Scientists Invent Cloaking Material That Makes Object ‘Invisible’ To Human Touch

Noted critic Patrick Bateman describes "Invisible Touch" as the group's undisputed masterpiece. (Pic: C - Virgin/Atlantic)

Noted critic Patrick Bateman describes “Invisible Touch” as the group’s undisputed masterpiece. (Pic: C – Virgin/Atlantic)

Would it be… an invisible touch?

Apparently the material disperses pressure so that you won’t feel anything when you touch it. Like your estranged ex feels.

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have created a material that sounds like something from a fictional tale: an elasto-mechanical unfeelability cloak. The polymer-based, scaffold-like structure can mask the presence of an object so it’s imperceptible to the human touch.

If you, for example, stepped on a large enough rock, the rubber and foam in your shoe would deform and result in a noticeable bulge. If your shoes were made of the cloaking material, it would disperse the pressure in such a way that you wouldn’t notice the rock beneath your foot.

How Does It Work?

The material consists of precisely calculated needle-shaped elements, such that strength depends on the location in a defined way.

Researchers produced their metamaterial using 3-D laser lithography to cut and shape needle-shaped cones whose tips meet. These elements were assembled into something that looks like a tiny brick with a honeycomb structure. The size and contact points where the tips meet vary depending on their location, so that objects within the material are imperceptible.

via Cloaking Material Makes Objects Imperceptible to Touch – D-brief | DiscoverMagazine.com.

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  • kowalityjesus

    Incredible discovery, but I have a hard time seeing how it would be applied.

    • Earthstar

      TSA proof shorts, so you can’t feel them feeling your gonads.

      • Mr Grim

        So would they still be feeling them, but you can’t feel them feeling them?

        On one hand, that seems more like a victimless crime. A bit like exposing yourself to blind people. On the other hand… they are still touching them…

  • Mr Grim

    This story should have a trigger warning. Phil Collins has taken up residence in my cranium, dammit!

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