Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak is in the works

scientists announce progress on harry potter invisibility cloak 1991
Warner Brothers/Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Who can forget the scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when Professor Snape sensed someone was nearby, reached out his hand to grab them, and narrowly missed Harry Potter under his invisibility cloak? Fans across the world immediately wanted their own such garment with which to cause mischief.

Apparently, some of those fans were scientists who never gave up on their dream to possess a working invisibility cloak. While the technology may not be there quite yet, those working on the

Cloak in action
QMUL invisibility cloak in action QMUL/Dr. La Spada

project announced that they have made real progress towards it, according to Queen Mary University of London.

For the first time, researchers from QMUL’s School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science demonstrated a practical cloaking device “that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves,” according to the university. The researchers used a nanocomposite medium to coat a curved surface about the size of a tennis ball.

The nanocomposite medium has several layers with varying electric properties, depending on their position. They effectively make the rounded shape appear flat under certain frequencies. In the past, the method was only effective using one frequency, but the recent demonstrations showed it is now capable of cloaking objects in a greater range of frequencies. This technology has numerous uses in other engineering applications, such as nano-antennas and in aerospace tech.

In the announcement, project co-author Professor Yang Hao said, “The design is based on transformation optics, a concept behind the idea of the invisibility cloak.” So while fans should not plan to race out and line up for their very own invisibility cloak, this recent development shows significant progress on the project. This is yet another example where fiction inspires real science.

Editors' Recommendations

Dave Palmer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Dave’s technology geek-fest began with the classic Commodore 64 computer, which started a lifelong passion for all things…
Harry Potter stars get teary-eyed in trailer for 20th Anniversary special
The cast of Harry Potter, 20 years later.

Twenty years ago, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone kicked off an epic eight-film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's acclaimed novels that not only changed the lives of fans, but of the cast and crew that made them. And to celebrate the occasion, HBO is taking viewers back to Harry and Co.'s old stomping grounds in a new reunion special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. While the special was first announced last month, HBO Max has finally released a first look at what fans can expect to see.

In the opening moments of the trailer, it's easy to mistake it as a clip from a new Harry Potter sequel. As cast members return to the various iconic sets of the films -- platform 9 3/4, Diagon Alley, Hogwarts' Great Hall -- the line between their characters and their true personas seems to slip away. In some emotional interview footage, reunited stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson openly refer to each other as family. As Grint says, that's because they've watched each other grow up and have maintained their personal connections in the 10 years since the final Harry Potter film hit theaters. And there's a lot of hugging.

Read more
Harry Potter stars will reunite for Return To Hogwarts special on HBO Max
The golden trio of Harry Potter.

It may be a quiet Christmas at Hogwarts, but HBO Max is ringing in the new year with a Harry Potter celebration.

On New Year's Day, January 1, 2022, HBO Max will premiere a reunion special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. As the title suggests, it's a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the very first film in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. All three of the main stars, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), and Emma Watson (Hermione), will join director Chris Columbus for "an enchanting making-of story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations."

Read more
The OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Edition is here but you can’t get it in the U.S.
OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition in box

The OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition is out, giving fans of the series a nice wearable memento for their wrist. It features new Harry Potter-themed watch faces and a new band and buckle. The new wearable supports 110 workout modes and comes with a heart rate sensor, stress monitor, and blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) sensor. It is priced at 16,999 rupees in India, which translates to $225.

The OnePlus Watch Harry Potter Limited Edition will be available via, the OnePlus Store app, the Red Cable Club app, and offline OnePlus Experience Stores. It will go on sale starting October 21. If you are in India and are willing to purchase the new OnePlus product, you can take advantage of an extra discount of 1,000 rupees using ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank cards and EMI transactions.

Read more