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Invisible Cloak

by Hu Yoshida on Oct 21, 2006

I am in the UK this week with free time to watch the telly. Here there are TV news casts that read the newspaper to you on TV. One item that caught my attention was a news story in The Times (October 20) that talked about “A real invisibility cloak? Wizard!”

This article revealed that scientists at Duke University had tested the worlds first invisibility cloak, a la Harry Potter. This cloak was 5 in wide and could hide an object from microwave beams. The was based on a principle established by Sir John Pendry, a professor at Imperial College in London. This cloak works by bending light waves around the object behind it, much like water flows around a rock in a stream. The article went on to say that it was hoped that in the next 5 years this technology would be able to make large objects like tanks invisible.

Steve Duplessey in his blog “Steve’s IT Rants” makes the point that the industry must strive to make the IT infrastructure invisible since users only care about applications and data. Everything else in between is infrastructure and should be invisible. This resonantes with many of our customers who complain that IT is becoming too complex with too many choices. Invisibility is what we are striving for with virtualization. That virtualization must be able to extend from the application to the data.

Mark Lewis is on a similar theme, borrowing from Friedman’s book, The World is Flat. Mark talks about flat IT, where IT “Capabilities (Business Services) are simply stitched together from a collection of smaller “services” that provide specific functions or information.” I lean more toward’s Steve’s vision of Invisible IT where the infrastructure becomes invisible. The applications flow around the IT infrastructure to get to its data, like water flowing around a rock in a stream, rather than stitching together a collection of services.

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Comments (1)

Jeremiah Owyang on 21 Oct 2006 at 6:15 am


Great post, have you seen this ‘insiviblity cloak’ by some scientists? I believe there is a camera on the back that helps to simulate what’s on front.

I suspect it’s a different than bending of light waves in the article.


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