Via The Observer, reprinted in the Guardian Online
Becoming Invisible Almost A Reality
Japanese scientists have turned fantasy into reality by creating an invisibility cloak that makes it possible to see straight through its wearer. He, or she, simply vanishes from view.
The garment – demonstrated last week at Nextfest, an exhibition of emerging technologies in San Francisco – is the work of Japanese inventor Susumu Tachi, a professor of computer science and physics at the University of Tokyo. ‘It’s a kind of augmented reality,’ he said of his device.
In reality, the ‘optical camouflage’ cloak is anything but invisible. It is made up of ‘retro-reflective material’ coated with tiny light-reflective beads that cover its entire length. The cloak is also fitted with cameras that project what is at the back of the wearer on to the front, and vice versa. The effect, as the Japanese team demonstrated last week, is to make the wearer blend with his background.