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Cloak of Invisibility Coming Soon?

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the still-no-belt-of-hill-giant-strength-tho dept.

Technology 505

Chris writes "The idea of an "invisibility cloak" has made the leap from science fiction books to an international patent application. The "three dimensional cloaking process and apparatus" for concealing objects and people (WO 02/067196) employs photodetectors on the rear surface which are used to record the intensity and color of a source of illumination behind the object. Light emitters on the front surface then generate light beams that exactly mimic the same measured intensity, color and trajectory. The result is that an observer looking at the front of the object appears to see straight through it."

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The biggest question of course... (5, Funny)

kylus (149953) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188207)

...what's the bonus to saving throws when wearing it? :)

Re:The biggest question of course... (0, Redundant)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188233)


Ah yes, the first of what I would guess will be hundreds of jokes about D&D.

Must of been a Predator 1 & 2 marthon on TBS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188299)

let me know when these guys figure out how to make a magic carpet.

Re:The biggest question of course... (5, Funny)

oval_pants (602266) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188318)


+1 bonus
-6000 dexterity for "wheelbarrow that you'll need to carry the batteries, fuel cells or magic moonbeams " post [slashdot.org]

Say what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188212)

Why would I want a Cock of Invisability?

Re:Say what? (1)

severnaGates (586768) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188237)

So you can walk in opn your parents in the middle of sex.

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188283)

Well, if I had a cock that unimpressive, I wouldn't want anyone to see it.

Pass gas, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188213)

Thank you.

Practicality? (5, Insightful)

nuggz (69912) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188214)

There are many angles crossing an object, although this may work for simple front to back (as the article states)
I don't think it is that workable for all directions, or even more then a few.

Re:Practicality? (1)

Lshmael (603746) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188269)

It could still be useful. Wrap the Mona Lisa in the middle of one of these babies and watch it seemingly disappear, leaving a blank wall in its stead.

Re:Practicality? (1, Interesting)

lburdet (552112) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188311)

actually, it *could* work in 3-D...
follow me on this one... assuming it reproduces the light intensity it received on one side *exactly*!!

if one were to built a perfectly spherical such object, there would indeed be no trace of you... all incident rays would be propagated through the center of the sphere to the other side.
come to think of it, i don't think you'd even have a shadow, which could have given you away... a shadow is whe something "blocks" the sun's rays... thing is, the rays are blocked, but then re-created at the exact opposite of the sphere...

a wall won't be useful, but walking aroung in a bubble-boy-like sphere could work, imho

Re:Practicality? (2, Insightful)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188322)

This would be pretty good camo though. you would see only a distortion from a distance. One could take this a step further and make polygon dectectors / projectors giving you sides. I know it would not be perfect but you just want to make youself hard to see in combat.

Re:Practicality? (5, Insightful)

lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188323)

I don't think it is that workable for all directions, or even more then a few.

Well, that depends on what you mean by workable.

Just getting the hue and intensity right (and being able to vary those) will go a very long way. It's not for nothing that English fishermen weren't allowed to paint their hulls white in days of yore, or that Mountbatten had his fleet painted pink. (The sky is brigther than the ocean at dusk/night and hence a light hull blends in. And pink works better agains the redder skies of asian waters).

The US Army even conducted trials with lamps on tanks to make them harder to spot as silouettes against the sky on a ridge line for example.

Now, the light trick is unworkable for other reasons (you have to be quick on the switch) should you drive in front of a dark object. So if this process could be automated there's much to be gained.

Now, of course if your main objection that this is far from a cloak of invisibility, that's for certain. But it could be quite useful camouflage.

And kids remember the old adage "A running soldier in a camoflague uniform, looks just like a running soldier in a camoflague uniform." Camouflage is still very much a stationary art. I doubt that tricks like these would change that much.

Another limitation (2)

volpe (58112) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188337)


I don't think it is that workable for all directions, or even more then a few.

Not only that, but you'd have to look at it from a pre-determined distance in order for the rendered view-angle to be appropriate.

