A new wearable is about to be produced by BAE Systems, according to a press release. The BAE Systems’ Broadsword Spine integrates network technology in a wearable for the military and emergency services. The wearable replaces the typical heavy data and power supplies carried by military and emergency personnel.
The product consists of an eTextile base layer that creates an invisible electronic network and power supply when added to clothing. The fabric conducts power, eliminating the need for wires and cables. Wearers of the Broadsword Spine can plug vital electronic devices into their clothing and be instantly connected to power and a network via USB. The wearable is 40 percent lighter than the traditional equipment that would be carried otherwise. The wearable device will be available to the armed forces, fire and rescue services, as well as law enforcement, government agencies and contractors.
According to Paul Burke, director of defense information and technology at BAE Systems Military Air and Information: “Broadsword Spine will deliver a lightweight, cable-free and better alternative to existing systems. It is the first product of our partnership with ITL [Intelligent Textiles Limited] and uses its revolutionary eTextile, allowing power and data to move through fabric. It will be more flexible, robust and lighter than the heavy, unwieldy harnesses that are currently used. Broadsword Spine offers an open architecture, meaning it could be used to power communications used by anyone from a soldier on the battlefield to a first responder called to an emergency.”
Asha Thompson, director and cofounder of ITL, added: “Our partnership with BAE Systems builds on a longstanding relationship and is our logical next step in providing our customers with a cost-effective product. It allows us to retain our agility and innovative nature for developing other technologies, yet gives Broadsword Spine the support of BAE Systems’ international reputation and footprint. This puts Broadsword Spine on a fast track to delivering benefits to customers.”
The Broadsword Spine can withstand water, fire, humidity and shock and is easily recharged in through in-vehicle charging points or battery replacements. BAE Systems and ITL will deliver the product in high volume and at low cost. The new Broadsword Spine is being displayed this week in Washington, D.C., at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting.