‘Invisible Glass’ Announced: So Amazing You’ll Have to Not See It to Believe It

Japanese company Nippon Electric Glass has developed a new type of ‘invisible glass’ that drastically reduces reflections, rendering the glass almost invisible to human eyes. The secret is a special anti-reflection film that is formed on each side of the glass, which allows more light to pass through rather than bounce off. In ordinary glass, about 8% of the incoming light is reflected, but with this new glass, only 0.5% is. In the photo above, we “see” normal glass on the left and the new glass on the right.

Gadget blogs are salivating over the glass’ potential benefits for phone and computer screens, but we’re interested in seeing whether the glass may prove useful for photography. Perhaps it could pave the way for next-generation lenses and filters?

(via Tech-On via Photoxels)

  • Anonymous

    My framer has been using something similar for picture frames for some years. Will have to ask him what it’s called. It costs, but it looks AMAZING!

  • Jerry Davis

    Just don’t use it for sliding glass doors.

  • mike

    I can see what the fuss is about!

  • Bart Willems

    That would be *AWESOME* if such an anti-reflective film would be applied to lenses. But I think that the word “film” would be confusion when used around cameras. So we need to call this something else. I suggest that we call this anti-reflective layer on a lens “coating”. Lenses with a “coating” would yield far less flare and retain more contrast. Camera manufacturers would advertise that they have “coated” lenses.

    This will be the next big thing in photography. Remember you read it here first: “coated” lenses!

  • hansolo669

    yes coated lenses have been around for a very long time (as we all know) however this particular coating if adapter for optical glass has the potential to (afaik) dramtically lower internal reflections, flare, and other contrast and quailty robbing artifacts, more so than current optical coatings (afaik)

  • Sam Chua

    actually, I’m thinking of all the practical jokes I can play with this.

  • 8fps

    After I spit on it it IS visible.

  • Eddie

    I would guess the first application will be in eyeglasses where it will be a premium product. Much bigger market than camera lenses to start and a lower cost structure with higher margins.

  • Sebastián Soto

    “I don’t see it!”

  • Janne Sinkkonen says less than 0.5% is already commonly achievable, with existing optical coatings. 

    So I can’t see what the fuss is about, neither in the picture nor substantially. Maybe a new way to do it cheaply?