An invisibility cloak is a specific type of Applied Phlebotinum. It is worn on the body, and renders the wearer invisible. It does not have to be an actual cloak, and can be anything from a body suit to a ring. It can be magical, or it can be technological, where the latter goes from a rather mundane suit whose colors change according to the environment, to a high-tech diffractive field that bends light.
A problem only occasionally brought up with these is that if the wearer's eyes are invisible, his retinas are also, and he should therefore be rendered blind. If it is a magical cloak, though, it can be explained away as being some kind of enchantment that lets you see.
When it is used in video games as active camouflage, you can sometimes see people cloaking this way as the light refracting around the character or monster's general shape.
Invisibility cloaks do exist, if only as radar and infrared stealth technology for planes. Experimental invisibility cloaks for humans also exist, while bigger stuff is in the concept stage. Except those are cloaking devices for vehicles, not personal invisibility devices.
Greek Mythology examples make this Older Than Feudalism.
Having said that, the Invisibility Cloak is a major tactical weapon in advanced societies that have abandoned radar-guided and heatseeking weaponry, or at least when dealing with enemies who are using the Mark One Eyeball most of the time; for example, most soldiers only switch to thermal goggles in low-light conditions, making a device to turn invisible very useful for moving around unseen in the daytime.
Compare Invisibility, where this is an ability instead of an equipment. Watch out for Invisibility Flicker, though.
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Anime and Manga
Some of Doraemon's pocket gadgets are capable of invisibility. Fujiko F. Fujio was mindful of why true invisibility and vision didn't mix, and so the ones that can be applied to humans mostly work on perception filters.
Full Metal Panic!, ECS mode for 3rd generation Arm Slaves. Tessa's M6A1 also had ECS despite being 2nd-gen. The Other Wiki states that ECS is based on an array of rapidly oscillating lasers. The first models only shielded against infrared but the newest stuff works against optics as well — with the trade-off of having a strong ozone smell, attracting birds and freaking out dogs.
ECCS sensors can see through the camouflage and light rain makes it completely useless. It is implied that ECS draws lots of power since every time we see it in use, the Arm Slave in question is either sneaking or standing still (which is a bit strange, seeing that 3rd-gen AS units have cold fusion reactors with nearly three times higher wattage than their 2nd-gen cousins, yet both carry ECS).
Mao was moving at a pretty good clip in the Behemoth story arc, trashing roadsigns and even "helping" Souske and Weber get their truck through a roadblock.
In Gantz, the hunters get controllers with the ability to turn their user invisible by "changing their frequency". Those who are also invisible and thus on the same frequency can see each other.
GaoGaiGar's Volfogg has his built-in Holographic Camouflage, which appears to render him visually invisible as he blankets the immediate area with other forms of sensor jamming (it's depicted as both bending light and projecting a false image). The only time it's 'broken' is when he either attacks something, or that one time the Zondar turned out to have the ability to dive between dimensions, as he's careful to account for environmental effects. There's an external box version of it, but it's still only Volfogg who ever uses it - and is presumably the only one who's designed to.
Ghost in the Shell's Public Security Section 9 and a few baddies made frequent use of "thermoptic camouflage," which rendered the wearer more or less invisible in both visible-light and infrared. In the movie, Major Kusanagi wears a skin-tight semi-transparent thermoptic suit; the various TV series had Section 9's combat uniforms thermoptic-equipped.
The manga and the film show the characters wearing special devices to be able to see while being invisible. In series Stand Alone Complex, they are absent however.
In the manga, the camo can be disrupted by dust and rain.
The Rangers that were chasing S9 characters at the time) and Batou, an ex-Ranger, have eye implants designed specifically to work with thermoptic camo. Still doesn't explain how the others were able to see. Perhaps we are meant to assume that most of Section 9 have these implants.
The Umibozu commandos in the first season of SAC also had thermoptic camo as well when they were ordered to hunt down the S9 operators.
The camo also seems to work better in the anime, even keeping the characters invisible in the snow in one episode (without leaving footprints or getting visible snow to settle on them.
Having said that, the PS2 game establishes that thermoptic camo doesn't work in areas with high humidity, and attempting to use it will cause the user to appear like a multihued silhouette.
Gundam SEED, Mirage Colloid for Gundams, ships, and mini-Death Stars.
