The US army wants to take camouflage to a whole new level — developing suits that will effectively make the wearers invisible. They are currently planning with companies who are capable of developing such technology and aim to have it within just 18 months. While this sounds like coming from a sci-fi movie, this type of technology is actually closer than what we think!
There is a material known as meta-material, capable of bending light around an object and was first demonstrated almost ten years ago. Researchers have shown that metamaterials have the capacity to make an effective invisibility cloak design. A video from TedTalks explains the technology quite brilliantly.
While the idea seems feasible from the research lab, there are still plenty of challenges that make it trickier to apply on the outside world. The metamaterial technology currently works from specific angles and wavelengths. There are also issues on power sources. The US army needs at least 8 hours of battery life weighing less than a kilo to make the invisibility cloak feasible for the field.
Hyperstealth Biotechnology, a company from Canada, thinks the technology is very close, and they are now bending the rules of physics to deliver the perfect camouflage technology to the US army within the 18-month timeframe. Whatever the outcome, it is unlikely we could really produce a technology that provides complete invisibility. However, any improvement on our current camouflage sounds very promising.