Re:Practicality? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188345)

There is still one issue left: Make yourself invisible for a specified range of the spectrum, and you will be also blind in the same spectrum. There is no way to measure in a given spectrum without having a measurable effect in the same spectrum. Experimental physics is full of ways to figure out the influence of your own measurement on the "real" values of the things you are measuring.

Re:Practicality? Comoflage (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188376)

One principle of comoflage is that you don't have to be invisible. People just have to not actualy notice your presence.

This means that an imperfect cloak (skin fit chamelian suite) would work great for the usual infiltration, espionage and assasination type functions.

At least it would be better that a black catsuite.

Re:Practicality? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188380)

My feeling is that this guy knows he doesn't have a chance of making a practical "cloaking device." I think he's just claiming the patent on the idea before anyone else does. Then, when someone else in the future figures out how to make a bona-fide cloaking device (complete with that awesome Romulan warbird cloaking sound), he'll charge them a licensing fee for their design because he already patented the basic idea. Sure, to be granted a patent, he has to have built a cloaking device already. But what if it's only, say, 10% functional? Not at all useful, but he would still claim prior art on the thing.

It's like trawling through science fiction, picking out all of the interesting (but currently unworkable) design ideas, making crude mock-ups of how they might work, and patening them.

moving "eyes" can pick it up? (1)

guest12 (248543) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188215)

but how does it deal with binocular vision

Re:moving "eyes" can pick it up? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188236)

but how does it deal with binocular vision


Very Carefully.

Re:moving "eyes" can pick it up? (4, Insightful)

trix_e (202696) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188336)

My completely uneducated guess is that the object will appear a lot like those "magic eyes" pictures that were all the rage a few years ago...

i.e. when you move from side to side (or up/down) the object will shift at a slightly different rate than the background, and your senses will detect something. you may not be able to tell what it is, but something will feel "off". I'm sure at greater distances the effect will be less, and therefore the technique will be more useful.

Reminds me of Predator, and the way that it shimmered when it moved. My guess is that they used the same thought when they made that movie.

Very cool.

invented that when i was like 10y old.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188219)

done that .. been there.. not a new idea..

Re:invented that when i was like 10y old.. (1)

Modern_Celt (105567) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188238)

Please provide prior art.

Re:invented that when i was like 10y old.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188316)

The Chameleon.

Re:invented that when i was like 10y old.. (1)

paule9984673 (547932) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188369)

William Gibson: Neuromancer. There's a street gang that uses exactly this idea for their clothes.

Re:invented that when i was like 10y old.. (1)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188267)

I'll second that. I think a lot of peole have thought of it; it's probably in some sci-fi film; or maybe we just missed the patenting opportunity. Incidentally, it would work from several sides - it just needs to be spherical (and non-malleable) with any point going to the exact opposite point.

I thought of this when I was at high school doing physics and learning about fibre optics - with them you wouldn't even have to power the damn thing (although I don't know if you'd need a light source - I never did try it...)

GITS (1)

Nanite (220404) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188222)

Now I just want to see bionic naked women spys falling off of buildings wearing this thing.

Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188223)

can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?

text of article (1)

dr_zeus (302272) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188224)

The idea of an "invisibility cloak" has made the leap from science fiction books to an international patent application. Ray Alden of North Carolina is attempting to patent a "three dimensional cloaking process and apparatus" for concealing objects and people (WO 02/067196).

The idea hinges on carefully mimicking background lighting conditions to help render an object invisible, similar to how a chameleon blends in with its surroundings. The rear and front surfaces of an object are covered with a material containing an array of photodetectors and light emitters respectively.

The photodetectors on the rear surface are used to record the intensity and color of a source of illumination behind the object. The light emitters on the front surface then generate light beams that exactly mimic the same measured intensity, color and trajectory. The result is that an observer looking at the front of the object appears to see straight through it.

Matsushita Electrical of Japan is patenting an easy and cost-effective way to erase the data on a CD-R disk (WO 02/067249). CD-Rs have become a popular method for recording computer and audio data, however, the data can only be written once and is considered permanent. Matsushita says that by irradiating the disk with a laser beam with a power equal to, or higher than, the power of the initial recording laser beam, the stored data can be erased. The technique may be useful for wiping confidential or sensitive data from a disk.

