Pentagon Taps Apple, Boeing And Harvard To Devise Flexible Wearables For Soldiers

For regular consumers, wearable tech can prove to be a boon for a multitude of reasons - it could improve our fitness and in some cases, increase our productivity. That being the case, it's no secret that the same could really prove useful when put into action in military situations. This is something the Pentagon has been mulling for some time.

As Reuters reports, wearable tech is progressing so rapidly, that it just doesn't make sense for the government to go on its own and develop its own tech. Says Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, "I've been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country. Now we're taking another step forward."

Ash Carter
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

That being the case, the Pentagon is teaming up with a collection of companies - including Boeing, Harvard, and Apple - to help accelerate the development process. The result is something called the "FlexTech Alliance", and while the government itself will contribute $75 million to it, companies managed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory will add another $90 million. Tack on another $6 million from local governments and the total cash infusion becomes $171 million.

When picturing what the Pentagon has in mind, it's not hard to imagine soldiers on the field wearing smart eyewear and body sensors. But the goals actually go well beyond that. The Pentagon even wants jets and potentially other military vehicles to be able to take advantage of this technology, mostly to monitor the vehicle's structural integrity.

If there was ever any doubts that wearable tech has a bright future, this move should help quell them.