Night-vision goggles have always looked cool. Wearing one gave you a feeling as if you were part of some special black ops team. However, they do have a pretty big and bulky bearing. Plus they are military tech so they are expensive if you want to buy one for yourself or a friend who might be a Call Of Duty: Warzone fan. But what if you could get the same experience just by applying a thin film to your glasses?
A group of scientists at the Australian National University or ANU has now developed a new night vision technology that might be the first of its kind. I surely haven’t heard of a night vision film in the past years. This ultra-thin film can be applied directly to glasses to act as a filter, needing only a simple laser to convert infrared light into images the wearer can see.
The film was made using nanocrystal technology, which is an array of tiny particles hundreds of times thinner than a human hair. These particles are able to convert incoming photos present in infrared light into higher-energy photos of the visible spectrum. Basically making those photos visible to the naked eye. The team has been working on this technology for years. The last breakthrough they had was in 2016 when they successfully fabricated a crystal onto a plane of glass.
And now it seems that they’ve finally succeeded in creating a prototype that is lightweight, cheap, and easy to mass-produce. Perhaps everyone will be able to see in the night from now on. Their finding was published in the journal Advanced Photonics. According to lead researcher, Dr. Rocio Camacho Morales, “We have made the invisible visible”.
Dr. Morales further explained that “Our technology is able to transform infrared light, normally invisible to the human eye, and turn this into images people can clearly see – even at distance. We’ve made a very thin film, consisting of nanometre-scale crystals, hundreds of times thinner than a human hair, that can be directly applied to glasses and acts as a filter, allowing you to see in the darkness of the night”.
The study might pave for even the military to let go of their bulky night vision goggles but it could even be a tool to help those who have trouble seeing in the dark. Possibly applying the film to their glasses to help drive better at night.