June 18, 2017

Worcester scofflaws find thrills — and trouble — with invisible cloaks

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Flickr / Andrew Gustar

What if ... Worcester was faced with a group of invisible hooligans run amok?

Wondering what the future could hold for wearable technology? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so-distant tomorrow.

WORCESTER, Aug. 11, 2047 — All 15-year-old Varun Ranganathan wanted for Christmas was an invisibility cloak like the one his friends were getting.
He had no idea how much trouble it would cause.
Mr. Ranganathan was among a large group of teenagers who, in the words of Worcester Police Department spokeswoman Kendra Jibrell, “terrorized” the Worcester Independence Day Parade last month. The teens ran through crowds, jostled spectators, threw punches, vandalized floats, and filched purses and valuables, while shrouded in invisible cloaks.

The ruckus forced the Worcester Police Department to shut down the parade just 30 minutes after the 11 a.m. start time.

Detectives at first had no leads – there were lots of angles taken from citizens’ cellphones, business surveillance cameras and police drones, but none of the footage showed the invisible perpetrators.

“Our detectives had a theory there was a specific teenager, not unknown to us, who was among the hooligans,” Officer Jibrell said. “Then we looked up his parents’ online purchase history and found they had bought one of these — what the kids call ‘invisible cloaks’ — right around Christmastime.

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