The ability to see outside the wavelength allotted to the visual systems has always been everyone’s dream. Well, it seems that it is soon going to happen! Scientists at the University of Science and Technology in China have tested specialized light-tweaking nanoparticles into a mouse’s retina which has given mice the infrared vision. They are able to perceive near-infrared light with the help of the research, which they call, “ocular injectable photoreceptor-binding upconversion nanoparticles.” The experiment suggests that this might be possible for humans as well; all it would take is to inject some nanoparticles in their retina if that doesn’t bother them.
The visibility range for humans is wavelengths of lights between around 430 and 770 nm. Above this is ultraviolet and below is infrared. As we know, all objects emit IR,the heat vision goggle can see infrared in certain quantities based on the heat it imparts.
While some infrared is way beyond humans’ senses, NIR (near-infrared) is just below the range we can detect. Hence, researchers had always been working to make it possible for humans to have a more powerful vision in terms of wavelength. However, these “nanoantennae,” as the researchers call them, is completely different from night vision goggles that use electronic sensors to amplify and categorize incoming radiation outside the vision range. The molecules haven’t caused any serious eye problem, like cell death or irritation in mice. As per the research team, the findings will enhance human visual performance by extending the native visual spectrum without genetic modification and avoiding the need for bulky external devices. It is a simple, safe, and a potential tech to extend normal vision capabilities without any power requirement.