Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/01/invisible_shed_developments/

Yes! It's the invisible¹ shed²!

At last, some proper arse-kicking new tech³

By Lewis Page

Posted in Science, 1st May 2009 12:34 GMT

Life is often disappointing for the technology enthusiast, unless you're the pathetically easily-pleased kind who's impressed by the ability to update your web page while having a dump. Proper new technology - robot or brainchip-monkey butlers, flying cars, headmounted energy weapons for one's swimming-pool menagerie - these have long been promised but never made good.

Thus it is that many harassed family heads, unable to palm off tiresome domestic tasks to the monkey butler or cope with school run/commute issues using jetpacks, have turned to another form of possible hi-tech solace. We refer, of course, to the invisible shed - a small haven of peace and solitude undetectable by importunate other halves, offspring etc. Its imminent arrival has been predicted by no less a boffinry heavyweight than Sir John Pendry of Imperial College.

(We should note that he rubbished such foolish Harry Potter style notions as an invisibility cloak, indicating a certain bracing British trustworthiness.)

Today should be a glorious day, then, as it brings news that the first ever piece of functioning invisible-shed material has now been made: opening the door, as it were, to the invisible door.

But in fact, no, today's just another disappointing techno day. Yes, some invisible-shed siding has been made. But it only works when viewed in the infrared. Also, it's less than a hundredth of a millimetre across.

So, ahem:

Yes! It's the microscopically tiny invisible (in infrared) shed! Kind of!

Etc.

Semi-proper layman's popscience coverage from the Beeb here: hardcore boffinry writeup for Nature Materials subscribers here. ®

Bootnotes

¹ Not across most of the electromagnetic spectrum

² Not really

³ If your arse is very small