Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak could even withstand the Accio spell. Now, a newly invented material can make you invisible, just like Harry's cloak. How effective is it? Let's find out.
There was once a time (and still is) when everyone wanted Harry Potter‘s Invisibility Cloak. That little piece of fantasy is now a reality thanks to the discovery of a new material that can bend light around it, causing temporary invisibility.
So, what exactly is it, and how does it work?
The Myth, The Legend
It all began when The Boy Who Lived (if you don’t get this reference, you might be a Muggle) received a simple little Christmas present from an unknown person. The package seemed soft and bare, and its contents amused Harry. He opened the gift, and out popped a fabric. That was the Invisibility Cloak!
The Invisibility Cloak was a rather novelty item for the first few books in the Harry Potter universe. Its significance became more evident towards the saga’s end when it was revealed to be one of the Deathly Hallows. While that entire story is for the Potterheads and Harry Potter enthusiasts, the cloak itself garners attention.
Having the ability to conceal yourself at whim is the desire for a lot of people. Being virtually untraceable and hidden in plain sight sounds too good to be true. In today’s world, privacy is everything and anonymity is hard to find, but this particular technology may have a solution.
Invisibility Cloak That Isn't Sci-Fi
A Canadian company, Hyperstealth Biotechnologies, specialises in camouflage equipment and has already established its mettle in manufacturing military uniforms for countries worldwide. They have now entered the world of magical fantasies and turning them into a viable product. And it sure looks like they have struck gold.
Termed “Quantum Stealth”, the product has already been submitted for a patent. That’s how much faith Hyperstealth has in the material. The material is so robust that it doesn’t just hide humans but even tanks, aircraft and ships! And the best thing of all? It doesn’t require any power to work! The material not only just bends visible light but it can conceal objects against infrared and ultraviolet light.
The phenomenon is achieved by using a lenticular lens. A lenticular lens is a corrugated sheet in which each side/ridge is made up of a convex (outward curving) lens. This tech is commonly found in shimmery playing cards or on 3D novelty items such as bookmarks, but in this case, they are left transparent rather than having anything printed on them.
Just Camouflage Right Now?
The material works by creating “dead spots” using the lens. Light is refracted from numerous angles making the material virtually invisible across a wide-angle of view. The “Cloak” can be as thin as paper and still work with full efficiency. The dead spots prevent light from passing through, masking the subject. The background, however, remains unchanged.
Thin, light and inexpensive are just the words you want to listen when reading about this product, and that is precisely what the Candian company offers. Their Invisibility Cloak is at the patent stage, and they have submitted 13 different versions of this technology. Right now, it is a solid sheet rather than a fabric-like material, but further research is on to create a wearable suit using supermaterials.
Based on the tech’s current advancement, the product is ready to be used for riot shields, parachutes, tents, and camouflage nets. Further applications will need the patent and wide-scale manufacturing to meet the demands. As for availability, Hyperstealth has indirectly iterated on multiple occasions that the primary focus of the invisibility cloak is entirely for the military organisations.
Guy Cramer, the company’s CEO, has also revealed that this technology has allowed them to triple the energy output of solar panels which is great news for green energy. Until now, we’ve had instances of the invisibility cloak in the form of devices rather than a material. The machines were pretty limited in their ability, and this is the breakthrough stage of invisible technology.
Well, it looks like everyone (muggles too) can now experience the wizardly qualities of the Potterworld.