The Penn State Research Foundation, US, has designed a wireless "one to many" communication system that makes use of multi-beam infrared transmitter. The invention, outlined in international patent application WO 02/067465, directs an array of infrared beams onto a reflecting surface. An array of receiving elements then detect the reflected IR beams. The transmitter may consist of a light source, collimating optics and a spot-array generator. Each of the receiving elements may include a bandpass filter, a concentrator and a photodetector.

Second item in article is interesting (1)

dr_zeus (302272) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188266)

"Matsushita Electrical of Japan is patenting an easy and cost-effective way to erase the data on a CD-R disk... "

Seems to me that the ability to erase CD-R's effectively has less of a chance of being vaporware than a cloak of invisibility. I know I could use that at work; alot of sensitive material gets carried around on CD-R's, and I have no easy way to make sure that they are unrecoverable when we trash them.

Re:Second item in article is interesting (4, Insightful)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188294)

I know I could use that at work; alot of sensitive material gets carried around on CD-R's, and I have no easy way to make sure that they are unrecoverable when we trash them.

I suggest buying a wood rasp or a sandpaper block :-)

Tim

Re:Second item in article is interesting (4, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188300)

According to a friend of mine who should know, the official DoD policy on destroying CD-Rs is to microwave them. And I can't imagine recovering anything from a CD that's been zapped...

Re:Second item in article is interesting (1)

antijava (128456) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188309)

What's wrong with the ever popular microwave oven approach to destroying CD-Rs? :-)

S.E.P. field theory? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188226)

I'd have thought a Somebody Else's Problem field would be much easier and cheaper to contstruct. But I guess our reasearch into Psi is less advanced.

Scarcy concept (2)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188228)

Will this mean secret service agents will now need to wear thermal goggles?

This would be a snipers dream....

Scary scary technology.

Re:Scarcy concept (3, Insightful)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188270)

For a sniper, it would be great. A sniper needs to remain concealed in one location, and usually only has to worry about people seeing him from the direction he's facing. But this doesn't look to be practical for much. It looks like it only works for anyone seeing it straight on from one direction, and I can't imagine that it works too well when the person/thing being cloaked is moving or being seen from an angle. But yeah, if I were a sniper (ouside of Soldier of Fortune 2) I'd want this thing too.

Re:Scarcy concept (2)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188314)

This would be a snipers dream....

I expect most snipers would prefer to find a well concealed spot and appropriate camoflaged clothing and face paint, and keep very still. If I was likely to be shot at, I would much prefer to rely on a bit of foliage stuck on my helmet than a fancy bit of technology, which could stop working.

Re:Scarcy concept (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188333)

first off a sniper is quite capable at becoming invisible already. they have been cince the 1940's. a sniper is at their best not by being unseen but un-noticed and being very very VERY patient.... waiting days before even getting a chance to target something. The biggest thing that gives away the sniper is the muzzel flash and the sound... both of which can be easily reduced.. although at violation of the geneva convention and the rules of war (now that is plain funny to me.... rules of war...) but also at a great sacrifice to the stability and energy induced to your projectile...

A sniper wouldn't want this high tech and very probably delicate junk... they will very happily continue to be quite invisible by using skills honed by learning tricks using organic and old - doesn't require batteries camoflauge..

What happens if I stood /behind/ the guy (0)

Kutsal (514445) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188229)

wearing the cloak? Or toward either side of him?

Re:What happens if I stood /behind/ the guy (1)

StillaCoward (223129) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188372)

That's obvious Mr. Dull Guy!

The person in front of him would see you like he's supposed to.... ;)

In fact... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188232)

...it will be so expensive it will make your money vanish right before you eyes!

Nice, but where's the info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188234)

Silly me, I wen to read the article and then realized it was all in the blurb. The big question is Predator style cloaking or completely invisible & how woul you see out?

