Startup raising money to manufacture invisibility shields

The shield is six feet (180 cm) tall and can hide multiple people standing or walking side by side behind it.

The shield was developed by the London-based startup Invisibility Shield Co. and has already raised £148,680, or just over $184,000, on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. With a month still left to collect funds, it has already surpassed the required minimum goal of £10,000 ($12,400).

The company has previously successfully raised £446,676, or over half a million dollars, for a smaller version of the shield. It said it had manufactured “thousands” of those since 2022 and shipped them to backers all over the world.

The second generation shield, which the team spent four years developing, now comes in two sizes, the original “Full Size” and the six feet “Megashield.” It also boasts enhanced materials, offering improved strength and durability. Its construction is ultraclear, “making our new shields look great at any distance,” the company said.

The shield is freestanding and portable, as well as lightweight. It can be completely disassembled and packed into a tube-style carry case. The full-size version takes a novice about ten minutes to set up, according to the company.

Meanwhile, the Megashield can be erected in 15 minutes if two people are working on it, as is recommended, given the size of the device.

The shield can also be used while on the move. “New ergonomic handles make holding and carrying the shield far more comfortable whilst keeping your body in the optimum position to stay hidden,” the developers said.

While the concept of the invisibility cloak has been popularized by the Harry Potter series, the design of this particular shield is based on science rather than magic. It uses a precision-engineered lens to direct light reflected from someone standing behind the shield away from the viewer in front of it.

The shield is not perfect, and someone standing close by will certainly realize that something is afoot. It will work best against uniform backgrounds such as foliage, grass, sand, sky, or asphalt.

Backgrounds with defined horizontal lines also work well, according to the shield’s creators. These may include natural features such as the horizon or man-made ones like walls, rails, or painted lines.

There’s been moderate interest in cloaking technologies for years, primarily because of their potential use on a battlefield to hide equipment and troops. Last year, Ukraine demonstrated a cloak that blocks heat radiation, protecting its soldiers by making them “invisible” to Russian thermal cameras and drones.

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