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The quest for invisibility has always been a military holy grail, for obvious reasons. What cannot be seen cannot be shot at, and even if seen, if seen poorly, causes the shooter to aim poorly.

Recent advances in miniature cameras and flexible display technology have emboldened the military to seriously pursue adaptive camouflage.

Ironically, flat-sided boxy vehicles like tanks and armored personnel carriers, previously extremely difficult to camouflage using traditional methods, are extremely well-suited to this technology.

The vehicle is covered in material such as organic electroluminescent phosphors, creating essentially a big multi-sided OLED display. Microcameras studded all over the vehicle then transmit the data to a central computer, which then repeats the pattern seen by a given camera on the opposite face of the vehicle, causing that side of the vehicle to match the background behind it. This would be paired with a proximity threat detection system based upon radar or machine vision to ensure that the directionality of the image is towards the threat.

Depending upon the resolution possible, the effect can range from very good pattern and color matching to a virtual image of the scenery behind the vehicle. The only holes in the pattern would be the vision blocks and firing ports.

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