From Invisible Clothes To Invisible Walls

from the those-in-invisible-houses... dept

Apparently, the the invisible coat is yesterday’s technology, and its inventor is hard at work focusing on building the invisible wall. As with the cloak, this works just by projecting an image onto the wall of what one would see if the wall weren’t there. His goal is to make it someone in a room that had no outside windows, could look and see what was going on outside. A simple suggestion: simply installing windows seems like a perfectly reasonable solution in most cases where this situation exists.

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Comments on “From Invisible Clothes To Invisible Walls”

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Ed says:

Re: hoax?

No, retroreflective material is something that reflects light rays back in exactly the direction they came from. It has been used for safety reflectors for a long time. Its usefulness here is that the retroreflective surfaces will reflect back a coherent image that has been projected onto them, while normal surfaces will just scatter the image.

Rootman says:

If it isn't a gag . . .

then I could see a few reasons why.
Security – a ‘window’ where one shouldn’t be where it can be broken and entrance gained.
Engineering – a ‘window’ where on couldn’t be.
Retrofit – a ‘window’ where on isn’t and can’t be easily.
Insulation – a real window leaks heat / gains heat like a seive. In a critical situation this could mean being able to see out and not have an energy penalty – depending on how efficient and costly the system is.

dorpus says:

Makes perfect sense

Have you ever been to Tokyo during the summer? Being surrounded by reflective concrete, which has a thermal lens effect, so you are like the proverbial ant under the magnifying glass? That city would save billions of dollars if their buildings could have fewer windows, thus less air conditioning and more privacy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Makes perfect sense

Plus, well placed invisible walls could be bloody hilarious.

How about for battleships and the like? Instead of glass windows or tempered glass, use steel?

Same for storefronts: make all brick buildings, and reveal the ENTIRE storefront wall as a giant picture window… a window that would never need cleaning (in the traditional manner).

Crazy at the outset, but some interesting possibilites.

Ed Halley says:

No Subject Given


These photo gimmicks are just smoke and mirrors, and have next to zero practical application.

(1) The projection has to come from somewhere. If you’re doing a front-projection on a wall or a cloak or a coat, then the image will appear on anything that is near the projector’s path. Rear projection takes a fair amount of space behind the wall to set up, and won’t work with cloaks.

(2) The projection will only look right from exactly one angle. You can’t project a hologram, so the view will look wrong if the viewer is not at the same location the source camera was. If you move your head side to side, the illusion is completely broken; if two people are in the room, you can’t fool them both.

justfred (user link) says:

Window to somewhere else

This is a great idea; I’ve been imagining it for years, but with a slightly different application: windows to somewhere else! These would be high-resolution webcams.

Set up “window servers” around the world: on the beach in Fiji; the shark tank at the Baltimore Aquarium; at a bear crossing in Denali; at a wildlife park in Kenya? In fact, it seems like subscriptions to these window servers might be a great money-making opportunity for places like these. Time Square in New York? Pickadilly Circus? Red Square?

Content should be “live” but could easily be time-delayed. Since much of the picture might not be moving, it should compress fairly well.

My office has a window to an ugly hallway. The window in the next office looks out on an industrial park. I’d much rather have a tunable window that I could set to look out at a different place each week.

At the same time, the system could be used for live videoconferencing.

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