Will the Flak Jacket of the Future Include Organic Sensors?

There’s a saying that was popular among some generals during the war in Iraq: every soldier is a sensor. It speaks the potential of soldiers to collect and relay information to help the broader effort. But the equipment soldiers carry can also serve as a sensor, absorbing data about the soldier’s external experience as well as the physical and mental state of the person in uniform.

The military has been pushing to outfit troops with sensors capable of reporting biophysical feedback on blasts, shocks and other events to which soldiers are exposed. Researchers at the University in California at Berkeley have discovered a way to — potentially — make future body sensors more flexible, cheap and useful by moving away from silicon to an organic carbon compound.

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