According to the Los Angeles Times, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a “thin metamaterial” that can conform to irregularly shaped objects and cause them to disappear in certain light wavelengths.
Researchers say that though technology like this has been created before, previous cloaks have been created from materials that are hard to shape and only worked from narrow angles.
This new cloak is thin and flexible enough to wrap around any object and can be tuned to match any background. It’s covered in nanoantennas made of tiny gold blocks that counteract light distortion so that an observer would see light coming off of a flat, perfect mirror surface instead, which then makes it appear that the cloak and the object aren’t even there.
Not to mention, the cloak can make things look like other things. Study author Xiang Zhang reports that you could cover a tank with the cloak and make it look like a bicycle.
Military use is being discussed for this new technology, along with uses for clothing and masks that will be person-specific. Zhang said, “This cloak may work with your face, but it doesn’t work with my face because our facial features are very different. That is the next question: can you make this cloak adaptive?”
Think about what this means! No more awkward ghosting at parties, you can just put on your cloak. No more hiding under the bed, you can just stand there in your cloak.
The cloak is described as “exceedingly small”, so it isn’t big enough to cover a whole body yet, and scientists say it will be a while before anything like this hits the market…
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Scientists Created a Real Invisibility Cloak from Complex.