I love science fiction. Combine it with a mystery and that’s even better. Set it in a dystopian setting and I’m thrilled. I admit that I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books and pretty much every dystopian novel I can find. It’s always seemed to me that the people who really could use the invisibility cloaks are the characters in those dystopian novels.
I was excited to discover on CNN this week that researchers at the University of Rochester have created a “3-D, transmitting, continuously multidirectional cloaking device.” This is a significant achievement because it has been possible to cloak in one direction and under stringent conditions, but to cloak in multiple directions and in 3-D opens up an entirely new range of possibilities. Also, previous cloaking technologies have distorted the background and made it obvious that something was distorting the background.
As explained in a video by Matthew Mann, the cloak invented by researchers John Howell and Joseph Choi can be used to help surgeons see through their hands during operations. It could be used to see through blind spots while driving. This is possible because the cloak uses four lenses and bent light to make the object invisible – not the entire spot the object occupies. So you could see the table but not the dish sitting upon the table. You could see the forest, but not the person making her way through the forest. Which brings us to another point: These cloaks could be used for military operations. They could hide airplanes, weapons, soldiers … It’s frankly frightening to imagine.
An individual could build a cloaking device for about $150. It’s a device and not a cloak because it isn’t currently in the form of a coat your put on or a blanket you wrap around yourself, although there is research being done in that area. At the current time, the lenses are set in place at a precisely calculated distance from the object.
Feeling a desperate need for a cloaking device of your own? Follow these steps. I’m going to wait for the fabric version.