The Invisibility Cloak Can Be Realistic and Not Just a Product of Magic or Wizardry

By Arimasen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Arimasen (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, there could be some wizardry involved but it’s more of the technological type. The famous invisibility cloak in many fantasy movies and stories isn’t really just a fantasy after all.

University of Central Florida Researchers have developed the technology that enables large-scale invisibility cloaking. It can conceal visible light to make something appear invisible. This is considered as the first technology of its kind as it can hide away (at least partially) opaque objects with bigger sizes and across a wider spectrum of light. Before, invisibility was already achieved but only for certain wavelengths of radiation. Making visible light disappear from sight had been an immense challenge.

It has to be emphasized, however, that this invisibility cloak is not as visually effective as how invisibility cloaks are depicted in the movies. It simply can’t make Harry Potter disappear from sight without any noticeable trace. Still, it does a good enough job to prevent a clear visual perception of something. What this technologically-powered invisibility cloak does is to bend light around an object to create the appearance of a liquid mirror. At closer inspection, the presence of the object being cloaked can still be perceived. From a distance, though, the cloaking would seem adequately effective.

How Does It Work

Researchers at the University of Central Florida created the invisibility cloak using a fishnet metamaterial created through a nanotransfer printing method. The metamaterial is composed of metal and dielectric composite films that are layered in a manner that creates a fishnet-like pattern. This pattern enables control over visible spectrum light.

The researchers were able to demonstrate the cloaking ability of the material using a 0.6 square inch sample. Yes, that’s very small but because it is manufactured using a printing method, it is possible to produce something bigger that could be enough to cover something like a fighter jet or spy drone.


Unfortunately, the researchers don’t see the invisibility cloak becoming available to the public in the near future. The lead researcher for the project, Debashis Chanda, mentioned that the team has been contacted by several companies who expressed interest in providing additional funding to further develop or improve invisibility cloaking technologies. It wouldn’t really be surprising if many companies, suppliers of government defense agencies in particular, are also interested in making use of the technology or buying the technology altogether.

Other Technologies that Enable Invisibility

The invisibility cloak created by researchers at the University of Central California is not the only technology capable of rendering invisibility. Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp., a Canadian camouflage design company, has developed a material called Quantum Stealth that can make an object invisible. Not only that, it can also eliminate a living object’s thermal signatures and shadows. The company is not keen on discussing the specifics of their technology but on their site, they claim that representatives from the US and Canadian military forces have seen their products at work to prove that they are not bluffing.

Image of the mockup demonstration of Quantum Stealth by Hyperstealth (

Image of the mockup demonstration of Quantum Stealth by Hyperstealth (

Another invisibility technology comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. It’s still a theoretical design but it was first published in 2007 so there could have been a lot of improvements in the technology by now. MIT’s invisibility solution makes use of nanowires that can bend light around them. MIT researchers were working on the fundamental ideas that for something to render invisibility, it should be able to bend light, must not produce a shadow, and should not exhibit light reflection. No naturally existing material exhibits these properties so MIT had to develop something with the help of nanotechnology.

If you have been a regular reader of this blog, you would notice how nanotechnology has been mentioned in several posts. Indeed, nanotechnology is such a wonderful creation that its applications benefit mankind and offer more than what meets the eye.

By Physicsch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Physicsch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Invisibility inventions may not be something that can be considered as a vital technology but it’s definitely something worth pursuing. The applications may not seem immediate but it’s always great to develop new technological developments as long as they are don’t pose any harm.