Researchers have successfully developed an “optoelectronic camouflage system” that was inspired by the skin of cephalopods (octopuses, squid and cuttlefish). This new technology allows a material to automatically read its environment and adapt to mimic its surroundings.
This is different than other technology, Dr. Cunjiang Yu, lead author and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Houston, explained in a news release. Unlike previous camouflage systems which couldn’t automatically adapt, “our device sees color and matches it. It reads the environment using thermochromatic material.”
The prototype is less than one-inch square and works in black and white, with shades of gray, but it could easily be scaled up in size and could eventually span the full color spectrum. Defense and industry are the most valuable applications for this technology, but Dr. Yu explained that the possible market ranges from toys and wearable electronics to disappearing cars.
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