Chameleons are able to change their colour to perfectly blend with the surroundings and thereby hide themselves. How nice would it be, if we could do that too!
Well, you can. The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, Systems Technologies and Image Exploitation, has come up with a camouflage clothing that adapts to the environment on its own — you don’t need to do anything to adjust. Sensors embedded in the clothing measure the ambient brightness and predominant colours and transmit the information to intelligently controlled LEDs that are also integrated into the clothing. Then, these LEDs emit light in the appropriate colour and level of brightness, allowing the wearer of the cloth to blend with the background.
Now that such clothing is ready, the institute is taking the experiment forward, trying to develop textiles that can deceive thermal imaging cameras. The institute’s mission is to “manipulate perception”.
The institute’s intentions are noble. The camouflage clothing is meant for soldiers. It says it is currently experimenting with a broad range of new technologies “to enhance protection for our soldiers.” But who knows where it will end up? Taliban or Al Qaeda would love to have it, won’t they?