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There have been a lot of developments in army uniforms recently. Dutch soldiers are getting new uniforms and shoes, and they are not standing still in America either. In mid-June, the U.S. Army announced the results of their research on programmable fibers. With this new technology, the military will soon have access to a lot of useful information.
New US army uniform can collect data
MIT researchers at the Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies have developed the first fabric fiber with digital capabilities. By using this fiber in clothing, military activities can be detected, stored, analyzed, and transferred.
With the technology, the soldier wearing the uniform can receive vital information such as data about his or her physical condition and dangers in the environment such as toxic substances. They can share data such as location and body temperature with the team, which is useful when someone is injured. By taking the body temperature, the chip can relay what activity the soldier is doing, and this can alert the team when a soldier is in mortal danger. The uniform can also generate electricity which can come in handy in remote areas.
Collect data without sacrificing comfort
It’s a lot of new, innovative features but luckily the soldiers do not have to worry about carrying extra weight. Hundreds of microchips are incorporated into the fibers and are constantly communicating with each other. The fiber is so thin that it fits through a needle hence the reason it is so light. Research has shown that they can wash the fiber at least ten times without it breaking down.
I think this is a positive and useful development. It can improve the security of soldiers and thus also save lives. Because it concerns personal data, I expect they cannot implement this invention immediately. The privacy of the soldiers will first have to be considered. But once that’s settled, I think other countries will follow soon.