Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Rook! I'm Invisibir!
February 5, 2003 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Japanese create "invisible" cloak. Well, not really. Technically, just a two sided cloak, the front of which is a projector, and the back of which is a camera. Only works, one would imagine, if you're looking at a person straight on, and even then it would help if you were partially blind, or at the very least, raised in the wilderness & easily fooled by modern technology.
posted by jonson (55 comments total)

 
Transparent would have been a better definition methinks.
Farksy post.
posted by 111 at 1:20 PM on February 5, 2003


Finally, my dreams of becoming a Predator are coming closer to reality. Now someone just needs to build a shoulder mounted plasma cannon and i am set.
posted by quin at 1:23 PM on February 5, 2003


This doesn't seem to be what you think it is. The 'invisible' effect is due to how the photo is taken, i.e the camera is taking images from behind the person. If you would look at them in person it would just be a coat (probably a green or blue coat)
posted by zeoslap at 1:23 PM on February 5, 2003


"Farksy post."

Fark wouldn't post it, 'cause they banned Ananova links.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:24 PM on February 5, 2003


"Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men." -- The Republic

Uh oh. This may be a bad thing. Certainly it will square the shit out of the squirrels.
posted by Hildago at 1:26 PM on February 5, 2003


Hey jonson, why don't you send Matt Drudge an email about this cloak? I bet he'd give it some space on his site; it would be something like, for instance, a title along the lines of "Japanese scientist invents 'invisibility cloak'... " and perhaps a picture.
posted by 111 at 1:27 PM on February 5, 2003


111, do you not like this post or something?
posted by Shane at 1:31 PM on February 5, 2003


That is just awful. What good is this technology at this stage?
posted by riffola at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2003


111, zeoslap, you can downplay this all you want. We’ll see who’s smug when the invisible ninjas show up.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:35 PM on February 5, 2003


By awful I meant the coat. The post is very MeFi.
posted by riffola at 1:36 PM on February 5, 2003


This is cool. I guess he's trying to make The One Jacket.
posted by borgle at 1:37 PM on February 5, 2003


This is all very relevant. Aren't we all waiting for invisibility so we can sneak into the girls' (or boys') locker room during shower time?
posted by Shane at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2003


Invisible Ninjas are cool, and by cool I mean...
posted by stifford at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2003


Any one see on Discovery channel way back, a good year. They showed a tank but you could not see it, just hear it moving. Then after the commentary about it, you could make out an image like in the movie Predator.

I was pretty sure this was real video not something simulated.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2003


Just to provide some support for this thread, here are some links to Susumu Tachi other work (pdf). It is kind of neat to see how this project has evolved, based upon his previous research.

i can see a whole new fashion style springing up from something like this.
posted by quin at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2003


It's going to replace sandwich boards, I tells ya. Think how much cooler it will be to read "The End Is Near! Repent Now!" on an invisible cloak than on a crummy piece of cardboard.
posted by iconomy at 1:41 PM on February 5, 2003


i can see a whole new fashion style springing up from something like this.

Yes, invisibility cloaks are very slimming.
posted by Shane at 1:41 PM on February 5, 2003


So... 111 calls it Fark fodder, crash implies it's not good enough for Fark, and 111 counters with Drudge. I am shamed. Shamed, I tell you. I knew I should have gone with my post re: monkeys riding dogs herding sheep.

Also, zeoslap - no, you're not reading it right, it really is a coat that takes pictures of what's going on behind the user and displays them on the front of the coat. So, looking at the coat in person would look (apparently) just like the photograph does, you'd see what was happening behind them. Albeit, in a blue/green tinted haze.
posted by jonson at 1:49 PM on February 5, 2003


Shane, I do not think the post is MeFi-worthy at all, but re the Drudge thing our pal jonson knows what I'm talking about. It's happening a little bit too often here, btw, and it's not just jonson.
I did laugh from your and Samsonov's comments though, so it was worthy in a sense.
posted by 111 at 1:49 PM on February 5, 2003


Videos.
posted by perplexed at 1:49 PM on February 5, 2003


How does the shirt know whether the arms are raised or lowered, or perpendicular to the body of the shirt?
posted by crunchland at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2003


yeah, perhaps i can't see would have been more appropriate ;) but strictly looking at the projecting an image onto clothing aspect, i imagine some really neat things could be done.
posted by quin at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2003


And the coat isn't special, there's a whole contraption in the backend carrying out the processing. You also need to look through a special device to see it in action.
posted by perplexed at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2003


Shane, I do not think the post is MeFi-worthy at all,

111, what can I say. It's no Hippos Roam Colombian Drug Lord's Abandoned Ranch, but you may have set the bar just a little out of my reach, my good man.

but re the Drudge thing our pal jonson knows what I'm talking about

Honestly? no, I don't. Was this something referenced in MeTa at some point? I have poor memory... Shane's joke, however, I did get, and was mightily amused by.
posted by jonson at 2:04 PM on February 5, 2003


This was passed around a few months ago on a variety of blogs as "Optical Camouflage".

