This is not a scam: Make your own 'invisibility cloak' for just $127

Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered a way to hide large objects from sight using inexpensive and readily available lenses, a technology that seems to have sprung from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter fantasy series.

Best part is, they are showing us non-scientists how regular folks can do the same with a budget of just US$100 (S$127).

First the bad news.

The method does not allow you to create an actual invisibility cloak similar to the one that Harry Potter uses. It merely allows you to to create the illusion of invisibility.

The object you're trying to hide "disappears" when it's placed behind a device that looks like it came from an optometrist's office. 

 “A lot of people have worked on a lot of different aspects of optical cloaking for years,” John Howell, a professor of physics at the upstate New York school, said on Friday (Sept 26). 

“From what, we know this is the first cloaking device that provides three-dimensional, continuously multidirectional cloaking,” added Joseph Choi, a graduate student who helped develop the method at Rochester, which is renowned for its optical research.

Multiple uses

In their tests, the researchers have cloaked a hand, a face, and a ruler – making each object appear “invisible” while the image behind the hidden object remains in view.

The implications for the discovery are endless, they say. “I imagine this could be used to cloak a trailer on the back of a semi-truck so the driver can see directly behind him,” Choi said.

“It can be used for surgery, in the military, in interior design, art.”

Howell said the Rochester Cloak, like the fictitious cloak described in the pages of the Harry Potter series, causes no distortion of the background object.

Building the device does not break the bank either.

It cost Howell and Choi a little over $1,000 in materials to create it and they believe it can be done even cheaper.

Although a patent is pending, they have released simple instructions on how to create a Rochester Cloak at home for under $100

Now get cloaking people!

Source: Reuters, Rochester University, YouTube