Imagine how easy reversing a car would be if the rear was transparent to the driver.
It sounds a little futuristic but researchers at Japan's Keio University are working on a system that sort of makes the back of the car seem non-existent.
Parking would be a breeze and it would surely go a long way to preventing those reversing accidents.
Website CNet.com reports that the system seems to be a variant on optical-camouflage technology developed about 10 years ago and it will be showcased at this month's 2012 Digital Content Expo in Tokyo.
That original optical-camouflage technology, unveiled as an invisibility cloak, involved capturing footage from behind an object, and projecting the background onto the garment creating the illusion of invisibility.
CNet.com said the technology uses retroreflective materials, which reflect light with little of that light scattering back the way it came. The cloak is embedded with thousands of highly reflective beads to shine light in specific directions, creating the illusion of partial invisibility.
It added that there was so far little information about what this test vehicle - a Toyota Prius - is loaded with, but said the system seemed to involve a display attached to the driver's headset.
"The driver will feel like he's driving a glass car," research Masahiko Inami told a Japanese government publication.
"Sir Arthur C. Clarke said, 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' I want to develop technology like magic that general people can use easily in the future."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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