Thursday 28 March 2024

Personal 'invisibility shield' goes on sale, starting under $70


If you've ever wished that you could turn invisible, here's your chance. A consumer "invisibility shield" has just hit Kickstarter, and it could be yours for as little as £54 (about US$68).

Manufactured by the London-based Invisibility Shield Co, the Invisibility Shield 2.0 is being offered in Mini, Full and Megashield sizes. As its name implies, it's the new-and-improved successor to the company's original Invisibility Shield.

So, how does it work?

Well, the Shield takes the form of a curved sheet of clear high-grade polycarbonate, which is held upright by a clear polycarbonate frame on the back. An array of tall, skinny lenses is embedded side-by-side in that sheet, each lens running all the way from the top to the bottom of the Shield.

As the user stands or crouches behind the device, the lenses diffuse the ambient light that's reflected by their body across the entire front surface of the Shield. That said, the lenses also diffuse the light reflected by the user's background across the whole front.

Because the user is much narrower than their background, the light from their body is essentially drowned out by the light from the background. As a result, someone viewing the Shield from the front sees just the diffused background light, which blends right in with their view of the background itself.

The Shield works best if the user is wearing light-colored clothing, and if the background is fairly uniform in appearance – horizontal lines in the background really help sell the illusion. It doesn't matter how far away the viewer is, as the effect remains the same.

The whole thing sounds very clever and whatnot, but … what could you actually use the Shield for?

We're told that applications of the original Invisibility Shield have included hiding contestants on a Korean dating show, staying unseen when playing paintball, performing stage magic, hiding small items on an office desk for entertainment purposes, and observing wildlife. Potential backers should take note, however, that users can't clearly see their surroundings through the Shield – they have to peek around it.

The Full-size Shield stands 3 ft, 3 in tall by 2 ft, 3 in wide (99 by 69 cm), whereas the Megashield measures 6 ft by 4 ft (183 by 122 cm). The Mini – which hides things like "small items on an office desk" – comes in at 1 ft by 7.9 in (30.5 by 20 cm).

Assuming the Invisibility Shield 2.0 reaches production, a pledge of £299 (about US$378) will get you the Full, £699 ($883) will get you the Megashield, and £54 ($68) will get you the Mini. The three models can be seen in use, in the video below.

And should you be wondering, the Invisibility Shield 2.0 is said to be larger, lighter, stronger, stabler, brighter, easier to carry, and viewable from a wider angle than the original model.

Source: Kickstarter/NewAtlas

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