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 Good Gear Guide 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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?