Star Trek tech we use today (almost)

For the past four decades, Star Trek has been influencing and predicting new gadgets and technologies. How close are we to Trek-inspired phasers, tricorders, and invisibility cloaks?

Star Trek: Cloaking Device vs. Today: Prototype Cloaking Devices



Various civilizations in the Star Trek universe mastered the science of cloaking--the ability to render an object invisible to the naked eye, to the electromagnetic spectrum, and to most sensors. Starships were often cloaked for military combat, and Romulan warships always seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Researchers today are developing cloaking technologies that bend electromagnetic waves around an object. These prototypes don’t render an object invisible to infrared and visible light, but they can cloak different types of waves. A short video from Duke University demonstrates and explains how this is done. Another approach is demonstrated in the picture above: Researcher Susumu Tachi has created an optical camouflage system--though we're inclined to call it a windbreakering device rather than a cloaking device. Anyone wearing this special reflective material seems to disappear (or at least become see-through): A video camera captures what's going on behind whoever the subject is and projects that image to the front of the reflective material. Can Romulan-style cloaking be so very far away?

12 of 16
VIEW ALL THUMBNAILS

Comments on this image

There are currently no comments for this image.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Related Slideshows

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?