Report – Toyota goes Klingon with cloaking device image

We could leave it at that – because the title says it all, with the Japanese automaker actually trying to patent a real cloaking device for cars, and it’s even calling it by name.

The idea is not to go out in space and play out as a race of conqueror-warriors with questionable hygiene like in the Star Trek series, and not even make cars invisible (still something Sci-Fi as far as we know) for everyone. Instead the company wants to make certain areas of the car “disappear” for the driver. Of course, nothing vanishes out of thin air – not even with CGI – and instead Toyota wants to increase safety by allowing people behind the wheel to look around common automotive blind spots, like windshield A-pillars.

Toyota even takes a rather low-tech solution – there’s no camera to project the images – and it’s an entirely analog solution that makes use of a complex set of mirrors to essentially bend light around the pillar, then reflecting it onto the pillar surface inside the car. The effect might spook some people, because you basically seem to be Superman and look through pillar, but it would certainly have lots of uses – besides the safety advantage. “Light from an object on an object-side of the cloaking device is directed around an article within the cloaking region and forms an image on an image-side of the cloaking device such the article appears transparent to an observer looking towards the object,” yes, that certainly sounds like a scripted piece from a 1960s space opera.

Via US. Patent & Trademark Office