Friday, 23 May 2008

Now You See It. Now You Don't.

My first view of an 'Invisibility Cloak' was @ the NextFest 2004, in San Francisco.

However, things are thundering ahead.

Researchers at Toyama University announced that they have formulated a ‘Perfect invisible cloak.’

The invisible cloak generates no reflection or phase delay at all even when an electromagnetic wave passes through it. It was developed with the use of an artificial dielectric material called ‘left-handed metamaterial, which has a negative refractive index.

It is predicted that the use of left-handed metamaterials makes electromagnetic control devices available. Some examples of such devices are a lens that reflects no light and a lens that can provide a perfect focal point.

They are believed to be difficult to produce with the existing materials. The latest development relates to one of these control devices.

Here, an invisible cloak refers to a block object with a void in the core or centre, which is designed such that a plane electromagnetic wave with a certain frequency irradiated at this object goes around the void and reaches behind the object.

In particular, the object may be called ‘the perfect visible cloak’ when the electromagnetic wavefront becomes planar again after passing through the object and the amplitude and the phase of the resultant plane wave completely coincide with those of the wavefront obtained when there is no object.

The Coming Clash.

Will the law of unintended consequences rear it’s head in the coming age of marvel cure medical technologies?

Recall the heartening breakthrough treatment for server spinal injury in the blog post below?

Well, it suddenly occurred to me (not in this kind of detail of below course):

‘What if soon one day people with once horrific spinal injuries start to breath, move, walk, and even run normally down to the local once again. But had been comprehensively and quite heavily covered by life and accident insurance before the disaster?’

Then I thought:

‘What if they had been given a truly substantial payout. Say £3 million plus, for instance.’

Then I thought:

‘What if they’d bought a substantial and specially designed property to live in. With 100s of 1000s of pounds of living space adaptations and special needs equipment (a swimming pool, a physiotherapy gym, a special layout kitchen, a specially adapted car, and so on)?

The question remains - and I’m no lawyer - what will be legal position be for both assuror and claimant?

Of course the big assurance houses will be in litigation terra incognito. They’ve paid out £billions world wide in insurance claims to severely debilitated paraplegic people (and rightly so).

But, will the claimant have to pay back all or a major share of the monies?

And with the myriad of revolutionary medical breakthroughs going on; it makes one wonder what other conclict of interest awaits over the legal-technological horizon?

Q.E.D: The Coming Clash!