Metaflex

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Invisible

MetaflexAdmit it. We’ve all been to some Lame-O party where the DJ insists on playing Celebrate for the umpteenth time and that one – ahem – guest insists on regaling you with detailed stories of their latest goiter. You know, and I know, that killing is wrong. So, what’s a person to do?

Well, thanks to the nice people at Metaflex, you could just toss on an invisibility cloak. Oh, sure, they are developing the technology to help the visually impaired see again. Even I will admit that that’s a laudable goal. But it’s nowhere near as cool as the resulting tech that goes with it; A true invisibility cloak.

Lee Spiegel of AOL News reports that this may be coming sooner rather than later.

Ever wished you could be invisible? We’ve all probably been in situations where it would’ve been convenient if nobody could see us. Well, a group of scientists claims to have created a material that could essentially become an invisibility cloak.

The material, dubbed Metaflex, has been produced by researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and once fully developed, it could signal a huge breakthrough, not only in the creation of “smart fabrics” but in the manufacture of super contact lenses that can be “used for visual prostheses,” according to team leader Andrea di Falco.

Cloaking devices have appeared throughout works of science fiction, including the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” films. In the wildly popular global Harry Potter universe, an invisibility cloak is used to make a person appear to vanish.

Scientists have designed material that could eventually create an invisibility cloak like the one depicted in the Harry Potter movies.

But in the world of real science, it’s all about figuring out how to make a flexible film, or “metamaterial,” that can manipulate light waves to make objects, like clothing, invisible.

Di Falco said that earlier studies were only able to create light-bending atoms on hard surfaces. But now, they’ve produced the more flexible Metaflex that could eventually be used to manufacture a smarter fabric.

In a paper published in the Nov. 4 issue of the U.K.’s New Journal of Physics, the researchers write: “Arguably, one of the most exciting applications of Metaflex is to fabricate three-dimensional flexible MMs (metamaterials) in the optical range, which can be achieved by stacking several Metaflex membranes on top of one another.”

An actual, working cloak of invisibility may not be ready as a stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season or in time for the premiere this month of the movie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” but the creation of the Metaflex material brings invisibility much closer to reality.

If I’d had one of these in high school, I would have lived in the girls’ locker-room.

In all seriousness, the possibilities for this material are endless. By bypassing damaged optics in a person they can allow someone to see perfectly and not require any additional aids. I guess that’s a lot cooler than me getting to watch nekkid goils.

Not by much, mind you, but still ……

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