Skip to main content
The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!

Now you see me, now you don't

Prof Tachi hopes to see this technology used in medicine in the future.
Will wearing an "invisible" cloak ever become fashionable?
Technology (general)

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- If you have ever wished you could be invisible, just like Harry Potter in his magic cloak, you are in luck, thanks to an invention by a Japanese scientist.

Professor Susumu Tachi, from Tokyo University, has developed a process called optical camouflage, which turns objects invisible -- or more accurately, translucent.

A camera films a scene, which is happening behind the wearer of the cloak.

The image is then projected on to the cloak -- made up of hundreds of tiny glass beads that reflect the image back.

The viewer, in turn, sees both the cloak and what's happening behind it -- effectively turning the wearer invisible.

Tachi says his invention depicts an "augmented reality", which is better, in some ways, than actual reality.

"The real world is augmented by information. The information might be an X-Ray or an MRI image or the information from a background camera."

He hopes to see his invention used in medicine, which would allow a surgeon to see what's happening inside his patient before ever making a cut.

In Washington, meanwhile, blocks of translucent concrete have gone on show at the National Building Museum.

The wall is made out of a new material called LiTraCon, which stands for Light Transmitting Concrete, and is made by adding glass fibers to normal concrete mix.

Suggested uses for the concrete, created by Hungarian architect Áron Losonczi, include building indoor fire escapes, which would allow light to be transmitted during power cuts in underground transport systems to let natural light in.

CNN's Atika Shubert contributed to this report

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Burgers, lattes and CD burners
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.