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Special episode

Mon, 8th Sep 2014

Colour changing cuttlefish

Cuttlefish (c) Jenny Huang

Octopuses and cuttlefish are well known for their astonishing ability to change colour almost instantaneously. Can we copy this system to create an automatically camouflaging material? John Rogers from the University of Illinois explains to Georgia Mills how these underwater animals have inspired this new technology. 

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What I want to know is how a flatfish manages to mimic the texture of the ground underneath it. It doesn't have eyes in its belly, and even if it did, there's no light under a bottom-resting fish, so it has no apparent means of knowing what it is supposed to replicate. Yet they do so remarkably well. alancalverd, Mon, 15th Sep 2014

I wonder if the eyes of bottom-dwelling species can see the surrounding seafloor, and that is enough for it to produce a similar-looking texture, allowing it to blend in?

Stingrays tend to bury themselves in the sand, so that provides automatic matching! evan_au, Tue, 16th Sep 2014

I've seen the color change in many camouflaging sea creatures and the change is near instantaneous across the entire body.  I wonder if it can instruct us on intercellular communications that must be occurring.  Some stimulus spreads with lightning speed throughout the cells of the creatures skin, without interfering with normal metabolism of the animal.  I think if we can get a better handle on the intercellular communication, we would advance the science of limb and organ regeneration. Expectant_Philosopher, Sat, 20th Sep 2014

From a technological view point we could do anything from alter the hue of pigments to photographing a background and reprinting it onto the camo.

A back to front automatic enviro-blend fabric is, well an absurd proposition.  But, well, the enemy could be blinded>? vampares, Sun, 21st Sep 2014

What about using something like

How The Chalk Guys Do It
Fantastic Sidewalk Art (The Chalk Guys) (this has better chalk art)
for camouflaging? vampares, Mon, 22nd Sep 2014

I have come up with a realistic "Active camouflage" concept, which I came up with a long time ago.  In fact I posted the Idea here about a year ago.

what the idea is based on is a paper thin "electro-chromic" screen.
If you are unfamiliar with electro chromic technology then take a short look at this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7TiK0XoGus

Technically what the video was promoting is an EXTREMELY energy efficient NON luminescent screen which is paper thin. It is currently in development and will soon be in stores around 2016.

The screen can be used to make a suit or cloak which would act a lot like any other screen except that it dose not glow. The screen would be able to display any kind of camouflage just by uploading a simple image onto the screens.

But it can be so much more, If it used a few cameras like a panoramic camera to display the surroundings onto the cloak like a video as you move.
then you can get that "octopus camo effect" which is what you guys are talking about.

If the cameras can target a person and calculate how far away that person is then it can project what is behind the cloak wearer onto the front of the cloak at the right perspective and zoom to the targeted person.  By doing this you can become invisible.

The Idea is similar to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7TiK0XoGus
except instead of using an led glowing display you use a non glowing screen. and instead of using 1 camera to match the perspective of people on the side walk, the camera targets people and faces to match there perspective. ScientificSorcerer, Wed, 24th Sep 2014

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