New Thermally Responsive Fibers Will Radically Change the Battlefield

 - Aug 3, 2011
References: acq.osd.mil & gizmodo
With the understanding that America tends to wage war with hot, temperate countries, the U.S. Army has begun soliciting research for thermally responsive fibers, an innovation which could radically change the moment-to-moment effectiveness of soldiers.

The idea is relatively simple: a textile should be able to adjust the insulation it provides based on the outside temperature and the body heat of the wearer. Modern clothing doesn’t do that; however, thermally responsive fibers would. In a varied climate like Afghanistan’s, a soldier's uniform would cool him down during the arid summers and keep him warm during the wind-swept winters.

The introduction of ‘smart clothing’ ostensibly means a soldier would have to wear fewer layers, leading to improved mobility and speed. Several research firms have already leapt at the opportunity to perfect this technology, which may ultimately save lives.