As science continues to make exceptional advances in technology, the case of life imitating art is becoming more common. Take the ‘Star Trek‘ communicator. We have that now, even better than the one dreamt up over 50 years ago. It’s primary purpose, to communicate with any member of our species anywhere on Earth. Instead we use it to look at pictures of cats or update Facebook about what we had for lunch. Now, various versions of Iron Man’s suit are currently in development with one set to be ready for testing by June of this year.
According to a report by DefenseTech.org, Navy Admiral William McRaven announced three prototypes of the TALOS (Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) are currently being put together in the hopes that they’ll be ready for testing this summer. If everything goes according to schedule, McRaven said the TALOS version could become fully operational by 2018.
“That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators,” McRaven said earlier this month at a military conference in Washington, DC.”
Of course the Iron Man comparisons are mostly wishful thinking designed to create positive publicity for an industry that desperately needs to justify itself. Global conflict is a lucrative business with the US taking the lead spending over $680 billion on military expenditure in 2012 followed, not even closely, by China who spent $166 billion.
The prototypes won’t support clean energy ARC reactor technology, or be able to fly, or have a wise cracking AI assistant on hand. However, they will likely include a liquid armor component, a synthetic substance being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which has the capability to shift from a liquid state to a solid within milliseconds thereby making the suit’s wearer essentially impervious to gunfire.
Should an operator suffer an injury anyway, the suit will be capable of monitoring the individual’s health vitals and other information using a built-in system that rests against the skin and provides its own supply of heat, air, and oxygen. There are additional plans to incorporate a “wound stasis” program that could stop bleeding by spraying some kind of medical foam onto an injury. The units will no doubt also feature an AR HUD (Augmented Reality Heads Up Display) that could be projected directly onto the wearers retina.
The suits are currently being developed by a wide range of organizations, involving 56 different corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories.