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This seemingly legitimate camouflage design company says it invented an invisibility cloak called Quantum Stealth that works by bending light "without cameras, batteries, lights or mirrors." http://www.hyperstealth.com/Quantum-Stealth/index.html

But the pictures on the website make no sense. They show a person holding the simulated material like a flat screen. If the material bends light around the person, shouldn't the material be wrapped around the person?

The company dismisses skeptics:

Do I care that people remain skeptical? Nope, the people that need to know that it works have seen it and verified it and their opinions are the only ones that matter.

Then why talk about it at all?

Those who have supposedly seen it didn't sound very thrilled about it. http://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/183440961.html

Maj. Doug MacNair, with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, confirmed that Cramer made a presentation to special operations within the last few years. "We didn't pursue it further, at least not at this time anyway. It wasn't something we were interested in pursuing at the time. It doesn't mean we wouldn't in the future, necessarily. We're aware of the company, we have the information. But we don't have a contract in place at the time."

Does it work or not? If not, then why would they make this up? Just for free publicity?

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Pictures on the company's page are clearly captioned as not real. "Mock-up. These photos are to show the Media the concept –  vartec Feb 6 '13 at 9:52
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"why would they make this up? Just for free publicity?" You say that as though you think its unlikely. –  DJClayworth Feb 6 '13 at 14:06
    
Seems risky for a government contractor to put its reputation on the line with a hoax. Has this kind of thing happened before? –  Max Feb 6 '13 at 23:24
    
It appears that this question has gotten the attention of a new member named Guy Cramer, and was voted down around that time. And I thought he didn't care that people remain skeptical ;-) –  Max Feb 15 '13 at 21:40
    
Like all vapourware, you have an idea that might work, you market it, and if you get sales, then you build it. So they probably have something that could work if given enough research dollars. –  Mark Hurd Jun 22 '13 at 3:16

1 Answer 1

Does it work or not?

So far Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corpy have not made public any clear evidence that "Quantum Stealth" material bends light or even exists. The product appears to be no more than a marketing concept.

Unrelated researchers have been working on "invisibility cloaks" 1 2, but these seem to be far from practical.

We can speculate that Hyperstealth have read about this and may be hoping to develop their current business in that direction once some other company engages in commercial manufacture of such materials and makes them available for sale to other businesses.

If not, then why would they make this up? Just for free publicity?

We can only speculate.

I searched Industry Canada for "Hyperstealth" and got no hits (It works for Canadian businesses like "Bombardier") so Hyperstealth may be too small to be a registered company.

The Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp appears to mainly consist of a camouflage pattern designer Guy Cramer.

He’d been interested in camo since the ‘80s, when he wore it as a professional paintballer.

... in 2003, when Cramer was selling plumbing supplies and working on science projects in his free time

... Eight years later, Cramer is running his own design shop

(Wired)

It seems Mr Cramer's break into the world of camouflage design may have come when someone with money read something Mr Cramer wrote in a blog or discussion forum about paintball camouflage he had designed. Perhaps this demonstration of the effectiveness of publicity made the sort of impression on Mr Cramer that I imagine it would on me.

Hyperstealth sell a small range of ordinary camouflage clothing on their website. They have partnered with a US military equipment and camouflage clothing supplier ADS Inc.

Mr Cramer's company may be one of several camouflage pattern designers that have been used by ADS. It seems reasonable to assume that Mr Cramer is paid royalties for the use of his designs.

All publicity is good publicity.

Conclusion

Hyperstealth don't seem to be the sort of company that would employ physicists and materials engineers to work on meta-materials in a large corporate research facility.

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Besides, AFAIK, current state-of-the-art in metamaterials is that there is long way from making them work with visible light wavelengths. So right now it's pure science fiction. –  vartec Feb 6 '13 at 13:11
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@vartec - once you wear it in the field, it will quickly become muddy science fiction. –  DVK Feb 6 '13 at 16:53
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@DVK: well, materials which would prevent mud sticking to fabric actually do exist ;-) –  vartec Feb 6 '13 at 16:58

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