🦸♂️ Chinese Students Create “Invisibility” Cloak
Hides people from CCTV & AI detection. Chinese surveillance & military possibilities are huge.
This is The Level Ups. Modern business news for the future business leader (in plain-Jane English).
- A modern Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak.
- Steps to innovation (in general).
- What your business can do next.
Let’s get into it.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes & 55 seconds.
The Modern Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak
Chinese students create a new “cloak” that can block detection from AI cameras and surveillance equipment.
The applications here are potentially massive.
Much of China uses AI detection to track its citizens and visitors. They know where you are, what you’re doing, and probably more than they won’t admit.
Facial recognition cameras have imposed themselves in every nook and cranny of Chinese life.
That’s why this creation from Chinese Ph.D. Students at Wuhan University is such a game-changer. I know you recognize that university.
It looks like a normal coat to human eyes, but advanced algorithms create patterns that camouflage the wearer from the eagle eyes of machines.
That’s right. Their regular-looking jacket hides wearers from CCTV and AI detection.
SCMP reported that the work of these graduate students has also been awarded the first prize in a contest by Huawei Technologies Co. Wuhan University professor Wang Zheng (the supervisor) said to SCMP, “the camera captures the person’s presence but will not be able to tell if it's a human.”
Wei Hui, the genius behind the coat’s crazy algorithm, has estimated each one would only cost 500 yuan ($105).
It could easily sell for $500 - $700 (if not more). This is a multi-billion business in the making (if the military doesn’t buy it first).
What happens when soldiers wearing these cloaks are invisible to AI cameras and drones?
A complete change in the modern battlefield.
This is creating a race between two different AI programs. The one that handles surveillance and the one that hides people from it.
Who's going to win? Time will tell. Don't be surprised if other militaries already have the technology.
Steps to Innovation:
It’s extremely common for major technology to develop in this fashion.
- Researched in academia.
- Pulled into the military for development (often, not always).
- Pushed out into the enterprise level (big, big businesses).
- Trickles down to consumers.
Universities essentially become “farms” for major tech. Different companies often fund research if it serves their purposes.
But that research has typically been something only the military and major corporations have taken advantage of.
Perhaps it’s time for more companies to start funding their own research. Is it expensive? Sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be.
Connecting Businesses with University Talent:
But companies are already working to connect the dots between universities and small businesses.
Riipen is just one example. Through their platform, any small business can seek out a team of students (as part of their project) to conduct research on their behalf.
It’s an easy way to get R&D support if it's otherwise out of your price range. Starts as a free service and grows from there.
I’ve used the platform before, and it’s worth trying. Some very talented students can make a big impact with their ideas.
If they’re good, you also get the earliest access to make an offer and hire a future superstar.
Check it out.
Better news: Riipen is not the only opportunity out there.
Governments often fund this with different tax credits for companies developing new technologies (often with university support).
What Your Business Can Do Next:
The SR&ED Tax Credit is one of many funding programs out there.
Here’s a quick list (Canada-only).
- SR&ED - tax credit for research & innovation (some get 100k+ easy).
- Wage subsidies - funding part of an employee’s salary (hundreds of options).
- Loans & Lump Sums - including credit lines.
- Financing for young entrepreneurs - starts at $40k, includes mentorship.
- Grants - no repayment.
Check out the list. The money’s there, you might as well go for it.
If you’re a Canadian business owner keep an eye out for more.
Thanks for reading.