New Sensor Could Bring Night-Vision Contact Lenses To The Market

Superhuman abilities may become the norm thanks to this technological development.


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed an infrared light sensor that can easily be placed into contact lenses, a move that could expand our current vision capability and provide us with another way of interacting with our surroundings.

Ted Norris and Zhaohui Zhong created the extremely thin sensor using graphene, which is an atom-thin material similar to graphite that has the ability to simply attach onto a commercial contact lens. Graphene has a 2-dimensional, crystalline allotrope that can absorb the infrared rays and convert them into an electrical signal – giving the user the potential to gain heat-vision technology when the lenses are worn. Norris and Zhong’s team then put an insulating layer between two layers of graphene and supplied it with an electric current which, when the infrared light hits this combination, ingeniously creates a visible image.

Our work pioneered a new way to detect light,” said Zhong. “We envision that people will be able to adopt this same mechanism in other material and device platforms.”

The new technology is primarily being marketed to the army, who could use it to enhance their field of vision when on difficult missions. The night-vision technology could potentially be used in car windows to enhance nighttime driving or in smartphones in dark rooms.

Sources: Wired, University Of Michigan

 

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