Unlike other night vision optics that can filter out sudden flashes of light, contacts may blind the wearer in cases where sudden lighting happens. If the graphene contacts can see UV rays, you will definitely want to avoid sunny days.

Can You See In The Dark?

Night Vision Contacts A Reality?

Night Vision ContactsThe use of a nearly two dimensional material known as graphene in contact lenses may make it possible to see infrared and ultraviolet light without using expensive optical equipment. The ability to see in infrared (which would be a pain on hot days) may let individuals see anything that emits heat, including people. You could also use it to see where all the heat is escaping from your house on a winter day, or notice creepy people hiding in the dark, presumably wearing the same optics.

Word that DARPA was testing night vision contact lenses led to a sudden rush of interest in the field of low light vision and optics for soldiers and first responders who may need to operate in the dark without additional lighting. A variety of night vision contacts are in development, including ones that are passive, amplifying available light sources, and ones that use infrared or FLIR to create a clearer view. The latter option may only be science fiction, since FLIR requires sensitive electronics and has historically been bulky in comparison to other night optics.

Thermal imaging is also used in a variety of industrial and utility applications, so IR contacts could be hugely useful for workers who inspect power lines to find points of resistance, or mechanical engineers who could either see if a pipe was hot or conversely if it should be showing infrared light and was not. In computer hardware engineering, currently handheld thermometers are used to see if a part of the circuit board is overheating, but with the right lenses this could essentially be seen in real time. Similarly, auto mechanics, HVAC repair techs, firefighters, and law enforcement personnel could detect hazards which may otherwise be unseen. In the same way that a person could see the warm hood of a car, police who use FLIR to find evidence or firearms that have been thrown out could also items that were thrown out and still retain some residual body heat.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Without much more information, it would be hard to see if infrared contacts would be useful in well-lit environments or if they would create a hazard. Note that night vision helmets historically have created issues for helicopter pilots and contributed to crashes.