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Optical illusion.

This dress may look normal to the naked eye, but snap a picture with a digital camera and hidden images appear. That's because patterns on the garment are designed to give off light waves detectable when viewed by digital cameras, but not the naked eye.

The company that makes the clothing isn't giving away all of the secrets to how its technology, called Kameraflage, works. Yet one thing is certain: It relies on digital cameras' ability to detect a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum (the full range of energy waves) than the human eye can perceive.

People can only see visible light, which is a narrow band of wavelengths, or the distance between the crests of two energy waves. The light-sensors inside digital cameras can also pick up wavelengths in the near infrared band.


Although these longer wavelengths are invisible to people, digital cameras can convert the "invisible colors" into colors humans can see, says Connor Dickie, the inventor of Kameraflage. So look closely at the next photo you take: It could reveal more than meets the eye.

The electromagnetic spectrum

Energy waves in the electromagnetic spectrum are arranged in order of wavelength. As wavelength decreases, the wave's energy increases. Based on the diagram below, which has more energy-visible light or infrared waves?
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Author:Crane Cody
Publication:Science World
Date:Oct 22, 2007
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