British troops test Harry Potter-style invisibility cloak

The 3rd Infantry Battalion of the British Armed Forces took part in field trials of a high-tech camouflage cape called Vatec at the American proving ground. The main feature of the tested novelty is the creation of the effect of invisibility of the soldier and his weapons, even for infrared and thermal detection devices.

The Vatec coating consists of cells that behave similarly to the skin of octopuses and squids, consisting of chromotaphor pigment cells. Natural pigments react to external hazards by changing their color. Scientists have been able to simulate this process by modulating the appearance.

The outer part of the coating contains thousands of tiny light-sensitive cells that react to changes in the surrounding color. Electrical signals cause the top layer to reproduce these colors using heat-sensitive dyes. The whole process takes no more than three seconds.

According to military experts, within five years, color-changing technologies may be in demand for masking military equipment on the battlefield. Vatec coating is a joint development of specialists from the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

MIT professor Xuanhe Zhao spoke about the test results:

“I have high hopes for the use of the new military camouflage. Currently, millions of dollars are spent on such developments, but, unfortunately, they are mostly static. If, for example, you place a “forest” camouflage in a desert environment, it will not work, so the future belongs to coatings with dynamic properties. ”