Soldiers could soon wear ‘black box’ recorders that track their movements

Concept needs help in order to become a reality
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Australian soldiers could wear personal black box recorders to track their movements and call for back-up.

The tech would involve lightweight sensors that could track and collect a soldier's movement, with the Australian Defence Department's research indicating that the wearable will offer a long battery life to those in the field.

As a result, the tech would also act as an emergency SOS signal to be activated by a soldier in need of help, with low-orbit satellite connections used to send GPS coordinates back to a base.

Read next: How VR is building the perfect soldier

While this is all helpful for the military sector, the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST) said it's also a possibility the hardware could expand to more everyday public services.

"In addition to the benefits for the warfighter, this technological innovation is expected to provide benefits in other contexts, including emergency services, law enforcement agencies and the private sector," it said.

But what exactly will be tracked?

Well, the current plan is to use an inertial measurement unit to track acceleration, direction and certain limb movements of a solider. This, in theory, should be able to decipher whether a troop was stationary, walking, prone, or running.

Geo-location would track coordinates, while the DST projects that machine learning could help break down this data and provide safety recommendations and tactical advice.

Despite the wearable tech plans for troops, help is needed in order to turn this from a concept into reality. There's also an AUD $700,000 reward for any university or business able to come up with answers under the hood and build a working prototype.

We've already seen the US military begin testing for smart body sensors that can detect head trauma, so a device that can track general military activity would appear to be a natural step for wearable tech.

Source: ITNews

Soldiers could soon wear ‘black box’ recorders that track their movements

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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