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See-Through Sensors Hide Eye-Tracking in Plain Sight

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An 8 x 8 array of photodetectors made of graphene and quantum dots is barely visible on a piece of clear quartz.

The development could lead to eye-tracking applications in which image sensors go right in front of the eye, instead of to the side as they are in today’s devices.

Credit: ACS Photonics

Semi-transparent image sensors developed by researchers at Spain's Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and image sensor provider Qurv Technologies could be incorporated into eyeglasses or curved windshields in front of a user's eyes, with their readout electronics positioned on the side.

BIST's Frank Koppens said the technology could reduce the bulkiness of eye-tracking hardware, enable more accurate gaze detection, and streamline computational complexity.

The sensors' approximately 90% transparent photodetectors use quantum dots that absorb and pass on photons to atoms-thick graphene for conversion into voltage.

Koppens said this conversion is about 60% efficient, which is "quite high, comparable to conventional silicon photodetectors, and enough for eye-tracking."

From IEEE Spectrum
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