In news from the why-didn't-anyone-think-of-this-before department, the US Army has recently filed a patent for an improved rifle night scope that'll let soldiers keep their heads down while still being able to spot their target. Current night scopes require soldiers to raise their head above the rifle to look through it, and move their head away before shooting to avoid getting slammed by the gun's recoil. This new system simply connects the infrared night scope to a video viewfinder than can be attached to the soldier's helmet, letting them raise the rifle above their head or around a corner without sticking their neck out. No word yet on when the patent will be put into practice -- or if it already has been, for that matter -- but we're guessing that it can't come soon enough for those folks actually doing the sniping.

[Via NewScientist]