And I must say, the title of this post is really dumb. Oh wait I meant "rearry dumb." Ha! Stereotypes are just so funny.
posted by mathowie at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2003


"crash implies it's not good enough for Fark"

I was implying nothing, just stating a fact.

I remain neutral, like Switzerland (only less pasty).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2003


Damn you Jonson for finding something you found interesting and sharing it!

I liked the post. Thanks.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:14 PM on February 5, 2003


jonson, zeoslap may be right. At first I thought we were looking at some kind of coat-shaped LCD display, but that's clearly not the case.

Read the page 'Perplexed' linked, above. And watch one of the videos (I watched the second one.) I first thought that we are seeing basically a slide projection show: these objects are covered with highly reflective material, and photo images are projected which match the background environment. I wasn't sure why the projected imagery does not appear at all on the person's clothing or glasses -- perhaps a very narrowly focused projection beam... nah, wait...

Reading over it again, I think zeoslap is on the right track. It may be a variety of chroma-keying, a common video technique which allows your local newscaster to appear in front of giant weather maps.

Perhaps these objects are covered in in green or blue, then viewed through a video system which replaces that key color with a recorded still image or a live video feed of the background image.
posted by Tubes at 2:16 PM on February 5, 2003


jonson: i'm with you, if only for the phrasing. And that Mad Max Capuchin is so fake.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:20 PM on February 5, 2003


no, you're not reading it right, it really is a coat that takes pictures of what's going on

The coat is a retroreflector, or a directed reflection surface. The camouflage requires an external projector and a carefully aligned half-mirror between the viewer and the wearer, as per perplexed's link.

Rook! I'm Invisibir!

You find that funny, jonson?
posted by eddydamascene at 2:22 PM on February 5, 2003


This is not about what I find funny.

Okay, yes it is. Most of my posts are, I'm shallow that way. Seriously I already sent Matt a note and asked him to delete the title tag, it was (in my head) a parody of racist cliches, but in print, it's just flat out stupid, and racist. A review of my posting history will show that while I am guilty of many things, I'm certainly not racist. Except against the Jews, who are, let's be honest, secretly responsible for the majority of the wickedness that goes on in the world. Just kidding.*

*or am I? Maybe we'll never know.
posted by jonson at 2:35 PM on February 5, 2003


Ooo, yer in for it now boyo.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:41 PM on February 5, 2003


Tubes, what I saw involving a tank. First you could see it especially with sound but it was "what was on the other side of it" yet the image had a mirage effect to it.

They said there were many many tiny screens placed on one side of the tank then these images were fed from many many tiny cameras placed on the other side of the tank. (part of the technology was classified so they would say more)

So a tree that was being projected in the middle of the right side of the tank was being captured from a camera mounted on the middle left side of the tank. Hope I made some sense here if this was the same technology used.

Also the material used for the cloak, shirt, is it the same material from previous discussions on shirts that can display a tv image on it from within the fibers? Optical fibers being used maybe, not sure from memory.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:42 PM on February 5, 2003


Jonson: ?????????
posted by SweetJesus at 2:48 PM on February 5, 2003


Wow.. Well Kanji worked on preview, but I guess it's romanji only.

That should have said "Anata ga baka desu."
posted by SweetJesus at 2:49 PM on February 5, 2003


All I know is that the invisible ninjas will be first up against the invisible wall when the invisible revolution comes. Unless of course you're viewing them from an angle and then not so much...
posted by blue_beetle at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2003


"Wintermute," Yonderboy repeated, nodding, bobbing his crest of pink hair. His suit went matte black, a carbon shadow against old concrete...hood up to hide the pink, the suit exactly the right shade of gray, mottled and stained as the sidewalk he stood on. The eyes winked back...and then he was really gone.
posted by yonderboy at 3:16 PM on February 5, 2003


sure why the projected imagery does not appear at all on the person's clothing or glasses -- perhaps a very narrowly focused projection beam... nah, wait...

If you read the pdf at the bottom of the page, the image projected is too dim to be visible to the naked eye, except when it falls on the retroreflector. That's why it's only visible on the object and jacket and not the guys hands or anything else.

The jacket is highly reflective, like a bike reflector, so only that reflects the image.

(You mean this:あなたは愚かです? Kanji on Mefi a little difficult)
posted by bobo123 at 3:19 PM on February 5, 2003


Never mind our invisibly approaching ninja overlords; never mind Matt's remarks; jonson, let me simply ask you this: where did you find this 14 line article? Where you surfing the depths of ananovaland and suddenly, eureka! This will make a great MeFi fpp! I say it didn't happen that way. If you still don't get it, I'll just leave it at that.
posted by 111 at 3:54 PM on February 5, 2003


I once worked on a project similar to what thomcatspike describes. We used the camera/screen approach but were less concerned with actual pictures than colors. The result was a sort of dazzle effect like you see on warships (I guess that could be described as a mirage). The advantage of that, of course, is that it's dynamic. Moving from a forest into a snowfield would not leave the object bereft of camouflage.

