Ever wanted to become invisible at the push of a button? Well, that may soon become a reality. In scientific terms, invisibility is “often considered the supreme form of camouflage, as it doesn’t show any kind of vital, visual, nor any of the frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum such as radio, infrared, ultraviolet, etc.” We’ve rounded up three amazing real-life invisibility cloaks for your viewing enjoyment. Continue reading to see them all.
3. 3D Invisibility Cloak
In 2008, Chip Cohen, W1YW invented the first wideband invisibility cloak, using it to slip stream microwaves from one side of an object to another. But Harry Potter, aside, where is the ‘killer app’? W1YW found that killer app-making towers, mast, and coax disappear. With a new version of the patent and patent pending invisibility cloak,showcasing 3D, he made an antenna mast section disappear, with a wide bandwidth, at UHF and microwave. The RF waves curled around the mast to the opposite side, as if the mast wasn’t there. “The moment was chilling. Suddenly invisibility cloaks became far more than playthings for egghead scientists chasing grants. They are practical devices. ”
The invisibility cloak is a layered structure made from little fractal resonators, arranged close together, much like Marconi and Franklins’ 1919 antenna reflector made from conventional end loaded resonators. But this arrangement guides waves around an object so they appear on the opposite side. “There is no power and no little guy inside flicking some switch.”
The cloak is made using Retro-reflective Projection Technology, a process that superimposes the virtual world onto the real world. They call it creating an ‘Augmented Reality.’ (Creepy, right?) So actually, the cloak is not invisible per se, but rather made of lots of tiny beads that reflect light only in the direction they came from.
A camera in the cloak takes in the scene behind the wearer. Then, according to Creator’s Project: “A computer processes the background imagery and relays it to a projector that filters through a half mirror and projects the scene onto the wearer. From a certain angle, the cloaked person looks transparent to onlookers.”
Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas have hijacked one of nature’s most intriguing phenomena – the mirage – to make an invisibility cloak. It can hide objects from view, works best underwater and even has a near-instant on/off switch. To understand how it works, you need to first grasp the basics of the mirage effect. This unusual experience, sometimes seen in the desert or on hot roads during the summer, can trick your brain into seeing objects that aren’t really there.
It happens when a big change in temperature over a small distance bends light rays so they’re sent towards the eye rather than bouncing off the surface. So if you see a pool of blue water in the middle of the desert it’s just the blue sky being redirected from the warm ground and sent directly into your eye. Your brain, being the clever little computer that it is, swaps this mad image out for something more sensible: a pool of water.