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Smart Underwear Designed For Military

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-taking-orders dept.

Medicine 169

A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego, led by nano-engineering professor Joseph Wang, has designed some high-tech underwear that may save lives. Sensors in the waistband can monitor a person's blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs. The designers also hope that one day the underwear can release drugs to relieve pain and treat wounds. From the article: "But the technology's range of application goes beyond the military. 'We envision all the trend of personalized medicine for remote monitoring of the elderly at home, monitoring a wide range of biomedical markers, like cardiac markers, alerting for any potential stroke, diabetic changes, and other changes related to other biomedical scenario,' said Wang. Wearable biosensors can also provide valuable information to athletes or even measure blood alcohol levels."

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169 comments

Joke (5, Funny)

al3 (1285708) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525132)

I'll totally mod up the first person who makes a joke about a guy named Wang heading up military underwear research. Doh!

Re:Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525178)

It would be an even better joke if you worked in the nanoengineering Wang angle...

TAG ARTICLE -- POOPSTAIN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525802)

Would make my day if I saw "poopstain" in the article tags...

Re:Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525308)

google already tracks your location, and now, your vital stats via your wi-fi underware!! the future is looking so good!!!

Re:Joke (4, Funny)

Forge (2456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525324)

I knew they were repealing "Don't ask, Don't tell" but isn't this going a little too far?

"Printed on the waistband and in constant contact with the skin is an electronic biosensor, designed to measure blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs."

Translation: When blood flow to your Wang increases they will know. If you are in a room full of guys, they don't have to ask and you don't have to tell.

Re:Joke (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525358)

Any underwear designed by a Wang has got to be nice and comfortable. And I think the elderly will love this convenient method of administering viagra when their heart rate gets over a certain level..

I have any underwear, so TIME TO ENLIST !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525500)

3 sqares and underwears !!

Are father rapers allowed, in officer training camp?

Re:Joke (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525928)

"led by nano-engineering professor Joseph Wang, has designed some high-tech underwear that may save lives." This is just the perfect storm for jokes. I'm surprised no-one has ran with the nano line yet...

These underwear may not protect your back, but they've got your ass!

Wang has been working on this for years (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526160)

He shared his strategic plan with me years ago; it sounds like he has filled in a crucial missing step:

1. Collect underwear
2. ???
3. Profit!

Re:Joke (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526360)

"Smart" design would have been to colour them brown, surely?

Wang????? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525134)

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

nice, add a viagra IV and they are good to go (0)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525144)

for that special moment

Re:nice, add a viagra IV and they are good to go (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525504)

That's just in the model designed for the generals. Can't have a four star with erectile dysfunction starting WWIII now can we...

Re:nice, add a viagra IV and they are good to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525854)

Erection - Now available on-demand!

Bonus side effects (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525154)

Once Smart Underwear catches on in the public, it'll become just a regular technology, like a cell phone.

Now guys, how many times have you seen girls check out another girl's phone when she buys a new one? How many times have you been able to go, "Hey, can I see your phone?" and they'll whip it out and show it to you.

One day, it'll be as easy as "Hey, can I see your Smart Underwear?" and she'll be like "Can I see yours too?".

Trust me, this is going to be awesome.

Re:Bonus side effects (1, Offtopic)

TerranFury (726743) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525618)

+5 Insightful? Really? Really?

Re:Bonus side effects (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525794)

I keep trying to make a joke out of a "Firewall in my pants" pun but I can't quite find a way to work it into a pickupline or a good setup...

Re:Bonus side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525980)

I keep trying to make a joke out of a "Firewall in my pants" pun but I can't quite find a way to work it into a pickupline or a good setup...

That's because it's not funny or sexy. The only thing a "firewall in your pants" might refer to is some kind of burning inflammation, or that you have something wall-shaped in there, which nobody's going to want to touch either.

Re:Bonus side effects (2, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526034)

When you're taking a girl home and she asks, "You do have protection, right?", you can respond truthfully that "Yes, I have a firewall in my pants."

That was awful.

Smart also means privacy issues abound (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525832)

because if it can determine what needs to be done it can record the event. What can be recorded can be reported. While the idea of this underwear leads to some mirth it should be acknowledged than any article of clothing can be modified to help the individual as well as monitor and report. While in the context of the infirm and elderly this can provide a boon to hospitals and homes we will need to look at how the information is distributed and kept safe from prying eyes.

Throw in concerns about proper disposal, liability, and reclamation of said clothing as well. While the innovation is a great idea the related issues will need to be addressed.

Styles (1)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525160)

But does it come in boxers as well as briefs?

And does it wash well? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525814)

I'm not sure about the wisdom of putting expensive "smarts" into a garment that gets changed/washed a lot. Wouldn't it be better as a belt?

Or maybe the military don't change them as often.

