Petzl recently unveiled its new Nao Headlamp, with a self-adjusting beam that reacts to light conditions. This means that the beam dims and narrows when your working up close and brightens and widens when your looking at something in the distance.

Pretty cool idea. So cool, it’s surprising somebody didn’t think of it sooner. Maybe the technology wasn’t small enough yet to slap on a person’s head comfortably…

The Nao features a light sensor above its two lights that analyzes reflected light and adjust the beam accordingly. Petzl claims that in addition improving night vision and reducing the need to manually adjust the beam, the Nao increases the charge life of its recharable batteries by using light more efficiently.

Not happy with the factory settings? You can download software from the Petzl website that lets you change the brightness and distance settings to your own preferences. You can also save specific settings for different activities.

Of course, all this technology comes at a cost. This isn’t one of those headlamps they give away inside Nalgene bottles (has anyone else seen those?). The Nao will cost $175, when it become available in July 2012.

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