You know that game where everyone goes around saying their preferred super power?
Someone wants to fly. Another wants X-ray vision. Or super-human strength. Or the power of invisibility.
Well, reality has caught up with science fiction, at least on that last one. Because a UK-based startup has created a functioning invisibility shield that makes you disappear. No, really.
The excellently if not creatively named Invisibility Shield Co. is the outfit behind this new invention. They put it on Kickstarter, naturally, so you can reserve yours on the site. It quickly exceeded its fundraising goal, so with a little luck, they hope to begin shipping by the end of this year.
There's tech and optical phenomenons driving the shield, which are hard to explain and probably won't make your newfound invisibility any more enjoyable. But it basically works like this...
The shield was built with a unique lens array featuring sheets of convex lenses arranged in a very specific shape. They direct light reflected from the user away from the observer, and this light manipulation is what creates functional invisibility.
From the observer's perspective, background light is smeared across the front face of the shield, replacing the area where the subject would ordinarily be seen. So, instead of seeing you, they just see whatever is behind you, which blends in with the natural surroundings. It's pretty wild.
The shield works best against uniform backgrounds, like foliage, grass, sand and the sky, as well as backgrounds with defined horizontal lines, like stairs, rails or the horizon. So, try to stand next to one of those.
This thing won't help you fight like Captain America, lurk around castles unseen like Harry Potter, or commit an elaborate bank heist.
But if you want to hide from an ex or scare the hell out of some friends... this is the shield for you.