Gundam AGE has a near-perfect stealth system used by Vagan for their warships and space stations, though apparently the power requirements are such that Mobile Suits cannot mount it. They also appear to be unable to attack when it's active. The Bisidian pirates managed to steal one for their own ship. SID, guardian of the EXA-DB, has a more advanced version that can be mounted on a smaller frame.
During the Hunter exams of Hunter × Hunter a minor character (a ninja) captures a giant pig by putting a rock under a camouflage cloak to get it to run into.
Otto's Stealth Jacket in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, which works more like Real Life stealth technology, rendering the user invisible to regular search magic and technology. However, as Shamal demonstrated with Klarwind's more advanced sensors, it's far from infallible.
Kaede from Mahou Sensei Negima! gets one of these as her magical artifact. Its different from most of the other examples on the page in that rather than making the person merely invisible, it consumes them and then turns invisible. Inside is an entire house. Also Natsumi's artifact makes her and anyone holding her hand completely unnoticeable.
Minor hero the Invisible Hood (a.k.a. Hooded Justice a.k.a. Invisible Justice) in The DCU (and originally from Quality Comics) wore a chemically treated hood and robe that allowed him to turn invisible.
In Kyon Big Damn Hero, Kyon's greatcoat, skinsuit, PDA, and weaponry conspire to give them one of these.
My Immortal gives us the most useless invisibility cloak ever. People can see it when it's in use.
The Tarnhelm is parodied in the 1989 film Erik the Viking, where the protagonist uses Aud's invisibility cloak, which only works on King Arnulf. Unaware of that Erik pulls off a hilarious "now you see me, now you you don't see me" scene on the villain's ship.
The priest cannot see it, the same way that he cannot see the Dragon of the North Sea or the gates of Asgard.
Predator - This is a Predator's main defense against the prey that it is hunting.
G.I. Joe - There is a camouflage suit used by Scarlett.
In the 1959 movie Santa Claus, Merlin gives Santa a flower that can turn him invisible.
In the film serial The Phantom Creeps, Dr. Zorka has several futuristic devices, including an invisibility belt.
One of the spy gadgets Dr. Honeydew and Beaker develop in Muppets from Space is invisibility spray. Unfortunately, it comes off when Fozzie washes his hands.
Die Another Day somewhat infamously had a car that used miniature cameras on one end wired to transmission screens on the other, much like existing technology. "Aston Martin call it the Vanquish, we call it... the Vanish."
The SHIELD Helicarrier in The Avengers, much like Bond's car, had panels on the underbelly that displayed the sky above the ship, rendering it invisible to ground observation.
The Trope Maker, is The Tarnkappe (aptly translatable as "camouflage cape") which Siegfried takes from the dwarf Alberich and uses to defeat Brunhild in the Nibelungenlied.
In Astrid Lindgren's Mio, My Mio Mio gets his cape mended by the seamstress. She mends it with fabric that turns Mio invisible when he wears the cape inside-out.
L.E. Modesitt's Saga of Recluce books have invisibility that does render the wearer blind.
Well, sort of. To use the ability you have to first develop a supernatural sensitivity to either patterns (order) or energy (chaos), either of which means you can see more "blind" than ordinary people can see with light anyhow.
Also the ability is only schematically shaped like a cloak, it's not really an item so much as a spell that the caster has to fuel.
In The Hobbit, Bilbo acquires a magic ring from Gollum. This ring grants invisibility to its wearer.
The sequel, The Lord of the Rings, identifies it as the One Ring, a major Artifact of Doom. The invisibility is a side-effect on mortal wearers who cannot simultaneously exist in the Visible and Invisible worlds. In fact, the ring actually makes its wearer more visible to those who are in the Invisible world, such as the Nazgûl. Spiritual beings, such as Sauron, are not rendered invisible.
The elven cloaks given to the Fellowship at Lórien give a certain amount of invisibility, causing their wearers to fade into the background so long as they are among nature. This allows Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli to stay unseen by an entire cohort of Rohirrim riding right past them, and has a lot to do with Frodo and Sam's successful incursion of Mordor. This is well represented in the film adaptation of The Two Towers when, as an orc-company approaches, Frodo throws his cloak over him and Sam, and they immediately take on the perfect likeness of a boulder.
