Though much of [citizenFinerran]‘s intent in designing a suit that camouflages the wearer from security camera footage was philosophical, it is designed with a very tangible purpose in mind. The suit does not provide true camouflage (to say nothing of true invisibility), but it does create enough moving visual obstructions to make the wearer completely anonymous on film. More details on this and other invisibility cloaks after the break.
The idea is remarkably simple: [citizenFinerran]‘s suit is made of a jumpsuit fashioned from fiberglass screening with several blank ID cards halved and glued to the suit. The cards are not glued on firmly, but hang in a way that allows them to move as the wearer walks. The motion of the cards creates a visual effect that appears as pixelation on surveillance footage. Though the designer referenced and “imitated” several different methods of creating the pixelated appearance, all of those methods were actually implemented via software on the camera, not by an external hardware solution.
The closest thing to a working invisibility cloak in current development is the work of a team of students and professors at the University of Tokyo. It uses a a coat made of retro-reflective materials, a camera behind the wearer, and a projector. The digital camera captures the scenery behind the wearer and projects it onto the front, creating a form of camouflage on an opaque surface that resembles true invisibility. It’s not without limitations, though, as the projector would have to move with the person wearing the coat to achieve mobile cover. Even then it would only work on one side of the coat, leaving the other side completely exposed. Not really feasible unless a full body display was created.
If evading cameras is the goal, we feel a far more elegant fix is simply to cover your face with a hood or a gas mask. In addition to keeping your identity secret, a hood actually lines up with the philosophical imperatives behind [citizenFinerran]‘s project very well, and it’s less likely to get you beaten up.