Emerging Tech

U.S. Military developing high-tech “smart” underwear for soldiers


When you think of the latest and most powerful military technology you might imagine smart bullets that can bend around corners or advanced stealth technology that can render a soldier virtually invisible, but underwear? Probably not, but that is exactly what the U.S. military is adding to its seemingly endless arsenal.

As reported by Fox News, researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command office (USAMRMC) and Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) have developed some digital-drawers capable of monitoring a soldier’s vital statistics such as heart rate, skin temperature, and respiration.

Utilizing gel-free sensors, the high-tech underoos gather the collected vitals from a soldier and relay it to a central system allowing for an unprecedented level of monitoring and training soldiers on and off the battlefield. In theory, soldiers that maintained more balanced vital levels during stressful training situations could then be picked for missions with a greater degree of difficulty.

Both USAMRCM and TATRC worked in conjuction with Foster-Miller and Malden Hills to create and develop the new battle-briefs, citing that comfort was of paramount concern and a primary goal when the project was initiated.

Once you get past the initial elements of humor naturally surrounding a pair of high-tech underwear, it’s actually quite the technological accomplishment given that traditional monitoring systems generally involve bulky straps and irritating wires. With this new technology, the military is hoping soldiers will be able to “wear them and forget them,” keeping soldiers safer, much more comfortable, and providing reliable data in real-time that command centers can take advantage of.

But if knowing is half the battle, then these high-tech battle-briefs provide an encyclopedias worth of information for unit leaders and tacticians.

Of course other factors such as performance readiness, fatigue, and performance erosion can also easily be tracked — making it much easier for soldiers to be fully fit or undertake countermeasures to reduce and eliminate fatigue — whether it’s in a battle scenario or simply in training.

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