Uniforms With Programmable Fiber Could Transmit Data and More

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Source: U.S. Army, https://api.army.mil/e2/c/images/2021/06/14/79d15c52/original.jpg
Source: U.S. Army, https://api.army.mil/e2/c/images/2021/06/14/79d15c52/original.jpg

June 30, 2021 | Originally published by U.S. Army on June 14, 2021

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Army-funded research has resulted in the development of a programmable fiber that could transmit data from military uniforms.

Researchers at the Army’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the first fiber with digital capabilities. The fiber can sense, store, analyze, and infer activity when sewn into a piece of clothing.

“This groundbreaking research, with other research underway at the ISN, could revolutionize Soldier uniforms,” said Dr. James Burgess, ISN Program Manager for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “We could outfit our Soldiers with uniforms that could generate power, give them vital information about their physiology and environmental exposures, provide their location to their team, and alert someone if they incur an injury. All of this could be done with very little increase in weight carried by the Soldier.”

Ultimately, uniforms with this technology could power sensors, store and analyze the collected data, and transmit data to outside sources.