Infrared headsets certainly look cool in movies, but what if we head the capability to forego the bulky headgear and just be able to see in infrared on our own? Sure, we’d have to be an alien like Predator at this point, but scientists at MIT may have found a way to create contact lenses that let you see in infrared.
In a paper published in ‘Nano Letters’, researchers suggest that using a graphene-based design, the technology used to make infrared goggles could be condensed into something as thin as contact lenses.
Graphene is a modification of carbon where the atoms are aligned in a hexagonal lattice. (It looks like a honeycomb.) Graphene is very sensitive to the entire infrared spectrum.
The MIT scientists suggest that putting a layer of graphene on top of a silicon microelectromechanical system or MEMS (i.e. a really small technological device) could be a first step in creating infrared contact lenses.
While this clearly has use in military applications, other occupations, such as firefighters, would be able to benefit from this technology as well.