A UK-based company designs invisibility shield that you can buy today

It is a lightweight, portable shield that doesn't need power to function.
Ameya Paleja

A London-based company has figured out the technology needed to build an invisibility shield that can help you spring a surprise on your friends. Not just that, you can get your hands on its later this year, if you pledge your support to their Kickstarter campaign

A few years ago, invisibility shields were all the rage on the internet. Everybody wanted to build one and bridge the gap between science fiction and reality. As with trending ideas, people lost interest and some pivoted to military applications, leaving civilian technology enthusiasts in the lurch.

But London-based Invisibility Shield Co., picked up the mantle and surged ahead with ideas they had, failed miserably, but never gave up. Almost two years later, they have settled upon a reliable and efficient mechanism to make large yet light invisibility shields that could be at your doorstep in time for Christmas. 

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Learnings from physics and precision engineering

The technology behind the function of the shield is fairly simple. A precision-engineered lens array works to deflect light from the subject (behind the shield), away from the observer (in front of the shield). The lenses are oriented vertically to allow light from the subject to diffuse when it passes through the shield. The light from the subject's background is refracted towards the observer who cannot spot the subject hiding behind the shield. 

After trialing multiple lens shapes, angles, and depths as well as ways to mount them on a scaffold, the team settled on a technique that does not even require toxic resins that are commonplace in such builds. 

The shield works best against uniform backgrounds such as foliage, grass, sand, and sky but will also work well against walls, painted lines, and rails, the company claims on its Kickstarter page. 

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How much will it set me back?

The company offers these shields in two sizes, a full size which is about 3 x 2 feet, sufficient to hide a full-grown human or even two behind it while sitting down. The other one measures about 12 x 8 inches. The former is priced at $394 while the smaller one can be yours for about $65, including international shipping. 

Not to forget, the shield works purely on optics so there is no power source needed to operate it and weighs just nine pounds, so it is fairly portable. At just over two inches thick, the shield is free-standing and is made up of UV and temperature-resistant material that is used for external signages. 

Just in case, you do not find a use for it after a few years, the entire assembly can be recycled just as wastes generated during their production are. The company has also tied up with logistic teams that work towards reducing emissions while making their deliveries. 

The company has already secured 362 orders at the time of this writing and is estimated to make its deliveries by December this year. 

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