B.C. company says it's crafting cloak of invisibility
Imagine if you could just wrap a piece of fabric around you – and you became invisible.
It may sound like something out of a Harry Potter movie, but a Maple Ridge, B.C. company is hoping to make this idea a reality.
Hyperstealth Biotechnology is in the midst of manufacturing a material using light-bending technology, branded "Quantum Stealth."
"This is something they could actually fold up in their pocket, and bring it out when they need it. Or they could actually make it into their uniform," company president and CEO Guy Cramer tells Global BC reporter Ted Chernecki.
The fabric, which works 360 degrees, "doesn't operate on a power source, it doesn't use cameras, it doesn't use mirrors, and there's no instruction manual for it. Put it on and it works."
It's not expensive or heavy either, according to Cramer, who says a two-pound cloak will wrap up a soldier, and make him or her under wraps.
Cramer says the fabric can render someone invisible by bending light waves around him or her. And it also removes the ability for thermal and infrared (night vision) sensors to detect the person.
Even the person's shadow will mostly disappear - with only five per cent remaining.
For security reasons, Cramer won't exactly explain or show how the light bending works, and has been ordered to keep the invention hidden, much like the object it is covering.
He can, however, provide mock-up photos to demonstrate how the fabric is meant to work.
The fabric does have its drawbacks. If enemies can't see you, your comrades might not either. Cramer has a solution, however. "We can do a half-cloak, so just the front half is done."
And if the fabric falls into the hands of the enemy, he has crafted a counter-measure, just in case. It will "detect anyone else with something identical or similar to Quantum Stealth."
Other companies have had varying degrees of success with a similar material, but Cramer insists his variation has the attention of both military and governments, including Canada's.
He says he is now in negotiations with Ottawa to introduce the material into the Canadian Forces.
Due to the invention's secrecy, Cramer says only a select few have seen the fabric in use, such as Canadian and American military groups. Britain is also interested in obtaining Quantum Stealth, he says.
Hyperstealth Biotechnology says it has made more than two million camouflage uniforms for soldiers around the world, including Canada, the U.S., Jordan and Afghanistan. The company has also developed camouflage patterns for thousands of military vehicles and jets, and hunters.
Overall, the company has about 12,000 camouflage patterns, which are all under copyright.
Cramer says light-bending technology hasn't made camouflage clothing obselete, and that the latter has its place.
Read it on Global News: Imagine if you could just wrap a piece of fabric around you – and you became invisible.
Canadian camouflage company claims to have created perfect invisibility cloak, US military soon to be invisible
A Canadian company called Hyperstealth is reporting that it has developed Quantum Stealth, a material that renders the target “completely invisible by bending light waves around the target.” If the mock-up photos are to be believed, Quantum Stealth basically works like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.
Since 2002, Hyperstealth has been in the business of designing camouflage patterns for military uniforms, vehicles, and installations. In 2010, at the International Camouflage Symposium, Hyperstealth’s CEO Guy Cramer demonstrated SmartCamo — a material that could reportedly adjust its camouflage markings to match its surroundings. We say “reportedly” because Cramer apparently published a video demonstration of SmartCamo, but then US military intervened and asked him to take it down. Presumably Quantum Stealth is a follow-up from SmartCamo.
Again, for security reasons, Cramer is saying very little about Quantum Stealth. All of the pictures that you see here, and on Hyperstealth’s site, are mock-ups, because “for security issues we can not show the actual technology.” Cramer says that both the US and Canadian military have seen Quantum Stealth in action, and that they’ve also confirmed that the material obscures the target from infrared (thermal) imaging. Below, you can see Cramer talking to CNN’s Pentagon correspondent about Quantum Stealth.
Now, we’ve written about invisibility cloaks in the past, but these have generally been very small, lab-based experiments that only work with very specific wavelengths of light. These invisibility cloaks generally work by bending light around an object using metamaterial waveguides — think of them as optical paths that negatively refract light, so that their detour around the object can’t be discerned. So far, we have only managed to develop metamaterials that bend specific wavelengths of light — so the object might be invisible to microwaves or infrared, but not both. Quantum Stealth reportedly works across the entire range of visible light, and infrared too. If this is really the case, Quantum Stealth completely redefines the state of the art.
In theory, Quantum Stealth works by bending light around the target, and Cramer certainly uses the right words to support his case — nanotechnology, metamaterials — but it’s still very hard to believe that a lone inventor in Canada has actually succeeded in creating an invisibility cloak. It’s not impossible, but it’s improbable. I want to say that there’s a clue in the name — that Quantum Stealth somehow uses some neat glitch in quantum mechanics to provide invisibility — but really, it’s probably just hyperbole, like the company’s name. If Quantum Stealth really exists, though, you’d assume that the US military would be quick to flaunt its new toy. After all, there’s nothing more terrifying than an invisible army.