The U.S. Army took the next big step toward deploying flexible displays to soldiers on the battlefield by evaluating prototypes of a wrist-mounted form of the technology during a recent field exercise. Users accessed video feeds and information about firing on targets during the trials of the displays, marking a major shift in the progress of developing this type of tool.
To improve access to warfighters’ well-being, the military and industry are developing innovative ways to assess and treat them both inside the battlespace and when they return home. Sensors and communication technologies are evolving into capabilities that are as much about saving individual lives as they are about maintaining situational awareness for entire squads. And, in a world booming with social media, help coping with the physical and psychological effects of war now is literally at a warfighter’s fingertips.
Basic science and technology research currently underway as part of the U.S. Army’s soldier-as-a-system modernization plan could lead to a wireless personal area network and other technologies that will better integrate the individual soldier into the Army’s tactical network. The Army is developing a host of technologies to improve situational awareness for dismounted platoon and squad leaders, essentially creating a tactical operations center packed on the back. The idea is to increase the knowledge—and therefore the firepower—of the individual soldier.