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Optical camouflage technology finds practical use in cars

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Optical camouflage car
Optical camouflage car

A team of researchers at Keio University in Japan has applied optical camouflage technology to vehicles. Video feeds from a pair of cameras mounted on the rear of a car are projected onto a half-mirror. Once the screen is installed properly in a car, the backseat appears transparent from the driver’s point of view, allowing for a clear image of any obstacles behind the vehicle. Currently the system only works from one point of view, but the researchers are hoping to use the same technology to make the entire interior of a car transparent to drivers and passengers without any blind spots.

The specific method the team uses has advantages too: the illusion gives a sense of depth that drivers wouldn’t otherwise get from a traditional monitor, and the image is fully visible in daylight. Still, the team says there are still "lots of issues" in making the technology viable, with the current goal to make it available commercially within five years.