October 08, 2014
Science fiction concepts are becoming a reality. Can these technological advances be used to help increase work place safety and eliminate blind spot accidents?
University Creates “Cloaking” Device
Who hasn’t wished they had Superman’s ability to see through walls, or thought about how useful Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak would be? Want to avoid the chatty neighbor while grabbing your mail? Not a problem! Think about all of the teenagers who would love to have Star Trek’s cloaking technology when trying to sneak the car out of the driveway! The University of Rochester is helping to make our sci-fi dreams a reality.
Unfortunately there is a shortage of the hair from the magical creature that Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak was made of, so the Muggles of the world will have to make do with the lens system the University of Rochester has devised to allow a viewer to “see through” a close object without impairing the view of a more distant object.
This discovery is being credited as the first step needed to bring these sci-fi fantasy concepts to life.
Industrial Applications for Collision-Avoidance Systems
The university suggests a few possible future uses including enabling surgeons to view a surgery site without their own hands getting in the way, or allowing drivers of large vehicles to eliminate blind-spot accidents by looking through their own vehicles.
These advances, while promising, are a long way from creating a usable system that creates true invisibility. Positioning the lenses property to bend light around an object in order to render it invisible requires a bulky setup with fixed distances between lenses—and the lenses must be placed farther apart than is practical in any setting outside a laboratory.
Real-World Blind Spot Solution
If only it was a simple as putting on a cool pair of glasses to give us Superman’s vision or attaching a cloak field to the interior of large commercial truck, then maybe we’d see real reductions in blind spot accidents and everyone could go home safe at the end of the work day..without accidents, without incident.
They still can. We may not have an invisibility cloak to cover your machine, but we can cover your blind spot. The patented pulsed-radar technology used in each of PreView Radar’s collision-avoidance systems works in any weather or extreme work site condition. It’s on the job day or night to give drivers the ability to “see” behind, around, and to the sides of the vehicle.
The University of Rochester’s new technology may someday lead to fantastic innovations in safety devices. But we’re glad that there’s no waiting for effective solutions in blind spot safety.
View the full University of Rochester article here.