Scientists have developed new night-vision filters for eyeglasses that allow people to see clearly in the tech.
The ultra-thin film is comprised of nanometre-scale crystals that transform infrared light into images that people can see. Per the study paper:
In this process, an infrared image of a target is mixed inside the metasurface [of nanocrystal layers] with a strong pump beam, translating the image from the infrared to the visible in a nanoscale ultrathin imaging device.
The researchers say the tech could one day be applied to standard glasses and other lenses, and powered by a tiny built-in laser. They also envision employing machine learning to simultaneously enhance the light-matter interactions.
Dragomir Neshev, a professor in physics at the Australian National University (ANU), said the prototype tech is the first of its kind:
This is the first time anywhere in the world that infrared light has been successfully transformed into visible images in an ultra-thin screen. It’s a really exciting development and one that we know will change the landscape for night vision forever.
Neshev’s bold prediction is based on the tech’s low cost, light weight, and ease of producing, which could make them accessible to everyday users.
The researchers the tech could help people drive at night or walk home after dark. But as anyone who’s played Call of Duty knows, it could also prove useful in warfare.
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