- A new, paper thin film could help you to see in the dark.
- The device borrows from the existing technology in flat screen TVs.
- The film could be used in eyeglasses, cell phone cameras or car windshields.
Adapting technology found in flat screen television sets, scientists have created a thin film that converts infrared light into visible light. The technology could give cell phones, eyeglasses and car windshields cheap, lightweight night vision.
"This device can convert any infrared image into a visible image and would weigh no more than a pair of eyeglasses," said Franky So, a scientist at the University of Florida who describes his new night vision technology in a recent article in the journal Advanced Materials that was funded in part by advanced technology powerhouse DARPA.
Most night vision devices today use massive amounts of electricity -- often several thousand volts, according to So -- and heavy, glass lenses that maintain a vacuum to make the night come alive. So's device takes a radically different turn, replacing glass with thin plastic, eliminating the vacuum and using energy-efficient, organic LEDs.