Thursday, May 15, 2014

Could this be the end of the flashlight?

New, low-cost chips for sensing thermal energy could lead to a raft of new night-vision products, engineers say, ushering in everything from smarter cars to handheld devices for spelunking (and possibly bug hunting).
A new technology used by Raytheon, “wafer-level packaging,” dramatically reduces the cost of making these thermal sensors. The advances could – for the first time – put a thermal weapons sight in the hands of every soldier in a platoon. But the commercial and law-enforcement uses are endless, too, developers say.

“Once it reaches a certain price point, you’ll see it kind of popping up in a lot of different areas,” said Adam Kennedy, a lead engineer at Raytheon Vision Systems. “That’s just very, very exciting.” (more)