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Ever fancied that invisibility cloak from Harry Potter?
Of course you have - and excitingly the reality might not be as far off as you'd think. 
Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have released a video showing how you can now move an object which is cloaked by a device they have created and it still remains hidden to the human eye.
The invention follows in the footsteps of the Rochester Cloak, unveiled in 2014, which uses four lenses in a line at specific distances from each other to make objects appear invisible.

Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have released a video showing how you can now move an object which is cloaked by a device they have created and it still remains hidden to the human eye
Researchers from the University of Rochester in New York have released a video showing how you can now move an object which is cloaked by a device they have created and it still remains hidden to the human eye

The invention follows in the footsteps of the Rochester Cloak , unveiled in 2014, which uses four lenses in a line at specific distances from each other to make objects appear invisible
The invention follows in the footsteps of the Rochester Cloak , unveiled in 2014, which uses four lenses in a line at specific distances from each other to make objects appear invisible

The scientists have now been able to use flat screen displays to extend the range of angles that can be hidden from view. 
Their method lays out how cloaks of arbitrary shapes, that work from multiple viewpoints, may be practically realized in the near future using commercially available digital devices.
The clip shows PhD student Joseph Choi using a camera, an iPad and a special lenticular lens.
He films the background before processing it so it can be displayed on the iPad thought the lens.
Usually the viewer at this stage could spot the difference between the background and a video of it played on a screen in front by changing their point of view
But the researchers explain in the video: 'This system calculates the direction and position of the light rays so they can be properly displayed as if they were unobstructed.
'As a result, the area behind the display is effectively cloaked.

The scientists have now been able to use flat screen displays to extend the range of angles that can be hidden from view
The scientists have now been able to use flat screen displays to extend the range of angles that can be hidden from view

Their method lays out how cloaks of arbitrary shapes, that work from multiple viewpoints, may be practically realized in the near future using commercially available digital devices
Their method lays out how cloaks of arbitrary shapes, that work from multiple viewpoints, may be practically realized in the near future using commercially available digital devices

The clip shows PhD student Joseph Choi using a camera, an iPad and a special lenticular lens. He films the background before processing it so it can be displayed on the iPad thought the lens
The clip shows PhD student Joseph Choi using a camera, an iPad and a special lenticular lens. He films the background before processing it so it can be displayed on the iPad thought the lens

'As the viewpoint shifts, the image on the display changes accordingly, keeping it aligned with the background.'
Those who consider equipping themselves with an iPad somewhat burdensome for the 'magic' effect will be relieved to know that flexible computer screens that can be rolled up like newspapers have already been developed and would be more practical than an iPad. 

One problem the the device so far is the poor resolution of the image, which is significantly lower than the resolution of the purely optical device.
Furthermore if the image behind the screen alters, the effect is lost as the background would need to be filmed and processed again, which would take several minutes.
However Choi and his adviser Professor John Howell, are hoping to soon be able to produce the same effect in real time. 
The Rochester Digital Cloak is patent pending.

By Harriet Mallinson. dailymail









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