In William Gibson's Neuromancer novel, a material used to produce clothing which can adapt to the wearer's background colours- thus creating near invisibility for the wearer. Used primarily by the Panther Moderns, Molly also makes use of a suit for the attack on Sense/Net's headquarters, as well as the later infiltration of the Villa Straylight. The thermoptic camouflage of Ghost in the Shell is a very similar concept (and in the world of film, a recent example would be Bond's Dodge "Vanish" from Die Another Day.)

The suits don't appear to be perfect - in the chaotic lobby of Sense/Net during the raid, the suits of the two Moderns who assist the injured Molly are "unable to keep up with the confusion of shape and colour that raged behind them". This would suggest that they are of more use for keeping a low profile for missions requiring stealth, rather than just trying to disappear into a crowd of people, as should the environment change rapidly the suit cannot keep up. For surveillance purposes they'd be ideal, although when Case gets his precis on the Modern's, the image presented of a "hidden" Modern looks like a cut and paste of the boy's head onto a picture of a wall. In other words, even with a hood, you can't hide entirely - this may explain Lupus Yonderboy's catseye modifications. What's more, any equipment used has to be wrapped in the material or else it would appear to float in midair and ruin the illusion.

"Wintermute," Yonderboy repeated, nodding, bobbing his crest of pink hair. His suit went matte black, a carbon shadow against old concrete. He executed a strange little dance, his thin black arms whirling, and then he was gone. No. There. Hood up to hide the pink, the suit exactly the right shade of gray, mottled and stained as the sidewalk he stood on. The eyes winked back the red of a stoplight. And then he was really gone.
Case closed his eyes, massaged them with numb fingers, leaning back against peeling brickwork.
Ninsei had been a lot simpler.

Attempts at see-through coatings (in the sense of being able to see behind the coated object, rather than the coated object) are beginning to emerge. These allow for augmented vision scenarios, such as a surgeon or engineer being to able to work without their hands obscuring some of their view. For more details on these, see randombit's writeup under thermoptic camouflage.

CST Approved

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