New Inexpensive Material Will Turn Night Into Day

Illustration for article titled New Inexpensive Material Will Turn Night Into Day

The University of Florida—funded by DARPA—has found a film-thin material that will add inexpensive, lightweight night vision to everything, from gadgets to cameras to car windshields. The key was in the same technology that powers OLED displays.

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The new material is made from seven layers of Organic Light Emitting Diodes, which get excited by infrared light. As the light passes through the layers, they generate electricity charges that get amplified by the next layer, turning total darkness into clarity. Right now, the prototype only covers one square centimeter, but scientists think they will be able to scale it up to the size of a car windshield. [Popsci]

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DISCUSSION

Scaling up to the size of a car windshield is DUMB. Ever look through a night vision lens and have someone shine a low power flashlight at you?

It's instant blindness.

Now take that and throw the High Intensity Discharge headlights into the mix, like you find on the upper end BMWs and other luxury cars.

You're not going to be able to see squat for a while...I suppose you could have some sort of auto-dimming feature in it, like welding helmets have, but if you cut the power at night, you'd still probably be blind...

This is one of the inherent problems with night vision, and probably always will be...