Besides the processing problems (large number of incident angles times large number of points of view), there was that troublesome IR consideration. Bah -- I went back to simple things like stealth tec
posted by joaquim at 3:59 PM on February 5, 2003


Uh... I found it on Blogdex, saw that it hadn't been posted here, thought it was interesting. Sorry to keep posting in my own thread, I would have emailed you about this, 111... except, no email address on your user page.

Oh, and you're right... I still don't get it. SweetJesus is right, I am foolish.
posted by jonson at 4:03 PM on February 5, 2003


The jacket is highly reflective, like a bike reflector, so only that reflects the image.

The bike reflector analogy is the key (thanks bobo123) -- the projected image (which is directed towards the jacket through the half-mirror, in line with the viewing direction) does not appear on anything except the jacket because the retroreflective material reflects all light back at the same angle that it is incident on the surface (in this case, the projected image straight back towards the viewer), whereas the hand diffuses light in all directions (so that component of the projected image on the hand which returns to the viewer is too dim to be seen). With a perfect retroreflector, the project image would be returned even on the folds of the jacket, where the incident light is far from normal to the surface.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:47 PM on February 5, 2003


Who cares if it's invisible? It looks cool. I want one. :)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:54 PM on February 5, 2003


As a half-Japanese person learning the Japanese language, we are taught that the Japanese have neither an equivalent letter for R, nor a letter for L, what they have in its place, according to Yamaguchi Sensei, is a sound equivalent to (R + L + D)/3. So Rook!, I'm Invisibir made me laugh out loud, and offend did not.

That said, this invention is very typically Japanese.
posted by vito90 at 6:31 PM on February 5, 2003


Good ol Susumu Tachi's invisiblity cloak, this has been going around quite a bit...

Boing Boing
Fark
Slashdot
Annanova
Boing Boing (again)
Metafilter (first time, okay)
Metafilter (again)
Fark (again)

... the fun part is reading all the funny theories on how it works (hint: read the pdf from the lab's page, no computers or bluescreens). I'm betting it makes it back on slashdot again within 24 hours.
posted by bobo123 at 6:39 PM on February 5, 2003


I love vito90. As if his squrirels comment in the Courtney Love thread weren't enough, as if the lockjaw comment in the Williams sisters thread weren't enough. I'm naming my first child Vito, whether she likes it or not.
posted by jonson at 7:05 PM on February 5, 2003


We’ll see who’s smug when the invisible ninjas show up.

Har! Show up. That kills me...
posted by bwg at 10:20 PM on February 5, 2003


it was (in my head) a parody of racist cliches, but in print, it's just flat out stupid, and racist

I honestly thought it was some kind of obscure scooby-doo reference. I was trying to figure out how likening someone to scooby-doo was stereotyping.
posted by boltman at 10:58 PM on February 5, 2003


Herro! Jonson! This page will be updated from time to time as I run across defining comments from various users.

Get on it, kid
posted by vito90 at 10:14 AM on February 6, 2003


all this...yet no-one mentions Bond's invisible car from Die Another Day...
posted by anyanka at 4:12 PM on February 6, 2003


what offended me was the spelling of inbisiburu. There is no 'v' sound in Japanese. It becomes a 'b' sound.

also, anata wa baka desu sounds like you're hitting on jonson.
posted by wrench at 12:14 PM on February 12, 2003


Okay, can some of the Nipponophones here clue us poor Indo-European types on what SweetJesus just said to jonson (i.e., "????????")?
posted by skoosh at 4:31 PM on February 12, 2003


Curses! I should have read this beforehand... What I meant to say was:

Okay, can some of the Nipponophones here clue us poor Indo-European types on what SweetJesus just said to jonson (i.e., "あなたは愚かです")?
posted by skoosh at 4:49 PM on February 12, 2003


skoosh: you are stupid.
posted by wrench at 1:38 PM on February 16, 2003


also, anata wa baka desu sounds like you're hitting on jonson.

I screwed up a little bit (used desu instead of imasu, used two wrong particles), but how does it sound like I'm hitting on Jonson? 'Anata' means you, 'baka' means idiot and 'desu' is the wong ending. It should read 'antata ga baka ni imasu', 'imasu' being the verb "to exist/to be". I could drop the 'anata ga' part, and have it just be "baka ni imasu" and it would still be correct.

Unless 'baka' has some other meaning that I'm not aware of (I bet it does), how does it sound like I'm hitting on Jonson, when in reality, I'm calling him an idiot?
posted by SweetJesus at 1:20 PM on March 3, 2003


« Older The Chuck Hagel voting machine ownership story get...  |   kevin mitnick, the famed hack... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments