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There are plenty of cinematic inventions that we all think should have been created by now. Time-machines, hover-boards, dog translation collars, shrink-rays and tele-pods have all been teased in movies, only to never materialize in real-life. However, one invention that's actually close to becoming a reality is none other than the Harry Potter invisibility cloak, after researchers at a prestigious university across the pond developed a coat that used optical illusion to cover the person wearing it.
According to the International Business Times, a team of researchers over at the Queen Mary University of London's School Of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science have been working hand in hand with industry experts over in the U.K. to create a coat that makes curved surfaces seem flat, and thus the illusion that there is nothing there at all. So what did they use to create such a deceptive piece of clothing? Apparently they devised "graded refractive index nanocomposite materials," which then managed to reduce the coat's "electromagnetic signature" and immediately made it appear flat.
As you can imagine, the University and team behind this potentially amazing invention were quick to talk up their work, with co-author Professor Yang Hao explaining that what makes their creation just that little bit better than their rivals' is that it "works at a greater range of frequencies," rather than others that have just worked at one. At this time, though, we're still not quite at the stage where the Harry Potter invisibility cloak is actually on the market, which would invariably lead to a wide variety of outrageous shenanigans across the world. However, this latest development is proof that it's genuinely within the realms of possibility of occurring.
This actually isn't the first time that the imminent release of an invisibility cloak has been teased, before the rug was then cruelly pulled from underneath us. All the way back in 2013, CinemaBlend reported that Duke University researchers created a cloak that was a diamond shaped box made out of meta-material that managed to bend electromagnetic waves around an object and created a "flawless" invisibility.
Harry Potter's invisibility cloak was actually posthumously handed down to the wizard by his parents. Harry received it on Christmas Day in a scene that was depicted in the 2001 adaptation of J.K. Rowling's book entitled Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, while the cloak repeatedly came into use throughout his trials and tribulations in the franchise. I'm going to guess, though, that if the cloak is actually ever actually patented and widely released onto the mass market, then not only will it shoot the top of every single Christmas list that's ever scribed, but that it will probably be used for much more nefarious matters than those that Harry, Hermione and Ron were depicted with it.