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Until now, being invisible has been a thing of science fiction. But a Canadian company has come up with a real-life invisibility shield.

Yes, you read that right.

The shield is made with Quantum Stealth, a material which bends light, making objects disappear. The science behind it is pretty straightforward: every material has a specific refractive index, a quality related to the speed of light in that material compared to the speed of light in a vacuum. You can see the effect easily by putting a spoon in a glass of water; it will appear bent. The same effect can make pools of water appear more shallow than they actually are. When light moves between two materials, the angle at which it’s moving will change, depending on the refractive index. So, by being clever with materials, it’s possible to construct something that has a blind spot. That’s where the “invisibility” happens.

Canadian camouflage company, Hyperstealth, has been working on this technology since 2011. Inventor Guy Cramer is still working on updated versions of the material that are easier to transport and potentially wear, and he’s been working with military organizations in the development of this material. The material bends light in a way that means only things very close or very far away can be seen, so an object (or person) placed behind it at a certain distance will become invisible. The product is paper-thin, inexpensive and has no power source. It can hide almost anything and can work in any environment, regardless of the season or time of day.

Watch in the video clip above as CTV’s Science and Technology specialist, Dan Riskin, shows us how this works.

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