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The Military

US Military Invests in $320M 'Smart Fabric' Project ( 24

The U.S. Department of Defense is investing in a $320 million project to create "smart garments" that can protect soldiers while monitoring their environment -- for example, uniforms that can change color or become invisible to night-vision goggles. Other possibilities include tents which generate electricity, uniforms which detect chemical or nuclear contamination, and parachutes that can detect tearing, according to "Key to the plan is a technical ingredient: embedding a variety of tiny semiconductors and sensors into fabrics that can see, hear, communicate, store energy, warm or cool a person or monitor the wearer's health," reports the New York Times, calling it "a new frontier for the Internet of Things." The Pentagon is joining more than 30 universities, 49 companies (including Intel) and the state governments of Massachusetts and Georgia, and they're hoping the "Advanced Functional Fabrics of America" project establishes two dozen incubators for startups and creates 50,000 jobs over the next 10 years by streamlining the implementation of the smart fabrics in America's textile mills.
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US Military Invests in $320M 'Smart Fabric' Project

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  • parachutes that can detect tearing

    I suppose it might give a few more seconds to cut loose and deploy a backup. But mostly I expect it would be used send a signal where to start digging to find the body.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      I reckon it'd allow it to cut loose on its own. That might be the big win there. The couple of times I've had problems with my parachute, it was pretty clear immediately that something was wrong. But we do get the occasional fatality where someone thought they could fix it and ended up fighting it into the ground. Of course, that's all fun jumping. Things are a bit different in the military world.
  • Not needed (Score:4, Funny)

    by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Saturday April 02, 2016 @02:30PM (#51828759)

    "and parachutes that can detect tearing,"

    My parachute alerts me to tearing by reaching terminal velocity.

  • I can see the story now:

    Colonel: Sergeant, where is Johnson?
    Sergeant: Sir, Johnson deployed with us to the combat zone, with full suit battery. At approximately 17:00 Zulu his armor rebooted for updates and an enemy combatant targeted his de-camoed pattern. We can only suspect, sir, that Johson forgot to disable OTA updates for his BioWear 1.0.20160821 Electronic Armored Uniform (TM).

All the simple programs have been written.