Night Vision Contacts Possible Thanks to Infrared Technology

Night Vision Contacts Possible Thanks to Infrared Technology

contact lens

With a room-temperature light detector thin enough, scientists can make contact lenses and wearable electronics that expand a person's vision.

The engineering researchers of University of Michigan have developed a device that can integrate infrared light sensors with contact lenses, wearable devices, and cell phones.

It's all thanks to graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms. Graphene can be used with a sensor to capture visible and infrared light, and it's so small that it could be integrated into contact lenses.

The University of Michigan's room-temperature light detector is the first device that can sense the full infrared system. Infrared imaging systems require different technology to capture the range of infrared, which spans from wavelengths just longer than those of visible red light to one-millimeter long wavelengths, and infrared detectors have conventionally been cooled to make them more sensitive. However, the graphene allows the device to sense the entire infrared spectrum while being room-temperature. Unfortunately, the single-atom thickness of the graphene means it can only absorb about 2.3% of the light, making it difficult to produce an electrical signal.

University of Michigan professors Zhaohui Zong and Ted Norris used a different method of generating an electrical signal. Instead of directly measuring the electrons that are freed when light touches the graphene, they amplified the signal by examining how the electrical charges in the graphene affect a nearby current. An insulating barrier between two layers of graphene allowed one layer to send electrons to the other. This way, the room-temperature device can get similar results to that of cooled mid-infrared detectors.

Because the design can be made so thin, "it can be stacked on a contact lens or integrated with a cell phone," Zong said. "If we integrate it with a contact lens or other wearable electronics, it expands your vision. It provides you another way of interacting with your environment."

Source: Wired UK

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Gimme HEXRAY VISHUN, plz.

Oh, wait no, nvm, I hate contacts :(

How is this supposed to expand the human vision when on a contact lens? From the article it sounds like it could work as a very interesting new sensor but I think you'd probably need more electronics and a screen in the lens that would be so close that you couldn't focus on it. Wearing it behind something like Google Glass would probably mean you'd see only the heat profile of your Google Glass.

If it is cheap enough, it could be pretty awesome for a wide range of electronics but I don't think building it into a contact lens makes a lot of sense. Maybe if we develop some new imaging tech it'd be a really awesome thing.

I hate contacts. I have never worn them and hate the idea that something could get stuck in the back of my eyelids, HOWEVER... I may just overlook my usual qualms in the near future if these ever come, seeing as I am a painter it would awesome if I could be able to paint a real life object relative to its infrared appearance.

The future man... we're almost there...

Further supporting my suspicion that there's no reason for people in sci-fi movies to be using flashlights while looking for aliens in dark corners.

I get the feeling that they'd cost a bomb and then I'd drop one and lose it forever.

Can I get this is a stylish set of scratch resistant glasses? Something like the Gunnar Edge would fit my preferences.

Sound pretty cool but won't they be a pain with the current night vision con (when the light suddently appear in front of your sight when night vision is on)?

Would 'wearable devices' mean glasses and/or monocles? I can't use contacts. Too irritating.

Awesome. Just awesome. I hope these don't cost a bajillion dollars.

FalloutJack:
Would 'wearable devices' mean glasses and/or monocles? I can't use contacts. Too irritating.

I could definitely get behind a nightvison monocle. Sounds just too awesome to pass up.

You know, if you could link something like this (electronic contact lenses, not necessarily infrared ones) to a tiny little fiberscope in a platform like Google Glass, you'd be able to have a camera that tracks where your eyes are looking rather than where the prosthesis on your head is pointing. Flippin' awesome.

--Morology!

Things like these make me wish i needed contacts. I wonder if they are planning a version for people who have good vision, because i would love nightvision.

Strazdas:
Things like these make me wish i needed contacts. I wonder if they are planning a version for people who have good vision, because i would love nightvision.

Pretty much the #2 reason I was asking about the glasses/monocle thing. Apart from people with prescriptions getting it, it could just become an 'in' thing.

FalloutJack:

Strazdas:
Things like these make me wish i needed contacts. I wonder if they are planning a version for people who have good vision, because i would love nightvision.

Pretty much the #2 reason I was asking about the glasses/monocle thing. Apart from people with prescriptions getting it, it could just become an 'in' thing.

a glasses/monocle would definitely work too. But if were going monocle we may just use already current nightwision technilogy, since, you know, we got night vision googles already. I was more looking for something that could sit on the eye otherwise being unnoticed and automatically go into night vision once things become dark. sort of a thing that does not require you to keep putting things on your head. Heck. google glass has a potential there, but from what i saw google glass totaly missed all the opportunities.

Strazdas:

FalloutJack:

Strazdas:
Things like these make me wish i needed contacts. I wonder if they are planning a version for people who have good vision, because i would love nightvision.

Pretty much the #2 reason I was asking about the glasses/monocle thing. Apart from people with prescriptions getting it, it could just become an 'in' thing.

a glasses/monocle would definitely work too. But if were going monocle we may just use already current nightwision technilogy, since, you know, we got night vision googles already. I was more looking for something that could sit on the eye otherwise being unnoticed and automatically go into night vision once things become dark. sort of a thing that does not require you to keep putting things on your head. Heck. google glass has a potential there, but from what i saw google glass totaly missed all the opportunities.

And I'm sure I could go get some from He Who Selleth Said Goggles. But...you know what issue I have with goggles, binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, and sometimes non-digital cameras? They're not convenient for the use of those who wear glasses.

We certainly have the technology to make the unintrusive infrared spectacle, or even just a clip-on overlay for those of whom prescribing it to their frame specifically is costly. The question is WILL THEY DO IT?

 

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