Re:Nice, but where's the info (1)

Scholasticus (567646) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188261)

Some of the photodetectors could produce split signals which could then be reconstructed as an image projected onto the inside of your goggles/helmet/neural implant/whatever.

application (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188239)

if not entirely perfect yet, this would be of major use in the military. sure, if you are close, you could see the soldiers, but it would do wonders if you really want to sneak around in the day time, especially through the desert, which has a favourably monotonous color scheme.

Re:application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188290)

Yes, and very freaky reflections. They will need to build a sphere around the object me thinks ...

Looking behind it (4, Insightful)

SWroclawski (95770) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188240)

The problem with this device as it's designed so far is that it only works when looking straight at the object.

In addition, I have serious questions about the resolution of the device (how many sensors and how many light emitters). Will the person look "pixelated" and or will there be some other problem.

Lastly, such a device is not useful in combat situations as many soldiers in such a ground war situation will be outfitted with infr-red detectors, which will probably be able to detect the human behind the suit.

Good idea but has a lot of practical problems (we haven't even discussed the power source).

You're not an engineer, are you? (3, Interesting)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188326)

Have some imagination!
  • For looking straight at the object: just coat the whole thing in emitters and detectors. That's not a big fundamental problem. You don't want light reflecting off the object anyway; might as well have detectors that absorb it.
  • The resolution problem can be addressed simply by increasing the resolution until it's small enough not to be noticable. Regardless, even at low resolution, it's better than normal camouflage, isn't it? (Ever seen Predator?)
  • The infrared problem can be solved the same way the visible light problem is solved. Just have IR detectors and emitters. You can even to a variety of frequencies (just as with visible light) to fool various enemy equipment.
To me, a big problem would be to counter an active detection system that shines light on the object and looks for reflections. The emitters will be subject to a design trade-off between emission and absorption, and it might be hard to find a technology that does both well enough.

Flaw (5, Funny)

alnapp (321260) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188243)

I suspect that the squeaking of the wheelbarrow that you'll need to carry the batteries, fuel cells or magic moonbeams that'll be needed to power this thing will render any invisibility firly useless.

But I still want one, go figure

Walnut-sized Nuclear Reactor (2)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188355)

I always thought one of the coolest gadgets mentioned in Sci-Fi was the 'reactor' for the personal shield generator in the Foundation Trilogy.
It was the size of a walnut. Of course, it didn't last very long, but a walnut-sized reactor would still be pretty cool (albeit very unlikely.)

Far more useful (4, Funny)

anthonyclark (17109) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188244)


I'll be more impressed when a Cloak of Charisma is released; hellloooo, laydeez|boyz!


(and no, those new cargo pants you just bought from Gap do not count).

Charisma is probably cheaper... (1)

ites (600337) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188334)

Than this light-emitting cloak.
Just glue banknotes to your jacket.
Actually, as an example of conspicuous consumption
expensive toys like this are fairly good
at attracting women.

Pedophelia Rampant in Linux Community (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188245)

Authorities reported on a large scale kiddie-porn bust today and although the day was marked as a success in the battle against pedophiles, there were unsettling discoveries.

Apparently 75-90% of Linux users have what experts describe as 'large collecions' of illegal kiddie porn on their systems. Why is this second-rate OS the home to such depravity? Experts are unsure, but it likely attracts the 'wrong sort of people' due to its much flaunted security and overall level of sadness.

Been done (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188246)


Most readers of Slashdot already have one of these. Problem is, it only works on women.

The problem with this is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188250)

won't the terrorist networks just use this to cloak [slashdot.org] ?

The've done military experiments about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188252)

What they found is that if they attach flourcent tube lights around the plane, they get a craft that dissapears to the human eye after a short distance. For once, you have light coming at you from all over the object, and not reflected or altered sun light.

I believe this was written about in a popular sci. magazine.

Cloak of Invisability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188254)

Yeah, well I have a 1+ mace and a whole bunch of spells!

Call me back when someone has invented Batfink Wings, which are like a shield of steel. Then I'll be interested.

Is this how it works now? (1)

DrTrogg (586983) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188255)

Does this mean they have a prototype? I'm a bit fuzzy on how this all works - is there any rule regarding reality when you file for these patents, or is the game simply to get one so you can financially rape the people who do the real work?

