US to Develop Smart Surveillance Clothing for Military Intel Operations

The US government has launched a program to develop smart surveillance clothing to support military intelligence missions.

Called the SMART ePANTS (Electrically-Powered and Networked Textile Systems), the technology will feature advanced sensors, cameras, and wires woven directly into garments or uniforms.

It will allow intelligence agents to record video and audio of their surroundings while remaining trackable via a geolocation sensor.

The SMART ePANTS will be developed under the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the research and development arm of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Apart from intelligence, the tech will support counterterrorism efforts and national security agency operations.

Assisting in Dangerous Environments

The wearable surveillance tech is an active smart textile, which means it can adapt and change its functionalities depending on the external environment.

Its sensors and wires could also be connected to software or other applications for improved performance.

According to the IARPA, the SMART ePANTS can assist military personnel and first responders in dangerous, high-stress environments.

“A computer, sensors of some sort, the battery, and the wires, and switches that are necessary to connect them have all been developed in one way or another,” program lead Dr. Dawson Cagle explained.

“The SMART ePANTS’ goal is to take all of those individual components and to convert them, to integrate them, into a single device that you can wear.”

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