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Research breakthrough promises night vision revolution

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May 4, 2010

Research breakthrough promises night vision revolution

Research breakthrough promises night vision revolution

A team at University of Florida has developed a new thin film technology that can convert infrared light into visible light. In layman terms, we can stop eating carrots to improve our night vision because it might soon be applied cheaply to our eye glasses, car windshields, even our cell phones, and it could be here in a little as 18 months.

Current night vision devices use huge amounts of electricity (thousands of volts) and heavy glass lenses that create a vacuum in order to work.

Adapted from flat screen television technology, the new film works with no vacuum and uses energy-efficient, organic LEDs. This keeps weight down, with a full scale device potentially weighing as little as 10 grams being only a few microns thick.

It could take as little as 18 months to upscale the the device for practical applications and it may revolutionize night vision goggles and other military applications, not to mention have wide-ranging domestic applications such as eye-glasses and cars.

Researchers also want to expand the technology to measure heat. Such a phone could be used to detect fever, heat loss from homes could be pin-pointed to reduce energy consumption, or a "smart" windshield could make pedestrians easier to spot. With the cheaper technology the possibilities are endless.

The research from the University of Florida was outlined recently in the journal Advanced Materials.

Via: Discovery.

5 Comments

A new and innovative application of organic LEDs!! Congratulations.

Dr.A.jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Dr.A.Jagadeesh
4th May, 2010 @ 06:35 am PDT

Stop!!!! Think. Infra red is heat!!! Turning heat to light!!! Turn the light into electricity using PV!!!!

I assume its not as easy as that but it tickles me!!

froginapot
5th May, 2010 @ 09:44 pm PDT

This is really not a good thing. Currently, night vision is fairly expensive, and kept out of the hands of most people, especially those in Iraq, Afghanistan, et al. who are fighting our troops. Once this technology becomes inexpensive and in the hands of hostiles, we will no longer "rule the night."

SRS
10th May, 2010 @ 12:45 pm PDT

You are thinking of this product wrong... you won't be able to just slather it on any transparent window or windshield and magically begin to see distinct infrared objects. The infrared light will need to be focused onto the material... not just transmit through it. There is infrared radiation being emitted in 360degrees from everything all onto the same points on the film... without a focusing apparatus, it will all be a uniform "glow" of visible infrared.

Physics, folks!

matthew.rings
1st June, 2010 @ 07:00 pm PDT

SRS is right about the shift in tactical advantage, but think more broadly: In the long sweep of history it is one more step away from domination by wealth and armies. It was a historians' cliche that "peasent revolts never succeed" because they could not beat troops that drilled. formed square and charged on command. Then came the musket, the Minutemen's defeat of Gerge III's armies, the rifle, and the IED.

"Our guys" are in Aghanistan for no clear reason, and the local equivalent of the NRA has kept them from winning for nine years. This always leads imperial troops to look homeward in anger.

If the next general who gets angry with the White House reaches the point of staging a coup, a lot of US civilians on the left and right will be glad of cheap night vision.

Facebook User
25th June, 2010 @ 06:37 am PDT
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