Black 4.0 Is The New Ultrablack

Vantablack is a special coating material, moreso than a paint. It’s well-known as one of the blackest possible coatings around, capable of absorbing almost all visible light in its nanotube complex structure. However, it’s complicated to apply, delicate, and not readily available, especially to those in the art world.

It was these drawbacks that led Stuart Semple to create his own incredibly black paint. Over the years, he’s refined the formula and improved its performance, steadily building a greater product available to all. His latest effort is Black 4.0, and it’s promising to be the black paint to dominate all others.

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Lenticular Lens Makes Things Invisible

Sure it is a cheap stage trick, but using a lenticular lens at the right angle and in front of the right background can render what’s behind it invisible. That’s not news, but [Ian] spent some time investigating how to make the best one he could. His instructions cover how to create your own with polycarbonate, the right lens, and some optically clear adhesive. You can see some details about the shield along with some demonstrations in the video below.

The first iteration of the design worked, but it had some distracting lines and curvatures. The second version uses a large sheet of polycarbonate and liquid adhesive to attach the lens. It looks much better.

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Hackaday Prize Entry: Invisible

[Kate Reed] found a quote by a homeless person that said “No one sees us”, which led her to exploring what it actually means to be invisible — and if we actually choose to be invisible by hiding away our emotions, sexual preference, race or income. She realized that too often, we choose to only see what we want to see, rendering all the rest invisible by looking away. Her public art campaign and Hackaday Prize entry “Invisible” aims to increase social awareness and strengthening the community by making hidden thoughts, feelings and needs visible.

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Invisibility cloaking with lenses

Invisibility Achieved With A Few Clever Focal Points

Students at the University of Rochester have developed a clever optical system which allows for limited invisibility thanks to a bit of optic sorcery physics.

Almost all invisibility technologies work by taking light and passing it around the object as if it were never there. The problem is, a lot of these methods are very expensive and not very practical — and don’t even work if you change your perspective from a head on view.

[Joseph Choi] figured out you can do the same thing with four standard achromatic lenses with two different focal lengths. The basic concept is each lens causes the light to converge to a tiny point  in between itself and the next lens — at which point it begins to diverge again, filling the following lens. This means the cloaked area is effectively doughnut shaped around the tightest focal point — if you block the center point of the lens, it won’t work. But everything around the center point of the lens? Effectively invisible. Take a look at the following setup using lasers to show the various focal points and “invisibility zones”.

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Anonymizing Clothing

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.

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