A new technology presented in the New Journal of Physics may lead to completely soundproof homes, cars, or any other space using a meta-material called sonic crystals. One of the developers, who is not Reed Richards but Dr José Sánchez-Dehesa of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, says that this "acoustic cloaking will deviate sound waves around the object that has to be cloaked."
Dr Sánchez-Dehesa told BBC News that 200 layers of this material, formed by arrays of tiny cylinders, will shield an object from any noise, while thinner implementations will achieve insulation from certain frequencies.
At this stage, it's still too early to tell when we will see practical applications of this discovery, which has a precedent in microwave invisibility cloaks. It may find its way into military applications first, like making submarines completely silent. [BBC News]