Validating its vision to extend the utility of apparel beyond clothing, US’ Integrated Tactical Technologies (iT2) has announced that the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) of the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded the company a multi-phase contract worth up to $19.4 million to develop a wearable two-way communication solution to enable the ‘Wireless Soldier.’
The ‘Wireless Soldier’ prototype Other Transaction (OT) authority contract funds a unique communication system that enables users to communicate discreetly and in tactical operating environments minimising external components such as antennas and wiring, the company said in a press release.
Formed in late 2021 when it acquired Sonitus Technologies, iT2 is now a global wearable technologies company marrying advanced fabric and apparel design with miniaturised personal communications technologies to produce a new category of wearable solutions. These solutions are based on an innovative Fabric Chassis that features an entirely new human-machine sensory interface. The chassis is compatible with most commercially available wireless devices such as smart phones, tactical communication systems, and software applications. It also features the Molar Mic, a dime-sized module that snaps comfortably onto a user’s back teeth and enables them to communicate clearly, securely, wirelessly, and hands-free with any device in even the harshest conditions and operating environments.
This is the second DIU contract awarded to the team that has developed the product platform over the past four years. iT2 will manufacture Wireless Soldier solutions through the company’s partnership with Bluewater Defense, a provider of innovative apparel and functional fabric solutions specifically designed to enhance human capacity in the most demanding military, industrial, and commercial environments.
A trusted provider to a wide range of customers within the DoD for more than 30 years, Bluewater has proven expertise in advanced apparel manufacturing utilising increasingly dynamic fabrics and wearable technologies. Separate from the Wireless Soldier contract, Bluewater is currently providing various DoD entities with production scale quantities of uniforms and other related fabric-based solutions.
“Winning the wireless soldier contract with DIU validates our strategy of developing on-body wireless communication and sensing solutions that fill gaps not addressed by conventional wearables. This marks a significant milestone in our mission to extend the utility of apparel beyond mere clothing and provides a springboard to future government and commercial sales,” Peter Hadrovic, CEO of iT2, said in a statement.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)