In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Harry inherits a cloak from his father that makes everything beneath it invisible. Recreated beautifully on film too. This cloak is the Trope Namer.
And as it turns out, the cloak is one of the three Deathly Hallows. This is why the cloak has lasted so long without decaying, and can conceal more than one person.
The magic ring in Orlando Furioso, which Angela uses to get away from Ruggiero in what might be the epic's most crucial scene. It reappears at various points and may have inspired the One Ring.
Perry Rhodan has the 'deflector field' (not to be confused with Deflector Shields) as a relatively commonplace technology. It works by bending light around the cloaked object or person and, while useful under the right conditions, isn't too hard to foil since it only affects a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum (an early issue had an invisible intruder detected by 1970s Earth radar) and the field itself can be easily spotted by advanced sensors.
In the Starfist series by David Sherman and Dan Cragg, Confederation Marine combat uniforms are called "chameleons" - they incorporate an otherwise undescribed technology that approximates the color of objects in the uniform's near vicinity. Chameleons only work in visible spectrum, a weakness that is ruthlessly exploited by the series' recurring Aliens and Monsters.
In the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, Warders' cloaks blended with the scenery, making their heads and legs appear disembodied when the cloaks were worn.
William Gibson's Neuromancer has Molly donning a "mimetic polycarbon" body suit, which changes pattern to match the surroundings, in order to infiltrate the Sense/Net headquarters.
In Stuart Little the car Stuart drives has an invisibility button.
In Tribesmen of Gor we learn that the Kurii have developed a ring which makes the bearer invisible, by refracting light around the user.
In Explorers of Gor, the plot is driven by attempts to recover the ring and plant a booby-trapped fake on the other side.
In Artemis Fowl, Foaly creates an invention called Cam Foil to make the wearer of it invisible. It's more technological than Harry Potter cloaks, which serves some problems, such as it shorts out in rain and is not invisible to a camera. Also, the circuitry can be easily crushed and the wearer appears as a slight haze, so is still noticeable.
In the Uglies series, the Specials have sneaksuits —- suits which can blend in with the surroundings and cannot be seen through normal sight or infrared. The suits can be damaged and one particular character can sense their location since he is very perceptive (although the character in question is seriously underestimated).
In John C. Wright's Orphans of Chaos series, the characters get the Ring of Gyges (from Greek mythology, see above) from the horse-shaped tomb of Gyges. It can hide the wearer from normal and paranormal sense impressions selectively. Colin Mac FirBolg does his best sniveling Gollum impersonation before donning it. Amelia warns him that what it really creates is a moral compulsion to not notice the bearer, which means it may not work on the innocent, such as children.
A demon summoner makes Marik of Gundar such a cloak in Song In The Silence. It also keeps any sound he makes from escaping, even twigs breaking underfoot, and masks his smell. Additionally it makes it much harder to see most things, but any source of light is painfully bright.
Jack McDevitt's Priscilla Hutchins novels have "lightbenders"; basically high-tech invisibility suits. Access for the general public is highly restricted, but the Academy is allowed to use them for exploring new alien worlds. Their use requires care, though, since they don't hide the eyes.
In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel In The Lion's Mouth, Ravn recounts the use of these in the fight. After, Bridget's first guess is an Air-Vent Passageway escape before she deduces that in fact Ravn hid cloaks in the ventilation system, and then escaped, invisible, with her companion as soon as the door opened.
One of the early plots of The Thrawn Trilogy is Grand Admiral Thrawn's search for Palpatine's hidden cloaking technology, suddenly made practicalnote In terms of the power requirements in a breakthrough shortly before the disastrous battle at Endor. But like a true total cloaking device, it's double blind—enemies can't see the cloaked ships, but the cloaked ships can't see outside their own field. Thrawn, being the Magnificent Bastard that he is, still finds some uses: like cloaked asteroids in low orbit used as siege weapons.
In the Dune prequels, a Richese scientist invents the first no-field generator. He sells the technology to the Harkonnens, with the Baron having him build a no-chamber for secret meetings and a small no-ship for hidden strikes, before Rabban kills the scientist. However, unlike the future no-ships, this no-field is a typical cloaking device but doesn't shield against prescience, as evidenced when Rabban tries to use it to attack Wallach IX only for the Bene Gesserit to detect him with their powers and cause the ship to crash. They study the craft and then destroy it to prevent the technology from falling in the wrong hands. It's not clear if the re-discovery of the no-field is independent or a result of the Sisterhood using this knowledge.
