See In The Dark With Night Vision Contact Lenses
Who wouldn't love to see in the dark? Imagine all the bruises you would prevent and money you would save on electricity. An idea best remembered from the rainy Tyrannosaurus Rex scene in the original Jurassic Park movie in 1993, night vision, without clunky technology, is finally getting closer to reality.
Researchers at University of Michigan have chosen to use graphene to achieve this vision, a material that consists of layers of carbon, that when separated into one single layer, becomes super conducting, strong and ultra-thin - perfect for integration into a contact lens or smart phone camera lens.
Graphene absorbs the entire infrared spectrum, as well as visible and ultraviolet light, however in it's single layer form, it only absorbs 2.3% of the light that hits it - not enough light to generate a detectable electrical signal. If the light can't produce an electrical signal, graphene can't be used as a sensor.
The breakthrough came when researchers discovered how to reconfigure the layers of graphene to absorb enough light to generate an electrical signal, in order to amplify and reconstruct the infrared image. They do this by layering the graphene with an electrical current and it all happens at room temperature without need for a cooling mechanism.
The current prototype is the size of a pinky nail, but easily scaled down to fit on a contact lens.
It's not the only thing embedded in your contact lenses. Remember the diabetes monitoring contact lens glucose sensor that google are making? That combined with the fact that researchers have managed to embed an LED, antenna, radio receiver and control circuitry into a contact lens in the past means we'll soon be able to do everything from the comfort of our contact lenses. Lucky I've been wearing them since I was 13, so I have lots of practice.
Can't wait for them to be FDA approved and all that jazz? Get yourself some night vision goggles while you're waiting here.