Apple to work with US defence department on developing wearable tech

Boeing and Harvard University are among the other 162 companies and organizations that will be part of the FlexTech Alliance

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with members of the media after delivering remarks at the National Full Scale Aerodynamics Complex in Moffett Field, Calif., Aug. 28, 2015. Credit: Adrian Cadiz/DOD

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with members of the media after delivering remarks at the National Full Scale Aerodynamics Complex in Moffett Field, Calif., Aug. 28, 2015. Credit: Adrian Cadiz/DOD

The US Department of Defense is teaming with Apple, Boeing, Harvard University and other organizations to develop flexible electronics and sensors that could be placed in uniforms or inside ships and aircraft.

Under the plan, a consortium called the Flexible Hybrid Electronic Institute will work on using 3D printing to build bendable, thin electronics that could match the contours of a person's body or a military vehicle, a defense department official told Reuters.

The technology could find its way into soldiers' uniforms as health monitors or placed in the cramped compartments of a ship or aircraft to measure structural integrity, the official said.

But the technology developed by the consortium, whose 162 members include Boeing, Harvard University and Hewlett-Packard, could also have civilian uses. For example, the sensors could be used to develop medical devices for the elderly.

Under the plan, which will be managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the U.S. government will contribute $US75 million over five years while $US90 million will come from companies. Funding for the venture will total more $US171 million, with local governments contributing the remaining capital.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will lay out details of the plan in a speech on Friday at Moffet Airfield near Mountain View, California, according to Reuters.

In 2014, NASA, which operates the airfield, said it was leasing it to Google for 60 years. At the time, the search giant said it would use the space to research robots and other emerging technologies. Google's fleet of private jets also operates from the facility.

More recently, Moffet Airfield was the site of a drone conference where Google outlined its plan for drone deliveries and the U.S. Navy showed off a custom drone it 3D-printed on its ships.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Apple

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?