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Invisibility cloak

Invisibility gets closer.

It's a cool concept. But once the price comes down, this is one of those potentially disruptive technologies (it reminds me a lot of Shield, by Poul Anderson). I think there are some scary uses, and some cool uses:

In the scary category:

  • concealed guns
  • concealed bombs
  • traffic hazards. People drop bricks off overpasses - what about a cloaked piece of furniture?

Fortunately, the cloaking on each of these would be far and away the most expensive item, so I doubt we'll see them anytime soon.

In the cool category:

  • Urban renewal - what if, instead of creating a hole in space that one looked through, you offshifted light, so that light appeared to go over the object? Imagine a downtown parking garage, with landscaping on the top. From the side, it appeared to be - just a park. Because just making the garage invisibile is ugly - you end up with strange sightlines and perspectives. But making it actually disappear? We could have saved a lot of money on the Big Dig.

  • Architectural features - imagine a building where every other floor is invisible. Or where the pillars aren't there.

  • Privacy umbrella - have your own portable changing station at the beach! Of course, I could see some uses for this that might best fit in the scary category, come to think of it....