World's first-ever smart binoculars can identify 9,000 birds thanks to built-in AI

Swarovski Optik AX Visio
(Image credit: Swarovski)

When you think of smart binoculars, you imagine that they will be able to take captures of your observations, maybe at a push, and bigger budget you will get 1080P video recordings.

Well, Swarovski has ripped up the playbook of 'smart' and introduced a new standard in high-class observation equipment with the launch of its new Swarovski Optik Ax Visio smart binoculars – the world’s first AI-supported binoculars, a perfect symbiosis of high-performance analogue long-range optics and digital intelligence.

(Image credit: Swarovski Optik)

At the touch of a button, these new binoculars can assist with the identification of birds and other creatures, allow discoveries to be shared, and offer a wide range of practical extra functions. World-famous industrial designer Marc Newson is responsible for the design of these binoculars, Swarovski Optik is introducing the future of nature observation to the masses, after 5-year of research and development - and I like it!

The AX Visio 10x32 binoculars add new dimensions to natural experiences with numerous functions including intelligent technology combined with high-precision analogue optics in Swarovision quality to assist with the real-time identification of more than 9,000 birds and other wildlife. 

(Image credit: Swarovski Optik)

The built-in camera can capture photos and videos, which can then be immediately managed and shared with your smartphone using the associated Swarovski Optik Outdoor App. Within the app, you have the option to “Share discoveries”, this function is another exciting development that allows users to guide another person to the observed object using arrow markers in the display, allowing everyone in your group with these binoculars to spot that rare bird themselves!

Celebrated designer Marc Newson who helped create the distinctive look of the Swarovski Optik AX Visio binoculars (Image credit: Swarovski Optik)

This technological observation marvel consists of 390 hardware parts to achieve its function, and the analogue components of the device, such as the optics and housing, comply with sustainable standards at Swarovski.

"The performance of the included digital features are regularly updated and enhanced through regular system and function updates via the app. Also an open programming interface gives creative external providers the opportunity to expand the AX Visio with new functionalities. Our aim is to promote an innovative system that continuously develops and meets users’ needs for enhanced vision and more information as effectively as possible", says Swarovski's Andreas Gerk.

(Image credit: Swarovski Optik)

The design also plays a distinct factor in these wonderful binoculars,  These distinctive design choices for the AX Visio binoculars were created by Marc Newson, a world-famous industrial designer, in collaboration with Swarovski Optik. His key priorities included a modern appearance and intuitive handling for the smart binoculars, combined with an ergonomic design that feels comfortable to hold. Following on from the CL Curio, the AX Visio are now the second binoculars from the brand to owe their form to the Australian-born designer.

For someone who really can't stand AI imaging, I must bite my tongue in awe, just the pure notion of being able to pick up a pair of binoculars, point to a bird, and know with a click of a button an identification can be made is a pure dream in the world of birding or wildlife observations, but this isn't a dream, Swarovski has achieved, what I thought was the impossible. 

These binoculars open up a whole new world of wildlife conversations to the masses take all the hard work out, and make identification processes obserlete - I think these are a true marvel and completely game-changing. However, this being on the cusp of technology, mere beginners might want to check their checkbooks before thinking they will be buying these for their next adventure, as the price of the new  Swarovski Optik AX Visio will be $4,799 / £3,820 when they go on sale in February 2024. 

See other binoculars with built-in cameras

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.

He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 

He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.