Open-office plans may work well for a collaborative, “transparent” co-working experience, but increasingly, they pose a downside – how do you protect confidential data from visual hacking?

Visual hacking, in case you were wondering, is when someone lifts secret data off your screen, by either photographing it or even memorising the information.

Enter Casper – a 2017 version of Harry Potter’s handy invisibility cloak that saw the wizard boy through a series of tricky situations. In the muggle world, however, here’s how Designtex’s high-tech “cloaking device” is supposed to work: when applied to a glass wall or a window, it blocks light waves transmitted through LCD or LED screens.

So if you’re passing by a confidential meeting, like the video above shows, you will get the impression that the screen is turned off. This is supposed to be an improvement on the technology of “privacy screens” for computers.

Casper is expected to fly with corporations that need to protect sensitive data – from not just lurking colleagues, but even drones hovering outside the window. Yes, that does happen, and other tools like “geofencing” are being considered to counter them.

“We see ourselves as an applied materials solutions company,” Susan Lyons, President of Designtex was reported to have said. “So how may we, with materials, solve problems in a felicitous way?”

Designtex has so far worked with 50 clients to test Casper in its beta phase. It will be hoping its success isn’t invisible.