In Murderess, Lu and Hallwad use an invisibility potion to look for Aucasis in the Dark Ones’ tunnels without being detected.
Live Action TV
In the Sci-Fi Channel series The Invisible Man, Darien Fawkes was implanted with a gland that secreted a liquid that coated him and his clothing, causing light to bend around him perfectly. Active camouflage meets Psycho Serum.
Cloaking Devices have been a mainstay of the series since "Balance of Terror" in Star Trek: The Original Series. Employed mainly by the Romulans, Klingons, Suliban, and the U.S.S. Defiant.
The Romulans once tried to take this Up to Eleven with a "phase cloak" that would make starships not only invisible, but able to pass through normal matter. Unbeknownst to them, a Starfleet Insane Admiral illegally beat them to it.
There was an episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman featuring a man who had invented an invisibility outfit.
Parodied in an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place when Max buys an invisibility poncho. When worn, only the poncho turned invisible, Max didn't.
Similar to the Muppet Labs spray above, one episode of Sesame Street featured the spray-on invisibility cloak "Disappear-O."
The Doctor can make the TARDIS invisible too, if he needs to keep a low profile. Leading to the 11th Doctor slamming face-first into it in "The Impossible Astronaut".
In season 9 of Stargate SG-1, the team discovers Arthur's Mantle, which is basically a computer that takes the user out of phase, making them invisible. Daniel guesses that a medieval storyteller who didn't understand the mechanics of the machine attributed its properties to an actual cloak.
In one episode of Pixelface, the QM invented a hat that rendered the wearer invisible. Unfortunately, the hat itself remained visible.
In what may very well be the earliest example of this on television, the "Manhunt in Space" serial of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger introduces the "Cold Light" device. The device works on an inverse of the heat mirage, where sufficiently cold light beams could render an object invisible. Remember, this was written in the 50's.
The Tarnkappe from German heroic legend, such as the one Siegfried took from the dwarf Alberich in the Nibelungenlied (and Siegfried didn't limit himself to non perv uses). King Laurin, another dwarf king from a different legend, also had one of these.
BattleTech takes the chameleon approach with mimetic armor coatings for some types of power armor. The "Chameleon Light Polarization Shield", invisibility on a Mech scale, has never been truly explained, but is implied to somehow render a Mech invisible only in the visible light spectrum, allowing it to still hunt in its magnetic resonance and infrared sensor modes. Those Mechs that mount it have to find their own ways around not showing up to those, frequently resorting to advanced composites for construction and various gimmicks to reduce heat signature.
The Word of Blake's new Void-Signature System combines the theory of the Chameleon Light Polarization System as well the Null Signature System with Battlesuit Scale mimetic armour to create a system which blocks you from Mag Scan, IR, Radar sensors as well as any visual system by making your 'Mech change colours as to appear the same as their background... thus simply being a blur.
Rings, cloaks and other Items of Invisibility from Dungeons & Dragons. Though by the time you can afford one, a lot of the enemies you'll be fighting will have ways around it. (The See Invisibility spell, Tremorsense, Scent...)
Rifts shows a surprising dosage of reality in averting the traditional sci-fi cloaking fields. The usual invisibility magic still works, but technological efforts at an Invisibility Cloak take the form of highly advanced "chameleon" fields or coatings which mimic the surroundings rather than bending light around them and making the user blind too.
Various versions exist in GURPS: Ultra-Tech. By TL12 the Invisibility Surface works not only in the visual spectrum but well beyond it.
The villain Ambuscade from Sentinels Of The Multiverse has a Personal Cloaking Device. When it enters play, Ambuscade flips from his Superhuman Hunter side to his Invisible Stalker side. As the Invisible Stalker Ambuscade is immune to damage, so the heroes must destroy the Personal Cloaking Device first to get him to turn visible again.
Prospero's use of an Invisibility Cloak in The Tempest is a major plot point.
BIONICLE: the Mask of Concealment and Mask of Stealth.
Zoids has Helcat, Liger Zero X, and Diablo Tiger.
Battlefield 2142 has this as an unlock for the recon class. It only lasts for a short time however; EMP will reveal it, and an unlock for support class can put any player using it on the map.
