Startup begins selling ‘invisibility shields’

April 22 2024

Remember the Invisibility Shield that launched on Kickstarter just over two years ago? The British startup Invisibility Shield Co.‘s eye-tricking gizmo, which is roughly as flat as a piece of cardboard, can turn anything behind it into an indiscernible smudge by effectively bending the light around it, reports Futurism.

Now, Invisibilty Shield is ready to follow up its polycarbonate shield with the 2.0 model, which comes in even bigger sizes. The largest version is a whopping six feet tall, large enough to “hide multiple people standing side by side,” per the company’s Kickstarter page—and it just might be as close to a Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak as you’re going to get in real life.

Trick of the light

The gadget exploits some properties of light, bending light from the background towards the viewer. The light hitting an object or person hiding behind the Invisibility Shield refracts away from the viewer, effectively hiding them.

It’s not exactly going to fool the eye entirely, though. Even the company’s second iteration is far from perfect and requires a simple background like a brick wall or a beach to really be effective.

The person hiding behind the shield will also need to poke his or her head out to see anything, since their view also will be made “invisible.”

Paintball wizard

People already are finding creative ways to make use of the first-generation Invisibility Shield, from hiding during games of paintball to stage magic to observing wildlife—and even to hiding contestants on a Korean dating show, as New Atlas reports.

The 2.0 version starts at around $66 for a “mini” shield that measures roughly 12 by eight inches. The “Megashield,” which can hide multiple people, costs just under $1,000 on Kickstarter.

At the time of writing, the company has already raised $182,500—far surpassing its initial goal of $11,600.

In short, it’s a fun optical illusion that won’t exactly give a military force a “Predator”-style, tactical advantage on the battlefield—but when it comes to photographing a rare bird or playing an elaborate game of hide and seek, it may just come in handy.

Research contact: @futurism