It sounds like something out of a science fiction film: fully armed tanks rolling across the landscape, invisible to any observers. But, according to a recent article in The Telegraph, such military vehicles could be on battlefields in less than five years.
Although most tanks are armed with some kind of camouflage, they can only blend into a specific landscape; a tan-colored tank, for example, is only useful in a desert environment. Much more adaptable than traditional camouflage, the new technology involves highly precise cameras and projectors, which capture and display any surrounding environment onto a tank’s surface. Thus, a tank could display the trees, grass and sky that encircle it.
Unlike traditional camouflage, the new e-ink camouflage can quickly adapt to changing environments (source: BAE via Telegraph).
The “invisible” tanks rely on electronic ink—or “e-ink”—to blend into surrounding environments. E-ink is the same substance behind electronic readers, like Amazon’s Kindle. E-ink, made from millions of tiny microcapsules, has long charge life, which will prove to be invaluable to tanks in remote areas.