Costa Mesa, CA--Remember soap-on-a-rope? Well, how about a computer-in-a-cube?
Irvine Sensors received the first phase, $1.3 million, of an expected $2.1 million subcontract from Boeing to develop the core of a computer system the size of a deck of cards. The hands-free system will feature advanced humionics--voice-activated controls fully integrated with the human body. While Irvine is working on the core, Boeing (Huntsville, AL) will develop the wearable computer, dubbed the Independent Processor Module (IPM) for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Advanced Humionics Platform (AHP). AHP will provide future service personnel with the kind of integrated, portable suite of electronics and sensors needed to cope with a wide array of operational and support needs.
The module is expected to weigh less than one-half pound and blend into clothing so not to interfere with any other equipment. "Wearable computers are key to integrated communications and information management systems for the next generation warfighter," says Michael Bailey, Boeing's AHP principal investigator. "We are combining advanced power management, aggressive miniaturization, and an innovative architecture to provide a revolutionary level of processing to our knowledge not available from any supplier in a wearable system."
A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
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