Conductive fabrics may power future infantry gear, uniforms set to enter field trials

Zachary Lutz
Z. Lutz|04.03.12

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If you thought your Sunbeam electric blanket or those Hello Kitty foot warmers were advanced pieces of kit, then you'd best divert your eyes from this story out of the UK. In an effort to eliminate the mess of power cables and extraneous batteries from a soldier's tech gear, one British company is currently experimenting with conductive fabrics as the basis for future military uniforms. The material is able to deliver power to any number of devices -- all from a single battery -- and also features a redundancy aspect, with the ability to reroute power should the fabric become torn or damaged. The company, known as Intelligent Textiles, recently received a £234,000 grant from the Ministry of Defense and hopes to begin field trials of its equipment next month. While these high tech uniforms may see a limited military issue by year's end, it's thought unlikely that the gear will become widespread until 2014 or beyond.
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