Invisibility has moved from space and spies into the real world

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ROCHESTER, New York – “So'wI'yIchu'!” That’s Klingon for “engage the cloaking device!” Even British secret agents licensed to kill have their cloaking devices.

And, pretty soon, we’ll all have one, maybe.

Researchers at the University of Rochester say they’ve figured out how to make things invisible. They say the basic idea to cloaking is to make light pass around an object as if it isn’t there.

To do this, the researchers used standard lenses, and items sitting around the lab.

“We simplified it to a four-lens system, and as you can see, all we’ve used are off-the-shelf optics that we can get from any of the optical stores,” explained Joseph Choi, an optics graduate student who worked on the project.

The team says this may be the first device that can do three-dimensional, continuous, multi-directional cloaking.

When not cloaking space ships or bond cars, this device could allow a surgeon to see through his hands during an operation, or to allow drivers to see through the blind spots of their vehicles.

Or, to help you sneak back into the house when you’ve been out after curfew.