In the movie “Predator,” an alien uses a cloaking device to hide in plain sight, but the effect is far from perfect: The alien’s attempt to conceal itself is thwarted by distortions of light bending around it. Now, researchers have built an ultrathin “invisibility cloak” that gets around this problem, by turning objects into perfect, flat mirrors.

Invisibility cloaks are designed to bend light around an object, but materials that do this are typically hard to shape and only work from narrow angles — if you walk around the cloaked object, for instance, it’s visible. But a new cloak avoids that problem, and is thin and flexible enough to be wrapped around an object of any shape, the researchers said. It can also be “tuned” to match whatever background is behind it — or can even create illusions of what’s there, they added. FULL REPORT