Each Command & ConquerRTS makes sure that it goes public with some kind of active camouflage unit. In the earlier games, especially before the Generals saga was even here, it's more likely that Invisibility Cloak is the expertise of a certain faction. A rule of thumb to reveal an enemy unit is to have a friendly unit approach it, use sensors or hurt the enemy unit.
In the Tiberium saga, the Brotherhood of Nod is rather fond of Invisibility Cloaks and is specifically mentioned to be the leader in that field. It first began with "Ezekiel's Wheel" Stealth Tanks and the occasional Crate Expectation bonus when the very first C&C game, Tiberian Dawn, debuted in 1995. And then, it just expanded from there. Tiberian Sun moved on to footsoldier and building versions when it included the aptly-named Chameleon Spy, as well as mobile and stationary Stealth Generators that can generate invisibility fields base-wide. As of Tiberium Wars, Nod even gained a Support Power derivative.
GDI, on the other hand, has learned to somewhat embrace this trope in Tiberium Wars through the use of Sniper teams.
The Red Alert series takes Invisibility Cloak differently, what with even wackier science. The Allies understand this trope as the ability to jam radar or generate Fog of War using specialist vehicles and buildings. Although they mostly subvert this trope, they do learn to build a one-time prototypeS.Tank-APC hybrid in Red Alert: Aftermath. Red Alert 2 sees no changes in their mindset: Mirage Tanks are implied to use holograms to hide themselves. The Soviets (and later on, Yuri's army and Imperial Japan) are more straightforward about this with submarine technology, which survived all the way to Red Alert 3.
Generals and Generals: Zero Hour are easily the most generous and the least sci-fi C&C games with this trope, seeing how Invisibility Cloak (innate or attained by upgrade) can apply to aircraft, footsoldiers, vehicles and even buildings alike. Justifiable in a sense that most of it is merely from modern camouflage technology, rather than from Applied Phlebotinum. The extremest of extreme goes to none other than Zero Hour's Stealth General, Prince Kassad. He has the Support Power to cast an Invisibility Cloaks on literally anything.
One of the standard features of any Crysisnanosuit is a cloak mode. It's a Game Breaker in singleplayer, but savvy players in multiplayer modes will still see a shadow and an enemy icon on their mini-maps with a handheld scanner. It slowly drains energy when sitting still, drains it much faster when moving, and totally empties the suit energy meter if you shoot before switching modes. A common and effective workaround for the latter is to uncloak for an instant, fire, then cloak again. Even if an enemy is looking right at you, you'll have a split-second before they manage to react to your presence to fire a a shot or two.
Descent and Descent 2 both featured cloaking devices, which would render your ship (mostly) invisible for 30 seconds. Invisible, but not, notably, inaudible: if you fired a weapon, ran into a robot, or heck, even just ran into a wall, the robots would notice you and start firing in that general direction. They could also still detect you if you were foolish enough to leave your headlights on while cloaked in the second game.
Global Agenda has one for the Recon class. It also greatly increases movement speed or jump length (your pick) while active, making it a viable travel alternative to the jetpack.
Several Final Fantasy games include invisibility spells or items. All physical attacks are a guaranteed miss while the item/spell is active (except in the Tactics games, where attacks can typically still hit, but the AI will ignore the invisible unit.) Some incarnations decrease magic evasion and/or magic defense as a trade-off.
Final Fantasy VI, prior to its Game Boy Advance remake, included a notorious bug, Vanish/Doom, which combined Invisibility (0% physical hits, 100% magic hits) with a Useless Useful Spell (instant death, laughably low hit rate). One-hit kill every time, even for bosses who are supposed to be immune to it.
Halo features lots of "active camouflage," a common Covenant light-bending device that can also be used by the UNSC's Spartans.
The UNSC has a less advanced version of this in the form of photoreactive paneling.
"Hey! Some kid with a weird mask is trying to sneak into here!"
The Ninja character from Live A Live had an Invisibility Cloak.
Metal Gear had both two-way invisibility and active camouflage. The OctoCamo from Metal Gear Solid 4 is a peculiar example. To the player, Snake appears fully visible, just colored with the exact pattern and texture of whatever he's blending with, but while playing against Snake during a Sneaking Mission on Metal Gear Online, when the camo index is high, Snake is virtually invisible, barely even noticeable when he moves, and one presumes this is also how the AI sees it. Stealth Camouflage in MGS4 and MGO (A call back to the original MGS), one is totally invisible to the naked eye, but one is still visible by enemies using infrared in-game, and the user still has a shadow.
