Harry Potter fans and sci-fi enthusiasts rejoice! Scientists at Rochester University have used an array of lenses to form an invisibility "cloak" that works in three dimensions, from a range of different angles, and across the full spectral range of visible light — the first of its kind. Importantly, it also creates very little of the optical distortion (bending, magnification, etc.) that has usually accompanied such attempts at optical cloaking.
Realistic applications of the so-called "Rochester Cloak"? Possibly allowing surgeons to operate without their view being obstructed by their own hands; car/truck drivers no longer having any blindspots in their rear view; interior design, art...inevitably, I suppose, criminals and military powers will also be interested in such devices.
Okay, so the Rochester Cloak (more like the Rochester Array of Lenses) probably isn't exactly going to allow you to sneak undetected around Hogwarts with the Marauder's Map - unless perhaps you had really big lenses, and really strong arms. But…it's pretty cool, and the technology is accessible enough that you could make this device at home. (For the physics fans interested in the more technical details, here they are.)
Be sure to check out the video of the cloak in action.
For the first time, researchers have made a cloaking device that works multidirectionally in three dimensions -- using no specialised equipment, but four standard lenses.