For those of you who watched both Harry Potter films and the Lord of the Rings, what did Harry Potter and Frodo gave in common? Well, if you look at the title of this post you’d know by now. Yes, both of them had invisibility cape.
It seems that they are more advanced than the U.S. military which for century has been looking to blind their enemies of their presence in the battle field. Scientists were involved in this pursuit and maybe at last they have found what they are looking for.
Crude techniques were used during World War II including using paint coated nets which blended with the surroundings making it very difficult for the enemies to see the equipment from being bombarded. The latest invisibility technique involved using thermal imagery by testing fabrics that conceals a soldier’s heat imprint.
Lately however there’s a state-of-the-art cloaking technique that centers on discovering what lies behind the color-switching ability of a squid.
These sea creatures which belong to the cephalopods have a very uncanny way of disappearing right before your eyes although they’re not match for the nets that you use to catch them. Their chameleon-like ability has served them well in escaping their predators according to the research team from the University of California at Irvine.
Utilizing skin protein of squids, the scientists were able to come up with some sort of “invisibility stickers”that may give the soldiers the advantage of disguising themselves even from the heat seeking infrared equipment.
“Soldiers wear uniforms with the familiar green and brown camouflage patterns to blend into foliage during the day, but under low light and at night, they’re still vulnerable to infrared detection,” Alon Gorodetsky said in a news release. “We’ve developed stickers for use as a thin, flexible layer of camo with the potential to take on a pattern that will better match the soldiers’ infrared reflectance to their background and hide them from active infrared visualization.”
Reflectin, that’s how Gorodetsky’s team called the protein elements they took from the squid’s skin. It allows the animals to alter their skin reflection and change their color hues in nanoseconds.
The research group was able to paint refelctin onto a surface “similar to common household packing tape,” which was shown in a video provided by the American Chemical Society. What happened is a invisibility sheet was created by the stickers perfect for camouflage.
It may not be ready for real world use, the idea is for the soldiers to carry these invisibility tape rolls with them and use them when there’s a need to for them just to vanish into thin air.
“We’re going after something that’s inexpensive and completely disposable,” Gorodetsky said. “You take out this protein-coated tape, you use it quickly to make an appropriate camouflage pattern on the fly, and then you take it off and throw it away.”
“The stickers’ application might not be limited to military use, “he added.
The team suggested that the tapes can be used in clothing depending on the intention of the individual how he or she’s going to use it in trapping their body heat.