Science & Technology
Toyota has patented a 'cloaking device'
August 23, 2017 | 9 comments
The technology could help to reduce road accidents. Image Credit: sxc.hu
The car manufacturer is aiming to use a form of cloaking technology to improve driver visibility.
While Harry Potter had no trouble staying out of sight with his magical invisibility cloak at Hogwarts, rendering something invisible in the real world has so far proven to be a lot more challenging.
Now Japanese automotive giant Toyota has expressed an interest in developing its own unique type of 'cloaking device' for use in the automobile industry and has even acquired a new patent for "apparatuses and methods for making an object appear transparent."
What's interesting about it is the way this technology will be used. Rather than 'cloaking' an actual car, the idea would be to make the pillars to the left and right of the dashboard transparent so that the driver could see their surroundings more clearly.
It's actually quite a clever concept, especially given that these pillars do obstruct the driver's view. The way in which the firm hopes to achieve this is also deceptively simple.
"Light from an object on an object-side of the cloaking device [i.e., facing the road] is directed around an article [the A-pillars] ]within the cloaking region and forms an image on an image-side of the cloaking device [i.e., facing the driver's seat] such the article appears transparent to an observer looking towards the object," the patent reads.
In other words - a series of mirrors would be used to bend visible light around the pillars so that the driver can see straight through them as if they weren't even there.
If the idea actually makes it in to consumer vehicles it could have the potential to save many lives.
Source: NBC News
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