© 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons LtdNarrow Band Imaging (NBI) is an endoscopic optical imaging enhancement technology that improves the contrast of mucosal surface texture, and enhances visualisation of mucosal and submucosal vasculature. White light is filtered to emit two 30-nm narrow bands of blue (415 nm) and green light (540 nm) light simultaneously, the former corresponding to the main peak absorption spectrum of haemoglobin, and the latter allowing visualisation of blood vessels in the deeper mucosal and submucosal layers. NBI has been used to better assess oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMD), identify oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and to define surgical margins of head and neck malignancies. NBI shows great potential in improving detection rates of OPMD, facilitating better assessment of oral and oropharyngeal SCC, and reducing the risk of recurrence for oral SCC. Although further research is required to better understand and define intrapapillary capillary loop (IPCL) patterns and to relate these with clinical, histopathological and molecular parameters especially for early mucosal changes, there is building evidence to recommend its use as the new gold standard for endoscopic assessment in head and neck oncology.