WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A revolutionary piece of new wearable technology that can turn clothing into networked technology is set to begin production. BAE Systems’ Broadsword® Spine® has been designed specifically as an alternative to the heavy portable data and power supplies currently carried by military and emergency service personnel. The company has agreed to an exclusive new partnership with world-leading e-textiles developer Intelligent Textiles Limited (ITL) to deliver the ground-breaking wearable product in high volumes at low cost.
Broadsword® Spine® is on display this week at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. It is an e-textile based layer that, when added to a user’s clothing, creates an invisible electronic network and power supply, by using conductive fabrics instead of wires and cables. With the innovative network, users can plug vital electronic devices straight into their vest, jacket, or belt and have them instantly hooked into power and data via USB — all delivering an estimated 40 percent weight saving per user versus alternative solutions.
Working together, BAE Systems and ITL will be ready to deliver these lightweight devices to personnel including the armed forces, fire, and rescue services, as well as law enforcement, all of whom rely on carrying electronic equipment and having a durable power supply for long periods of use.
Broadsword® Spine® is also designed to be robust enough to operate in the harshest environments, including being resistant to water, fire, humidity, and shock — and can be easily recharged in the field via in-vehicle charging points or through simple battery replacements.
Paul Burke, director of Defense Information and Technology at BAE Systems Military Air and Information, said: “Broadsword® Spine® will deliver a lightweight, cable free, and better alternative to existing systems. It is the first product of our partnership with ITL and uses its revolutionary e-textile 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 co-founder of ITL, added: “Our partnership with BAE Systems builds on a long-standing 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.”
About Broadsword® Spine®:
- Broadsword® Spine® typically has eight connection ports arranged across a garment, capable of providing 200 watts of power and communicating over USB.
- The e-textiles eliminate the risk of cables snagging and tangling, as well as being light weight and far more flexible and comfortable to wear.
- Broadsword® Spine® can be delivered stand-alone, as a subcomponent for a customer’s own garment or system, or as part of a complete, integrated solution.
- Customers are likely to range from government agencies to prime contractors, system integrators, and equipment users.
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