It’s certainly not going to enable invisibility cloaks like the one Harry Potter wears or the ones used in Star Trek, but Choi and Howell’s device is more than just a variation on the classic magician’s trick (which uses carefully-placed mirrors). It can be scaled up or down to fit any cloaking size (on the condition that you can find lenses of appropriate length and curvature), and that opens it up to some novel applications in real life.
It could help drivers see through blind spots on their vehicles, for example, or perhaps, as Howell suggests, allow a surgeon to “look through his hands to [see without obstruction] what he is actually operating on.”
Just don’t go thinking it’ll keep you hidden in a room while people spill secrets about how your parents were betrayed and killed by an evil magician; we’ll have to keep waiting for that one.
FK – The government is an optical illusion that can kill you.