Thinking underwear to monitor modern soldiers

Last Updated: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 11:08

Washington: Modern war fighters may soon be wearing underwears equipped with sensors, which would not just help in monitoring warriors during combat and identifying critical casualties but also train and select them for missions.

Dubbed as “wear and forget physiological sensing system,” these thinking undergarments may be the next-generation drawers for the modern warfighter.

Gel-free sensors form an electronic network in the fabric to monitor respiration and heart rate, activity, body posture and skin temperature - transmitting that data through the soldiers’ layers of clothing to a central system.

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command office (USAMRMC) and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) have been working with Foster-Miller and Malden Mills Industries to create the new low-cost knitted undergarments, Discovery News reported.

One of their key aims is to make the high-tech textiles extremely comfortable, so that warfighters will indeed comply and wear them, as that is where the entire “wear and forget” part comes in.
At present, approaches to monitor warfighters usually involve an awkward chest strap with an attached electronics unit that transmits limited and at times unreliable information.

This intelligent undergarment could be an exceptional method to train leaders to recognize the physical limits of their soldiers. For the warfighter, it would be useful to help differentiate between real and perceived physical limitations, helping them push past these perceptions and boost performance.

Rate of injury in training may also be slashed by making use of close bone and muscle monitoring that this technology could offer.

In terms of mission selection, with the physical status data that the undies could provide on warfighters and units, a leader may be able to identify those most fit for the job much more efficiently.

ANI



First Published: Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 11:08

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