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News, Technology, Wearables

The Early Signs of Invisibility

Kenton Reynolds

Kenton Reynolds, Writer
@uxconnections

HyperStealth are bringing the stuff of Harry Potter pipe dreams to life with their groundbreaking material that creates complete camouflage.

With their own patent-pending material, Quantum Stealth, HysperStealth believe they have created the first true invisibility screen with a whole host of applications. The material has a negative refractive index to prevent lightwaves passing straight through. To achieve the Houdini-esque effect that this product does, there have been many versions of the material each furthering the level of camouflage that users achieve.

Initially, Version 1 was created with two parallel lenses placed together to create a raw lenticular lens screen that can hide objects directly behind as long as those objects have the same orientation as the screen. This technology has been available since the late 1920s with limited applications.

Version 2 was a more impressive breakthrough. The creator inadvertently invented a new material by placing two lenticular lenses next to each other which was theorized by a Russian physicist in late 60s but never created until now. This was thought to be the creation of complete concealment from visible light. In 2012, the inventor of this cloak was knighted by the Queen for his discovery. However, it had the problem of reversing some objects as opposed to concealing them as seen in a HyperStealth press release which shows a man walking with his unobscured torso heading to the right and his bottom half (behind the screen) walking in the opposite direction.

Furthering this invention, Version 3 removed this issue by adding another screen and slightly offsetting them both. This means that the objects now appear in the correct position – whereas before they were displaced – but are outside of the field of view as long as they are a given distance from the screen, depending on the screen’s thickness. More creases have been ironed out with the two screens finally being sealed together to create a single piece in 2021 which reduces blur and flare. The images of Quantum Stealth in work are incredibly impressive.

In terms of adapting this technology to clothing we may still be a way off. The closest company to achieve an invisible jacket is Vollebak who have developed one that hides from thermal imaging cameras. Though this is certainly not as impressive as hiding from visible light, all the waves are on the EM Spectrum and hopefully light can be manipulated in a similar way in the near future.

Whilst we are still a way away from true invisibility cloaks, the moves being made are ones that were thought of as entirely impossible just a few years ago. The Quantum Stealth already has a plethora of longer range uses in its current state and with the development that is expected will soon be removing a lot of the immediately obvious imperfections that make it visible close up.

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