Communion Of Dreams


Hype, or Hyperstealth?

This is starting to get some attention:

A Canadian company called Hyperstealth is reporting that it has developed Quantum Stealth, a material that renders the target “completely invisible by bending light waves around the target.” If the mock-up photos are to be believed, Quantum Stealth basically works like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak.

Since 2002, Hyperstealth has been in the business of designing camouflage patterns for military uniforms, vehicles, and installations. In 2010, at the International Camouflage Symposium, Hyperstealth’s CEO Guy Cramer demonstrated SmartCamo — a material that could reportedly adjust its camouflage markings to match its surroundings. We say “reportedly” because Cramer apparently published a video demonstration of SmartCamo, but then US military intervened and asked him to take it down. Presumably Quantum Stealth is a follow-up from SmartCamo.

Again, for security reasons, Cramer is saying very little about Quantum Stealth. All of the pictures that you see here, and on Hyperstealth’s site, are mock-ups, because “for security issues we can not show the actual technology.” Cramer says that both the US and Canadian military have seen Quantum Stealth in action, and that they’ve also confirmed that the material obscures the target from infrared (thermal) imaging. Below, you can see Cramer talking to CNN’s Pentagon correspondent about Quantum Stealth.

In addition to the cited CNN video, there’s another news item from a paper which seems to be local to the company. In that article Cramer has more to say:

“That’s the thing that surprises most of the people at these meetings, that it works as well as we’re showing there. It only takes a few seconds for someone in these meetings to verify, yeah it obviously works for the visual spectrum.”

The invisibility cloak also conceals ultra-violet and infra-red heat rays.

“It actually masks the entire thermal signature from the user.”

Cramer added, “We’ve proven it, but I’m not about to show it because there’s no need to show you what works because the only people who need to see this are the people we have shown.”

Uh-huh. He has a magic, er, make that “quantum technology” cloak, but doesn’t want to show anyone outside of the military, even though he’s perfectly happy to discuss how great it is.

Is my skepticism showing? Or has that been masked by quantum effects?

OK, so he’s shown it to the military. Wouldn’t just about any special forces organization in the world literally kill for such technology? Here’s what one such officer said, again from the Maple Ridge News article:

Maj. Doug MacNair, with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, confirmed that Cramer made a presentation to special operations within the last few years.

But there’s been no decision to follow through.

“We didn’t pursue it further, at least not at this time anyway.

“It wasn’t something we were interested in pursuing at the time. It doesn’t mean we wouldn’t in the future, necessarily. “We’re aware of the company, we have the information. But we don’t have a contract in place at the time.”

Maybe Mr. Cramer is asking too much money for his technology. Or perhaps this is some kind of ruse on the part of the military, to make it seem like the technology ain’t that big a deal. Because the clever thing to do is to promote this all over the web, and then deny that it is something that any government would want. That way no one will pay attention to it. Right?

Er, right.

Don’t get me wrong — I think such technology is possible, and I use something very like it in Communion of Dreams. This is from Chapter 18:

Jon walked to the edge of the pool. He heard a noise behind him, turned slowly to look at it.

From beside a large bush a pile of boulders shifted. The air shimmied, light danced, and a crouching figure emerged, covered in a fabric drape that tried to keep up with the changing surroundings. One hand pulled the drape to the side. Another was holding a very
large sidearm.

But that’s 40 years in the future. I don’t think that this is a tech which has come to be real quite so soon.

Jim Downey

 

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