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11403275_m featureSimple contact lenses granting security guards and first responders night vision capabilities – no, they still don’t exist, but American researchers from the University of Michigan have already started developing the technology that will make them possible in the future.

The research team created an infrared sensor composed of an extremely thin layer of Graphene, a layer that could potentially be incorporated into contact lenses in the future. Graphene absorbs infrared light and translates it into electric signals, similar to the way silicone chips work with visible light in digital cameras.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

Researchers took two layers of graphene separated by an insulating layer and added electric currents to the mix. When infrared light hit the resulting product it caused an electric reaction, one powerful enough to be translated into a visible image.

If they can find a way to integrate the new product into wearable electronics, said the researchers, it will significantly improve the capabilities of the human eye. The researchers, who require additional funding to continue development, added that there are other potential uses for the technology, especially for the cellular and automobile markets. In the future, for example, drivers might be able to see the road at night through their windshield even in very difficult conditions.

Source: Wired