Researchers have used infrared (IR) imaging and machine learning to turn monochromatic “night vision” images into their actual colors. Designed to learn and analyze the spectral signatures of individual IR wavelengths, the new system could one day offer full-color night vision tools for military applications, security professionals, and wildlife observers.
Humans see things in the visual light spectrum, allowing for the fantastic array of colors and textures perceived by the human eye. Night vision technologies mimic this ability by capturing non-visible infrared light and converting that data into a visible signal the human eye can interpret. Unfortunately, the information gathered by infrared systems limits these images to a monochromatic representation, robbing the target of its color.
Some advancements in IR technology have improved their sensitivity. However, images are still represented in green, black, and white, with the full palate of colors unavailable to the night vision user. Now, researchers from the University of California, Irvine, have cracked the code, potentially opening the door to full-color night vision technologies.
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