‘Adaptive camouflage’ generating more interest

Adaptive camouflage for personnel and vehicles has become a military priority, and has potential beyond the battlefield, according to Daniel Wilson’s new column at Popular Mechanics.

Researchers from Tokyo University in Japan have developed an early prototype of adaptive camouflage. Their approach is simple: A video camera on the back of a white rain jacket collects an image that is projected onto the front of the jacket as if it were a movie screen.  The jacket is made of a retroreflective material that clearly shows the projected image.

The real problem is to make adaptive camouflage show the right image from every angle at once, not just from the front.

Invisibility applications extend past the battlefield: Surgeons could see through their own fingers during operations, pilots could orient themselves by seeing through the airplane floor, and you could finally get a decent window in your basement apartment. Unfortunately, current technology only works at short distances, in dim places and at select viewing angles.

The only way to transcend these boundaries is to develop faster processors, brighter LEDs and more-flexible display elements.

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