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 invisible 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….