The Stealth Camo is in a way Invisible to Normals since normal guards can't see you, but bosses, escort characters, and the Attack Team (the guards sent during an alert phase) can. It is possible they already know you're there and are specifically looking for you. Stealth camo doesn't provide total invisibility, so you could still spot it if you know what to look for.
Shadow Pirates in Metroid Prime feature the "active camouflage" type of cloak (appear as a faint shimmer in visible spectrum, but stick out like a sore thumb in IR). Trace in Hunters can cloak itself in a similar fashion by standing still, but the cloak drops as soon as it moves.
StarCraft has a large number of "cloaked" units, both for the Protoss and the Terrans:
Terran Ghosts are latent psychics which can use their powers, coupled with a special suit they wear, to cloak themselves for as long as they have enough energy.
The campaign of StarCraft II has Spectres, "enhanced" Ghosts with a similar system. They can also be upgraded so they can cloak indefinitely.
Terran Wraiths have a cloak generator that also works on stored energy. It's mentioned that the damn thing is so secret that the Army does anything it takes to destroy wreckages so as not to lose the advantage.
A similar device is used in StarCraft II on the Banshee gunships. The invisibility is also not handled with a Hand Wave; when the gunship is cloaked, the whole cockpit goes dark and a visor slides over the pilot's face, presumably connected to a small exterior sensor. The same goes for the Specters' goggles, which slide on when they cloak.
The new, more detailed Wraith portrait reveals that this fighter doesn't even have transparent cockpits, to facilitate cloaking.
Protoss Observers and Dark Templar are permanently cloaked. The Observers use some kind of technological artifice, while the Dark Templar have invisibility skills as a cultural trait, given their history of persecution by the Khalai.
Protoss Arbiters aren't cloaked themselves, but serve as an anchor for a reality-warping field that automatically cloaks allied units within a certain radius. This ability is carried over to the Mothership in StarCraft II.
The Spy in Team Fortress 2 has one built into his wristwatch. It lasts up to 8 seconds and then needs 30 seconds to recharge fully, so using it takes a fair bit of tactical sense. An alternate invisibility, the Cloak and Dagger, slowly regenerates while the player is cloaked but standing still, so they can be invisible forever, but it drains much faster while moving.
The Dead Ringer turns you invisible after faking your death to the enemy team. You also get 90% damage reduction, and the cloak doesn't flicker from bumping into enemies, so it is much more powerful, but can only be activated by damage, and requires you to run around uncloaked, waiting for someone to shoot you.
Thief II: The Metal Age has invisibility potions. Sometimes they are available for purchase (and are very expensive when they are); sometimes they are hidden somewhere in a mission. The effect lasts for only a minute or so, and when it wears off, Garrett breathes very hard as though surfacing for air.
Warcraft III, Shades, Night Elves (subverted in that it's only at night and while stationary), Blademasters and the Sorceress' Invisibility spell. In Warcraft II, casting invisibility on a Demolition Squad killed it outright, in Warcraft III it just tells you you cannot use it.
Doom and Doom II had a Partial Invisibility power-up ; this didn't make it impossible to see the character, just extremely difficult. The Spectre also has this effect, albeit permanently turned-on.
AceCombat X: Skies of Deception had the Gleipnir airborne fortress and Fenrir superfighters with their Digital Optical Stealth. Radar lock is also lost when it is active, though guns still work and dumb-firing missiles can still land on the slow Gleipnir.
The geth in Mass Effect 2 appear to have access to this kind of technology. The Infiltrator class also has access to this as well, as does Kasumi.
Rogues in the Dragon Age series have this ability, which can be upgraded from "weak enemies may or may not notice you on a good day" to "complete invisibility even as you calmly shank an entire army of darkspawn."
It's possible in The Elder Scrolls to enchant a piece of clothing or jewelry with the chameleon effect, making it hard for NPCs to detect the wearer. This goes to Game Breaker levels in Oblivion if you enchant multiple pieces of equipment with Chameleon for a total of 100% or more; enemies cannot interact with you in any way unless you let them, allowing you steal from or assassinate whoever you want with total impunity, "Ring of Gyges"-style.
