We present overall specifications and science goals for a new optical and near-infrared (350 - 1650 nm) instru- ment designed to greatly enlarge the current Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) phase space. The Pulsed All-sky Near-infrared Optical SETI (PANOSETI) observatory will be a dedicated SETI facility that aims to increase sky area searched, wavelengths covered, number of stellar systems observed, and duration of time monitored. This observatory will offer an “all-observable-sky” optical and wide-field near-infrared pulsed tech- nosignature and astrophysical transient search that is capable of surveying the entire northern hemisphere. The final implemented experiment will search for transient pulsed signals occurring between nanosecond to second time scales. The optical component will cover a solid angle 2.5 million times larger than current SETI targeted searches, while also increasing dwell time per source by a factor of 10,000. The PANOSETI instrument will be the first near-infrared wide-field SETI program ever conducted. The rapid technological advance of fast-response optical and near-infrared detector arrays (i.e., Multi-Pixel Photon Counting; MPPC) make this program now feasible. The PANOSETI instrument design uses innovative domes that house 100 Fresnel lenses, which will search concurrently over 8,000 square degrees for transient signals (see Maire et al. and Cosens et al., this conference). In this paper, we describe the overall instrumental specifications and science objectives for PANOSETI.