We’ve heard for years that the realization of having an invisibility cloak was on its way. We’ve even seen announcements before about usability and possible military applications. A device that is in line with the “Predator” from the movies is being realized finally. Invented by a team from the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Chengwei, has successfully come out with a thermal illusion device to control thermal camouflage and invisibility using thermotic materials. Thermotics is a branch of science dealing with heat and thermodynamics.
Said Dr Qiu, “This is the first time that such a cloak has been proven to work effectively, based on thermotics. Our success means that now we have a cloaking technology that is cost-effective and easily scalable and applicable to even bigger objects such as soldiers on night missions. We have managed to control the thermal illusions’ shapes, material properties, distributions, and locations using bulk natural materials without sophisticated fabrication. This drastically overcomes practical and challenging limitations of metamaterials which are not found in nature and hence would require complicated and complex design to imbue them with special properties. Our new technology has also overcome limitations like narrow bandwidth and polarisation-dependence.”
Surely, this will be mass marketed, and we will be able to pick these up as easily as we can get Pandora bracelets from Reeds.com. Sarcasm about that of course. What would happen if these were easily made and produced so that anyone could get one for themselves? Severe rise in crime obviously, but would we get our own vigilantes out there as well trying to be heroes? Absolutely. Every time I see something like this it always makes me wonder about its uses in the civilian world, since it was obviously created for military personnel. It’s one of those inventions that you always knew was close, but at the same time it kind of makes you wonder how it can be abused, even by the military.