The Assassins in the F.E.A.R. series have active camo. Notably, the camouflage only covers the Assassins' body, not any weapons said Assassin is carrying, which forces them to rely on hand-to-hand attacks. They get around this by having finger-mounted claws that channel electricity into their targets.
The V38 Phantom TIE Fighters in Star Wars: Rebel Assault II have this, "a capability previously unheard of for ships their size". Ditto for the facility that produces them, whose cloaking device is disabled by the explosion of the Super Star Destroyer Terror.
In Turok 2, some of the Endtrails have stealth camouflage.
Zoids games usually have optical camouflage as something that can be equipped to the player's mecha.
In the RTS game Achron, every single unit has active camouflage which is the justification for Fog of War (because, who is really that near-sighted?). If you get close enough to enemy units, you can see them. Nigh-perfect cloaking also exists in the game and units who have that ability activated can only be seen if a unit with the ability "Detector" is nearby.
Quake had the Ring of Shadows, which rendered the player invisible for a short period except for his eyes.
The biospark enemy in the Kirby series uses one of these in Squeak Squad. It isn't too bright about it, though - it leaves its gloves exposed.
In Secret Agent Barbie, a thief stole some fashion designs in order to create a ‘Translucent Suit,’ which is said to provide the wearer with near invisibility when worn.
The female assassins in Half-Life had cloaking devices when faced on the highest difficulty.
The Deus Ex series has invisibility biomods/augmentations, notable in that they rapidly drain your batteries and require a separate biomods/augmentations to be silent as well. There are also jackets, which don't drain your batteries, since it is a separate item, but they are rare and expensive, and once it is used up, it's gone.
The reboot of Syndicate has this for certain mooks, but you don't have one in either single player or co-op.
In Mega Man 7, the Wily Capsule explicitly pulls out a cloak when pulling off its disappearing trick.
In Monday Night Combat, this was one of the abilities of the Assassin class. Super Monday Night Combat tweaked it quite a bit; now it only makes you invisible to enemy players at a certain distance, but you're completely invisible to enemy bots and turrets.
The Novistadors in Resident Evil 4 have Predator-style invisibility, however they can't be cloaked and fly at the same time.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's second mission introduces the adaptive camo. It only works when stationary, crouched or prone - no sprinting unless using the cover-shift - and suffers from Invisibility Flicker.
Near the end of The Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush gets his hands on a necklace of eyeballs that renders him invisible to ghosts, which, luckily, all the bad guys happen to be.
The default special ability of the Infiltrator class in Planetside 2 is a regenerating cloaking device. It's not as powerful as most examples, a cloaker can be seen (unless perfectly still) by an enemy on the lookout for them, and cloaking players cannot attack enemies. The cloaking does, however, hide the Infiltrator from the minimap and from being spotted, and the nanomachines that generate the cloak can be switched for ones that absorb incoming damage as well as hiding the player (at the cost of draining more power). The alternate "Stalker" cloaking system forces the player to give up their primary weapon, but allows them to stay cloaked indefinitely provided that they occasionally stand still and let the device charge back up.
The Flash ATV can also be fitted with a cloaking device, allowing an Infiltrator to make a stealthy and fast entrance. So long as the enemy doesn't hear the roar of the engine.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown eventually allows you to build the Ghost armor, which has a built-in cloaking function that allows you to approach the enemy undetected and catch them off-guard (but only four times per battle per character).
This is stock equipment in SLAI Steel Lancer Arena International. Since energy shields are momentary, uncertain things (they only have a statistical chance of triggering to reduce damage instead of being always on), the more reliable choice in this case is to use a cloaking device that renders the SV effectively invisible, save for a faint Predator-like outline on the upper portion of hulls at close range. Weapons can still be fired and don't drain your cloak meter any faster, so it wasn't unheard of for two or more completely cloaked fighters to dance around each other while invisible while blazing away, resulting in the odd but amusing spectacle from a distance of nothing firing at nothing.
