Invisibility, Anyone?

For the most part, those of us dressing in latex clothing or even an ‘interesting’ accessory are pretty much hoping to show it off. Sometimes we slip into the alt. clothing we do as a way of protecting ourselves, while still being out and about. Other times what we put on acts as that delicious second skin that alights our senses with constant sensation. Still, in other instances, we dress as we do to connect to a particular population of men and women we are most comfortable with. And lastly, quite often all we are after when wearing some liquid leggings or a wicked catsuit is to look damn hot!

But what about courting the idea of invisibility with our wardrobe? Exploring that age-old science fiction/fantasy trope of throwing on a piece of clothing, flipping a switch or getting under J.K. Rowling’s “Invisibility Cloak,” stepping unseen throughout day? It seems Engineers at the University of California, Irvine quite possibly have cracked the code on invisibility material.

Findings published last week in Science (see here) reveal the creation of a new thin material, made of aluminum, plastic and ‘sticky tape’ that can, under certain conditions, change its reflection of the heat it produces. When acted upon-pulled apart or shocked with a certain voltage-the grey material transforms to a glassy surface and its heat signature changes. Since infrared detection is based on the heat the detector senses from a subject’s surface, something that can change its heat output, when used correctly, for all intents and purposes could render the material ‘invisible’ to certain kinds of detection.

The active color-changing for this new material was actually influenced from studying the skin of squids, octopuses and cuttlefish (coleoid cephalopods). These coleoid cephalopods can alter their skin to fit their surroundings. Man made material like the U of C scientists created can be used in any number of ways and could lead to untold advances in many fields.

Are you ready to be rendered invisible in the clothes you wear?