Shadows (2)

suso (153703) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188256)

The only problem is, you're going to see some weird shadowing around the cloaked object and be able to tell that it's there. I can't believe that I'm actually replying to this post.

I can see it already (4, Funny)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188257)

Person who thinks he's invisible: You can't see me!!!

Naked Woman: Actually, I can see a shimmery shape, because you're slightly off-center to me.

PWTHI: Wait, wait, you're not in the right place. Move to the left.

NW: Ok. Now you're even MORE shimmery

PWTHI: No, no, MY left, not your left

NW: Oh, sorry. There, the shimmering went away.

PWTHI: Ha ha ha ha!!!! I can see you naked!!

NW: Sir, this is a strip club. It's not exactly difficult.

Prior Art (1)

Blob Pet (86206) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188259)

Those silly authors of the patent application obviously haven't seen Harry Potter....What do you mean that wasn't real! What are you going to tell me next - that Jedi isn't a legitmate religion in Australia?

thermal? (1)

dollargonzo (519030) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188260)

what about a thermal invisibility cloak? now that would indeed be a feat of engineering. our eyes are much more sensitive than any infrared detectors, so the resolution would not need to be as high. at the moment, i really don't think there is anything in the form of thermal camo.

Here's an even better application (4, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188262)

Instead of making me invisible, I just want it to make me look thinner. Shave off my side edges by painting the background over my sides, and voila, I've lost 20 pounds.

Prior Art? (1)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188263)

Can't the fact that the idea has been around for a long time, in both sci-fi books, movie and games mean this has "prior art". I know no one has built such a device yet, unless the military has them secreted away. I do remember seeing a Discovery channel documentary about using this on tanks and police to deal with hostage situations once the technology was worked out. That was quite some time ago as well!

So can this or should this be patentable?

What about thermoptic camo, like in Deus Ex, which blocks other forms of radiation as well? I imagine with this one that this guy is trying to patent you would still show up on infrared and radar/millimeter/microwave scanning devices. Same deal with X-Rays too I would imagine.

If he can get this, maybe I should patent on which can block other forms of radiation.

Re:Prior Art? (2)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188286)

Can't the fact that the idea has been around for a long time, in both sci-fi books, movie and games mean this has "prior art".

Uh, no. I am not a patent lawyer, but I believe prior art means someone actually has to have built such a thing, not just dreamed it up.

Re:Prior Art? (2, Insightful)

Alranor (472986) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188381)

Again, IANAL, but I don't think it needs to have been built, just described accurately enough that it's not a new insight for the person actually building it

IIRC nobody could patent geostationary satellites when they were first built because a certain well known sci-fi author had described the concepts previously.

Or I could be talking crap, that happens too.

Re:Prior Art? (1)

aderuwe (539595) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188296)

Well if it is not patented nobody will make serious bucks selling invisibility cloaks and this means noone will produce them.
The inventor also wouldn't see a penny (no, the author of some sci-fi story dit not invent it, he had the idea.. FTL drive prior art, anyone?), which would be a shame.

That't what I think, anyway. Maybe I'm just blatantly wrong.

Re:Prior Art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188370)

Actually, there was a project in WWII that used floodlights on the front edges of aircraft to make them less visible to subs, allowing them to close and drop torpedoes. Unfortunately, radar was being deployed at that time, making visual spotting unnecessary.

I'd say that project was prior art.

Re:Prior Art? (2)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188373)

Of course it should be patentable. Just because it has been mentioned in fiction doesn't mean anything. Would you deny patents on warp engines or teleportation devices?

Now, if there were a work of sci-fi that described how to implement this device in detail, then that might be prior art.

An interesting concept... (3, Informative)

altgrr (593057) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188273)

This has been done before using fibre optics, I believe, so that you would effectively see through the person because they wore an outfit consisting of thin fibre optic wires routeing light straight through them. This was on TV once, although I don't know whether it was the actual suit being shown or merely some special effects to show what it _could_ look like. Either way, it looked obvious that there was someone there - anything longer than a brief glance would be time enough to tell.

