Invisibility may now be a real possibility according to report published in the Journal of Science and Nature (here). The BBC has a nice breakdown of the article (here) which uncovers a new material which allows light to be bent around objects.
A material that is able to reverse the effect of light refracting, thus rendering objects invisible has major implications for the world of creativity and technology. Whilst the first thought for most people will be impersonating Harry Potter and donning an invisibility cloak to become an instant spy, the practical and creative uses could create major changes aesthetically in the world around us.
We are all aware of the benefits of Glass and other transparent materials but the ability to hide or simply reduce the visual impact of objects on demand is an exciting prospect.
Ideas for use of Invisible materials in the real world:
– Chairs and Tables without legs. (I’ll buy those!)
– Buildings that appear to float by hiding structural elements
– Lighting (eg: streetlights) that defy gravity.
– Hiding of ugly infrastructure (eg: pylons).
– Amazing visual transitions for live theatre.
– General visual bulk reduction of any object.
– “Soft glass” – practical applications would be enormous.
– Curtains that trap heat, but still allow light in.
– Invisible ropes would have many uses.
– Art. Insane sculptures that appear to defy physics.
– Fashion – new materials will create amazing design possibilities.
How long do we have to wait? A Korean white paper states 2015 (see our article here on future technology). Guess we’ll have to wait and see (or not as the case may be).