By Aaron Kesel
Will humans soon be able to wear artificial skin and be invisible?
According to an article by Defense One that may soon be our future. A recent study into metamaterials and devices has enabled early prototypes of artificial skin giving their wearers a chameleon-like ability to blend into their environment.
A research paper from a group of researchers in South Korea led by Seung Hwan Ko at Seoul National University details the new cloaking technology comprised of elastic patches that utilize heating and cooling to mimic both visible colors and thermal characteristics of the environment. In fact, the technology can switch between the two in about five seconds, allowing the wearer of the technology to conceal themselves in the daytime and almost become invisible on thermal cameras even at night.
The patches for the invisibility cloak are made up of “pixels” containing thermochromic liquid crystals that change color depending on temperature, “thus allowing the generation of a diverse number of colors by controlling temperature. The cloaking in the visible range is therefore achieved separately by matching the ambient color,” researchers wrote in the paper.
Defense One expresses that the technology might be suitable for combat; Seung told the publication that he and his team would need to make a larger version (and find a more efficient power source). And extreme external temperatures, as someone might encounter in the Arctic or in the desert, can also influence the device’s ability to thermal cloak. “This problem may be solved by adding a proper thermal insulator,” Seung said.
However, this isn’t the first time that cloaking or invisibility technology has been invented to be used by the military. The military has actually been working on cloaking technology for some time. In 2014 Defense One reported that by using “nano-needles,” engineers at Purdue University created virtual invisibility by bending light around an object. At the time, in 2007, researchers could only hide stationary objects. But as they went on to say:
In the years since, researchers from around the world have made steady progress in metamaterial design. But metamaterial doesn’t exactly grow on trees. It has to be engineered at the nanoscale (one billionth of a meter in size) so creating enough of it to hide anything has been a challenge. Chanda and his fellow researchers have developed a technique that allows for the mass-production of metamaterial through a type of printing process.
Here is a CNN report highlighting how the concept of bending light has been tested to replace the typical camouflage used by soldiers. What’s more, was this type of technology used already? There is an infamous video online below where a soldier’s outline is seen running in front of a tank before a big explosion prior to deep fake technology existing.
A similar material was previously researched by Ali Aliev at the University of Texas. Aliev found that by using carbon nanotubes to bend surface light around an object, it produces a mirage effect that can hide physical objects. While Seung and his team are announcing their research as current, the U.S. military has already long been experimenting with similar cloaking devices as well as nano-enhanced hybrids for both invisibility and body armor.
Watch this video below of a tank having the material tested on it to make it virtually hidden to the naked eye. Someone call Hogwarts, the U.S. military and others of the world have its invisibility cloak!
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post.
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