A reader inquires: Is the military
developing uniforms that would make soldiers invisible?
The perfect cloak of Frodo Baggins is still far off, if not impossible, but DARPA-funded researchers are working on a new kind of camouflage that would fall only a few steps short of elvish magic. According to Philip Moynihan, a NASA engineer who published a paper on the subject in 2000, so-called adaptive camouflage would visually merge soldiers with their surroundings—whether that’s an urban backdrop or dense jungle brush. The basic principle is simple: Cameras would capture the scene behind the uniform while embedded displays would reproduce the image on its front.