Starsiege offers a form of cloaking that effectively masks a unit's radar signature while also causing the hull to mimic the local terrain textures. Moving while cloaked would cause the cloak to update its texture sets every few seconds, meaning that a sharp-eyed pilot could pick out something that resembles a constantly shifting chunk of Martian plains moving at a dead run and fire accordingly. Due to the way this particular system works, using the cloak on high ground is dumb, since it does nothing to hide a unit's outline, which will stand out quickly even on darker backgrounds—a lumpy green protrusion suddenly appearing on an otherwise smooth hilltop is probably not just a misplaced terrain texture.
In Elf Blood, the punk Scout uses one to escape from the Renegades after he tosses a grenade at them.
In Far from Home, the pirates have a device that makes them only appear on the scanner.
In The End, the alien spaceship piloted by the protagonists is supposed to be using one of these when it lands on Earth. The fact that it turns out not to be working properly is one of the factors that kicks off the plot.
Shadowscared, god of fear in The Gods Of Arr Kelaan has a cloak that makes him invisible to everything he fears (which is a lot). It was made by one of his followers who expected it to make him immortal, instead it just hid his ghost from Thannatria, Shadowscared could see him and he gladly gave it to him so he could pass on.
In New York Magician, Michel's watch can generate "slips", which are basically this, barring magical people and beings who can see through them.
In Orion's Arm this is done by using tiny lasers to project an image into the eyes of onlookers.
In Red vs. Blue, the Active Camo from Halo is Tex's armor ability. The Meta briefly uses it as well after capturing Tex in season 6, and again in season 8, though not as well.
In Tales From My D&D Campaign, the evil Kua-Toa have developed a way to cheaply mass-produce invisibility cloaks by fueling them with chemicals in their own skin secretions.
You Have Become Your Avatar: King Kix gave the group cloaking devices in an attempt of infiltrating the SCP Foundation. Unfortunately, a SCP Foundation guard still managed to spot them.
Sheila from the animated Dungeons & Dragons TV series was equipped with a literal Invisibility Cloak.
Played with in one Invader Zim episode where Zim accidentally gets a Megadoomer assault robot that could turn completely invisible. Unfortunately, the pilot does not turn invisible, leaving Zim floating in midair as he stomps his way through the neighborhood.
Parody in SpongeBob SquarePants: The "Boatsmobile" of retired superhero duo Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy is permanently invisible. So whenever they need it, they wander around the parking lot/secret cave garage like idiots until they find it. But it's not only annoying, it's outright useless, because driver and passengers are clearly visible.
Invisibility is the Boatsmobile's default state; a malfunction causes a brief glimpse of a 1950s style sports car. Faaancy. The duo do carry around a car alarm on the keys, which renders it temporarily visible.
The Renegades' Stealth Device from Challenge Of The Go Bots, said to be a holographic projector that worked across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
One episode of Batman: The Animated Series featured a criminal who had stolen a supply of a plastic that could bend light around it, and had made for himself an invisibility suit (and similarly outfitted his car).
Batman might've also adapted a safer version of this (in the Batman The Animated Series episode, it's mentioned as being toxic to the user), as the suit in Batman Beyond, Terry's costume has a similar ability that he uses sometimes.
The Saurians of The Mighty Ducks had extremely sophisticated cloaking devices that not only rendered them invisible to the naked eye, but to almost all forms of radar or locating devices. In fact, its power is why the Mask of Drake Du Caine is so important to Puckworld. It is the one and only thing that can see through their cloaks.
The costume worn by Spider-Man throughout most of Spider-Man Unlimited can briefly turn him invisible.
In Astérix, a spy was sent to observe a palace construction in Egypt. He blended into the background terrain, and also took the form of building blocks to hide. Naturally, he was added to the construction.
In Inspector Gadget: "A Clear Case", Dr. Claw invents an invisibility suit using diamonds to deflect light.
If you made a cloak out of a lot of tiny cameras and screens, it should be possible to get the invisibility effect while still being able to see the outside on a screen inside the cloak. It would be ridiculously fragile, though.
BAE Systems is developing an adaptive infrared camouflage system that makes vehicles blend with the background IR of the environment, making them practically invisible when viewed with IR cameras.
Real Life stealth systems have generally subverted this trope opting instead for practical invisibility. A stealth bomber is by no means invisible but it will be difficult to detect until it is too close for the enemy to react. The US military is working on an AR system for ground forces to enable them to see the enemy through walls (by feeding data from cameras set at alternate vantage points) thus allowing them to use cover more effectively.