A group of German researchers have shown off the technology that may well allow the consumers of the future to shroud themselves in clothes that will render them invisible.
So far invisibility-inducing products have been the stuff of science fiction and fantasy, but its seems that we are now at the very early stages of a process for making objects invisible.
When you look at the detailed statistics relating to the recent test, you might be a little disappointed. The object that was made invisible was a microscopic raised area on the surface of a gold bar, measuring a few thousandths of an inch across.
Every technological advance has to start somewhere and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has been instrumental in creating this invisibility technique, rendering the microscopic bump completely invisible from all angles.
According to the researchers, the invisibility was achieved by creating a pile of light-bending crystals on top of the raised gold area. This tiny scale experiment could not be replicated on larger objects as the crystal technology would not work.
Although the recent revelations are unlikely to result in Harry Potter style invisibility cloaks within the next few years, it does show that in practice it is possible to hide something from the eye. There are many other groups working on invisibility technology and it has rather obvious applications in military operations.
Anyone ever caught by a speed camera will no doubt continue to dream of a consumer product that enables invisibility.