2 Monocular Joined together or glued together. You can imagine a monocular as same as a Telescope but a smaller version(Miniature Telescope) but less expensive. While a Binocular is used to see distant objects with two eyes.
Monoculars are very compact and lightweight as compared to Binoculars and Telescope which are not easy to hide while spying. While a Monocular can easily be hidden inside the pocket while in case of Binocular it can be possible if it’s very compact.
Monoculars can be widely used for Hunting, Spying, Range finders, military or Golf and have a wide range of applications(I will leave it to your imagination).
There are Specialist Monoculars which Consists of Night Vision, Folding feature, a built-in compass, built-in image stabilizers and many things depending on the technology advancements.
Night Vision Technology can also be used in Monoculars as Night Vision Technology exists for more than 40 years first created by the United States of America and widely used in World War 2.
Night Vision is an ability by which we are able to see objects in low light conditions e.g Night or Dark Environments, making it easy for hunting or using it for security purposes.
They were mostly used by military forces and the military is also using Night Vision Monoculars which is very easy to use. While the image produced by the Night Vision Monocular is monotone(mostly Green).
Nowadays because of Huge jump in Technology Advancements Night Vision Monoculars are way much ahead of previous versions and are now compatible with mobile.
Night Vision Technology is progressing day by day. First there was Generation 0, this was the original Generation and was created by U.S Army. The first Generation Night Vision requires a source of infrared light which is projected. This Infrared Light is called as IR Illuminator.
The light which is projected is invisible to the naked eye, the light hits the object and then returns to the Night Vision Device. These devices are now a days not used very much.
Then as time passed Generation 1 came which was widely used in Vietnam War. This Generation Model requires an Ambient light instead of IR projection. They are quite bulky and require moon light for it to work properly. These devices don’t work well on cloudy nights or moon less nights. This Generation Devices are also called as Starlight. They are also not used much and are not recommended to tactical hunters.
Then came the Generation 2, this Generation came with highly improved technology and major improvements in Performance and Resolution. With passage of time Generation 2+ came with more improvements and this Generation is widely used now a days.
Generation 3 is currently widely used by military and law enforcement units. This generation devices Tubes have much improved life time and image resolution making it the best option for modern warfare, but these require higher power consumption than the previous Generation 2. So Generation 3+ came with much more improvements but still it had problems which was covered later in..
Generation 4 also known as Filmless or Gated which came with major improvements in Low light and high light environments. This was achieved by using Automated Gates which makes the device easy to switch on and off making it absolutely best overall device to use in Low light and high light environments such as street lights or car lights which were a major problem in Generation 3.