Camouflage designers generally take their inspiration from things found in nature: trees, leaves, dirt, rocks, brush, that sort of thing. That’s cool and all, but camouflage designers of the future might very well be taking their inspiration from…Harry Potter? Researchers at Duke University say they’ve perfected a material that truly does make an object invisible.
From this story on slate.com:
After years of less successful attempts, scientists at Duke University have created a perfect “invisibility cloak”–but it’s not quite as good as the one a certain boy wizard led us to expect. Researchers managed to shuttle light around an object so precisely that there are no reflections by using a diamond-shaped cloaking region. Of course, there’s a catch: Namely, it only works in one direction. “It’s like the card people in Alice in Wonderland,” a researcher explained. “If they turn on their sides, you can’t see them, but they’re obviously visible if you look from the other direction.”
According to the story, the “invisibility cloak” also only really works with microwaves, not optical wavelengths, so the days of making hunting gear out of this or similar light-bending fabric are still quite some time in the future. But still, the possibilities are intriguing, and it’s not implausible to imagine hunters in the future actually wearing some sort of refractory, light-bending fabric instead of today’s patterns. What do you think the camo of the future will be?