Are Invisibility Shields for Real?
Companies claim their devices make people and objects invisible.
© Ruben Chase/stock.adobe.com
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? The ability to fly? How about the power to become invisible? While flying is still beyond our grasp, invisibility is becoming a reality—sort of. British company Invisibility Shield Co. is the latest to announce that it has created an invisibility shield.
It may sound like something out of The Hobbit or the Harry Potter books, but invisibility technology has been a real thing for a long time. A Canadian company called HyperStealth made waves in 2012 when it introduced a material called Quantum Stealth. HyperStealth designed the material for military equipment like parachutes, airplanes, and even uniforms. The company said it would make objects and people invisible.
Similarly, Invisibility Shield Co.’s product, a lightweight rectangular panel, is meant to conceal the presence of anything that’s behind it. Unlike HyperStealth, Invisibility Shield Co. is selling its product to the public—so anyone can seemingly have a superpower.
It turns out, though, that there’s nothing supernatural about achieving invisibility. It’s a matter of simple science. Invisibility materials change the path of light rays to make it look like the subject (the person or thing behind the materials) isn’t there. It’s not a perfect illusion. Through the shield, the background looks a bit blurry, so it doesn’t totally match its surroundings.
Even though users may not have superpower-level invisibility, they can still have fun. Invisibility Shield Co. boasts that its device is perfectly portable. The larger of the two sizes weighs less than 9 pounds (4.1 kilograms), and neither of the shields needs electricity.
The power of invisibility doesn’t come cheap. Invisibility Shield Co. is selling the larger of its two shields for about $390.
No one ever said being a superhero was easy.