Wow, it sounds exactly like... (2, Funny)

ActiveSX (301342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188274)

...Metal Gear Solid! Honestly, I think the bandana would be more fun to have, but I'd settle for invisibility, even if a cardboard box works most of the time.

old camoflage technique (3, Informative)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188275)

I recall this as similar to an old WWII camoflage technique, to make the apparent brightness of an object match the bacjground.

I believe in WWII some submarine hunter aircraft had spotlights on the front to make the apparent brightness of the dark aircraft match the sky. Killed more subs that way.

this technique worked really well for large objects if they were a good distance away, like for a tank of the horizon or an aircraft in the sky. awful for close up work.

I recall a good article on this someplace on the web, but to find it now on short notice .....

SR-71 paint schemes (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188368)

I've seen different paint schemes done on planes, specifically the SR-71, which have the under-carriage painted silver/white. I've often wondered if the brightness of the plane to the sky was the reason for it.

I guess that answers that question.

Sean D.

It's only a patent (1)

sossles (157126) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188277)

OK, it's one thing to patent the idea (surely lots of people have thought of this idea before - I sure have), but quite another to actually produce something based on the patent.

So I'll believe it is actually feasible when I see one (or don't see one) working.

--

Memory lapse (1)

min0r_threat (260613) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188287)

That's fantastic but I have a hard enough time remembering where I put my car keys, let alone an invisible cloak. Now . . . just where did I put that damn invisible cloak?

Terrorists (1)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188291)

This looks like some of those terrorist networks from that other article [slashdot.org] just below could need.

Huh? (5, Funny)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188292)

What, no pictures?

Re:Huh? (2)

Jondor (55589) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188377)

If you look better, at the site, in the white area..

A patent! (2, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188293)

Where do I send my money so he can finish the prototype? I want to use it to hide my perpetual motion machine!

This will mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188295)

no more X10 cams for sale!

So this thing is bacially a... (1)

dmouritsendk (321667) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188297)

flexible/wearable screen, displaying images at a high enough resulution and color depth so it can fool a eye into thinking is reality. OOh yes, and it include some sort of realtime enviromental photo caputere device...

YEA RIGHT...

Sounds like the inventor is trying to get a patent on a concept, I dont belive he has a clue how to accomblish this.

Cloaking device (1)

Ch_Omega (532549) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188301)

Better not let the Klingons get hold of this technology.

Crap! (1)

entrigant (233266) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188303)

I had this idea for quite a while. I just didn't think it'd be feasible until a reliable way of recording and emitting light from and to all angles from a point was developed. =/ It still isn't imho.

Close one (3, Funny)

The Pim (140414) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188304)

Whew!... just imagine if this technology had been developed before our ability to uncloak terrorist networks [slashdot.org] .

security concerns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188308)

Great, so now they're going to ban light beams because they can circumvent human security guards.

patent? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188310)

There's got to be prior art in a million and one science fiction books

What about shadows ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188313)

I wonder what they plan to do to shadows the cloaked object casts ?

The shadow tnds to be outside the cloak so they must have additional lights that wipe out the shadow as well. (here I blew _my_ chance to patent this extra technique ;)

I can see it ... no pun intended. (2, Insightful)

Scholasticus (567646) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188317)

I can see this happening, with a lot more refinement. You'd need gobs of processing power, hosts of tiny photodetectors and projectors, and a very small but reliable and long-lasting power supply (as somebody else already noted). With today's tech, this idea is pretty useless. The engineering obstacles could be overcome in the future. On the other hand, it would be pretty easy to come up with effective countermeasures. Wouldn't this thing radiate like hell in the infrared?

Why do people have to be cloaked? (1)

t0rnt0pieces (594277) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188324)

Most people here seem to be concerned with the problems of cloaking people. Wouldn't a cloaking device be better used to cloak aircraft, artillery, etc? It'd probably be easier to fit a power source on a huge plane than on a person, plus air and ground units can be engineered to optimize their shape/size for cloaking. Imagine a squadron of cloaked F-16's patrolling/bombing hostile countries?

