Whenever the question “what superpower would you want” comes up, there’s always at least one person who wants to be invisible. With a generation (plus) of kids lusting after Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak among us, I have to guess that still applies with kids today.
I mean sure, you might hear and see some things you wish you hadn’t, but Harry also got some seriously good and fun use out of his.
If you’re hoping to grab an invisibility cloak – or in this case, a shield – of your own, well, listen up.
The tech is called Quantum Stealth, and was developed by Canadian camouflage design company Hyperstealth. The material is as thin as paper, inexpensive, and requires no power source, which is pretty amazing.
It’s not as good as Harry’s magical tech, but honestly, it does a pretty good job concealing stuff.
To make it work, they utilize the same approach as lenticular lenses, which is used in those paintings that appear 3D if you look at it a certain way.
The material bends light in a way that makes only things very close, or very far away, visible -so any object or person behind it at a middle distance becomes invisible. It can bend light from mid- and near-ultraviolet to infrared, and once you add in the fact that cameras largely don’t work outside the visible light spectrum, the effects of the tech are even more remarkable on film.
Since it does distort the background, though, people would know something was being hidden, just not what.
The idea uses Snell’s law, a well-known and straightforward physics principle that basically says that every material has a specific refractive index, a quantity related to the speed of light in that material compared to the speed of light in a vacuum.
You can see it at home using a glass of water and a spoon, since the latter will appear bent to the naked eye.
Basically, when light moves between two materials, the angle at which it is moving will change depending on the refractive index – this new tech is basically constructing a blindspot.
Hyperstealth’s Guy Cramer has been working on the tech since 2010, and recently filed 4 patents related to the project.
He’s also published a series of videos on how it works, and it’s pretty crazy to watch.
I’m not quite smart enough to understand how this works, but I’m certainly fascinated!
Do you need this for your life? Are you going to wait until something better comes along? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!