London-based startup ‘Invisibility Shield Co’ has developed the technology needed to build a fully functional invisibility shield that can help you surprise your friends and avoid your enemies.
The invisibility shield uses a precision-engineered lens array to direct much of the light reflected from the subject away from the observer, transmitting it laterally across the face of the shield to the left and right. The lenses in this array are oriented vertically, so the vertically oriented strip of light reflected by the standing or crouching subject quickly becomes very diffuse when it spreads out horizontally as it passes the back of the shield.
The light from the background is much brighter and wider, so when it passes through the back of the shield, far more of it is refracted both across the shield and towards the observer. This means that from the observer’s perspective, this background light is effectively smeared horizontally across the front face of the shield, blocking out the area where the subject would usually be seen.
To develop the shield, the team tested a variety of different lens shapes with varying profiles, angles, depths, and separation distances. They also tested the range of different optical mounting techniques for adhering the arrays to stronger scaffolds. The team says their solution preserves 98% of the optical properties of the arrays and completely eliminates the need for toxic resins that might ordinarily be used in such a build.
Design-wise, the material used to create the shields is UV resistant, temperature resistant, and extremely durable; it is commonly used for external signage and marine applications. The bond between the layers has been shear tested and is actually stronger than the material itself. Also, the shields are 100% recyclable and will be shipped in cardboard boxes which are also 100% recyclable.
The shields perform at their absolute best against uniform backgrounds such as foliage, grass, rendered walls, sand, sky, and asphalt. Backgrounds with defined horizontal lines as well, both natural ones and the horizon itself, as well as human elements such as walls, rails, or painted lines.
The invisibility shields are designed to protect you from the view of others and make you invisible, but they are not riot control and are not designed to protect you from any attack.
“We went through countless iterations, tested a lot of materials, and experienced a lot of failures. But along the way, we managed to develop a reliable, scalable, and efficient manufacturing process and created what we believe are the best invisibility shields ever made,” the Invisibility Shield team said.
The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign so that people who want to be invisible can get their shield through the Kickstarter platform. The small invisibility Shield measuring 12×8 inches is currently priced at £49 ($65), while the full-size option, which measures 37×25 inches, is priced at £299 ($394). The company is estimated to make its deliveries by December this year.