Uhmm, YIKES! (0, Offtopic)

athlon02 (201713) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188330)

From that site mentioned in the article...

"The technique may be useful for wiping confidential or sensitive data from a disk."

The whole reason I use CD-Rs over CD-RWs is so that my data can *NOT* be erased... I've backed up family/friends photos, my CD collection, freeware apps, FreeBSD ISOs, etc, etc. on various CD-Rs and now someone has the potential for wiping that out if they ever got a hold of my CD-Rs? Maybe I should start looking around for how to get a hold of a full blown CD making machine, since last time I checked you can erase physical pitts on a CD.

Umm you better hide your CD's dude. (1)

jsonmez (544764) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188341)

I'm coming over your house to erase your CD-Rs, because I have nothing better to do....

preditor time: see the shimmer (0)

iamafreeman (570457) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188338)

mimiking the light that arrived at the back at the front is no good for non-thin items as it will only look correct on fairly uniform backgrounds or at the point ot the object directly in front of you (even then the brain should work out something is wrong as you have 2 eyes and except the light at a given point to be different from different angles).
abcdefghil
| |
| |
=x=====

y
as I look at x from y I expect the light from a not c. This will go from appearing a bit wierd, say a shimmer, to totally wrong when there is something behind the object that the brain recognises say writing

Re:preditor time: see the shimmer (0)

iamafreeman (570457) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188356)

wipes out my spacing, how nice

Yeah.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188340)

...but what about the Elven Boots and the +5 broadsword?

Sorry, couldn't resist going old-school geek on ya.

Straight from Predator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188342)

Saw this the other day on A&E...after watching a screening of the (at the time) new movie 'Predator', some un-named General stated "Would someone get me one of those?". They've been working on it since, according to the show.

The next step (1)

Rumagent (86695) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188344)

Ahh... finally! I have been looking for the next frontier in pr0n. I have a feeling this could be it:) /Rumagent

Better applications (5, Insightful)

Twylite (234238) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188350)

The article very definately uses the words "detect" (light behind) and "generate" (image in front). This implies it is not some passthrough technology (fiber, etc), but an electronic record and recreation.

If this "clock" could live up to its claims, there are three (possibly more) far more interesting applications that must be considered:

  • Holographic photography: the photoreceptors on the back can apparently sense the intensity, colour and trajectory. They can also do this without a lens. Impressive.
  • Holographic projection / 3D TV: the light emitters on the front can recreate the image behind the object. In order to do this with enough accuracy to clock an object, they have to recreate the trajectory of the light; failing this they have a 2D image which will be noticable as soon as the viewer moves.
  • Realistic looking TV: apart from the 2D/3D problem, TV just doesn't look real because it is poor at depecting matt textures. A glowing, glossy area within your field of vision would certainly attract your attention, even if it fitted into the background.

Given that researchers would be coining it from more down-to-earth inventions like these, I can't really see that the technology - as described - exists or is being developed.

Good camoflage though ... (3, Insightful)

Titusdot Groan (468949) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188357)

Because of angles of viewing etc. this wouldn't make you invisible -- this would be great camoflage though -- you'd match the color and light of the background almost perfectly.

The most important part of camoflage is making recognizable features hard to see -- hands, faces, etc -- things our visual system is hardwired to pickup out of the background. This invisibility cloak would do that.

I imagine it looking like the Alien in that Arnold movie, hard to see unless it's moving and then the distortions give it away.

Of course is this a really old idea -- heck it a similiar idea was in comics in the 1970s (some super heros club house had this kind of device to hide it from view).

Cloak of Invisibility available for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4188358)

Simply
  • Go to your nearest bar
  • drink 10 - 15 pints of strong lager


after that it doesn't matter who you try and talk to they appear to not be able to see you....

Old news (1)

user32.ExitWindowsEx (250475) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188366)

A freind of mine told me about this a while ago. His father was in the Navy.

What no Screen Shots? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 12 years ago | (#4188371)

I was hoping to see the cloak in action. :-)
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