Thursday, October 24, 2002

Smart fabrics for the combat soldier

Via Wired News: "Researchers at the University of Southern California and Virginia Tech have developed a fabric woven with conductive wires and a cluster of seven button-size microphones that can be used to detect the sound of remote objects, like approaching vehicles."

"Textile folks and computer scientists have to learn to speak a common language, and that's only begun to happen. They approach problems from very different viewpoints."

"Microphones, radio transmitters, sensors to measure pulse rate and body temperature, GPS -- you can have all of that incorporated into fabric," said Anuj Dhawan, a Ph.D. student in fiber and polymer science and electrical engineering at North Carolina State. The average soldier, then, "doesn't have to carry electronic equipment and his mobility can be increased." Eventually, e-fabric could be programmed to lift up a corner of the material by itself and take a photo, or roll up and move on its own."

Hmm... I might get that magic carpet after all.

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