OTOH this is Slashdot, I'm seeing mystified faces when I say "changed/washed" in the same sentence as "underwear".

Re:And does it wash well? (1)

Yuan-Lung (582630) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525996)

I'm not sure about the wisdom of putting expensive "smarts" into a garment that gets changed/washed a lot. Wouldn't it be better as a belt?

That was my first thought as well. Wouldn't it be better to not have electronics in your laundry? A detachable waist band/arm band/strap would have been much logical... unless of course, the point is to collect vital data without the knowledge of the wearer....

Or maybe the military don't change them as often.

apperantly... [usatoday.com]

Great... (2, Insightful)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525170)

Now I have to worry about my underwear invading my privacy too? That's it, game over.

Re:Great... (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525216)

Doesn't it sort of do that anyway?

Re:Great... (2, Insightful)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525244)

But at least I didn't have to worry about it reporting status to some outside observer - imagine walking into a store... "Welcome to S-Mart, sir - by the way, your underwear is reporting a slight stretching in the elastic - you may want to visit isle 3 and pick up some new ones. Oh, and we're having a special on weight-loss products in isle 5..."

Re:Great... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525632)

Will this new underwear teach you how to spell rudimentary words like "aisle" or is that too much to ask?

Re:Great... (5, Funny)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525678)

Um, S-Mart is a big store. They don't have aisles, they have isles - you get a small motorboat when you enter instead of a cart to get to all the different isles. Duh.

Re:Great... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525260)

Yeah. Is Chaodyn trying to tell us that when he wears underwear, it is not pressed up against his privates?

Re:Great... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525646)

I see a market opportunity: underunderwear.

Re:Great... (2, Funny)

spazdor (902907) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525780)

But as under-underwear gets smarter, we have the same issue and we'll need under-underwear!

I think the solution here is obvious, guys. How do you keep different layers separate in a way that preserves privacy and access privileges?

middlewear.

Don't make me use my digital pants! (4, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525176)

Digitial paaaants..... ACTIVATE!

Re:Don't make me use my digital pants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525310)

I've been looking to try and find the flash video for this forever.

Re:Don't make me use my digital pants! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525544)

I've been looking to try and find the flash video for this forever.

Here [deadtroll.com]

They are all located on their home page anyway [deadtroll.com] .

Re:Don't make me use my digital pants! (2, Informative)

Forge (2456) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525360)

Three Dead Trolls in a Baggy absolutely rule.

Did George Jetson have these? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525202)

Seems they were up for a Good Spacekeeping Seal of Approval - before Jane found they had to be Dry Clean only.

Unfortunately (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525236)

These are completely useless for commandos.

Re:Unfortunately (0)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525716)

Yea, and most of the guys I know went commando in iraq, so I cant really imagine the Military issuing a stupid order like "wear underwear", I mean that would take a real jerk in charge... Oh wait, i'm glad I got out

Re:Unfortunately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526042)

I know that this was a joke, and this is probably TMI, but what about those of us who choose not to wear underwear? I really can't stand wearing underwear at all (have tried boxers, briefs, and boxer-briefs...hate them all, although boxers were the least offensive), and don't own any anymore. I can't be alone on this. (Can I?)

Is the military going to start requiring troops to wear these? Wouldn't it make more sense to put these sensors into some other type of garment that is less annoying to wear in warm and/or humid environments.

Lindsay? (3, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525266)

or even measure blood alcohol levels

While one might immediately see value in a product like this for Lindsay Lohan, keep in mind she rarely wears underpants.

Re:Lindsay? (0)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525548)

>>keep in mind she rarely wears underpants.

Is this apocryphal, is it something she's admitted, or do you have direct knowledge? Inquiring minds and all that.

Re:Lindsay? (1)

Flea of Pain (1577213) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526266)

While one might immediately see value in a product like this for Lindsay Lohan, keep in mind she rarely wears underpants.

Pics or it isn't true!

Nothing to see here (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525272)

So they will be able to tell what soldiers handle the action better judged on if they shit themselves or not? And all remotely? Is there anything technology can't do?

Fecal Material Sensor? (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525282)

Does it also include a fecal material sensor hooked up to the radio, so the underwear can automatically call for help in a "crap your pants" situation?

will it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525290)

come with its own software including a version of clippy?

"i see you are pissing, would you like help with that?"

drugs? (1, Redundant)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525292)

The designers also hope that one day the underwear can release drugs to relieve pain and treat wounds.

Or how about Viagra when they sense foreplay? That would make a hojillion dollars. Add in a mild heater to combat shrinkage on those cold nights, and you have yourself a winner.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525294)

Idle is indeed pants?

Interesting applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525298)

Maybe this technology can be used in an alcohol sensing underwear application for remote enforcement of certain criminal sentences. Ah, who am I kidding, Lindsay Lohan doesn't wear it often enough to be effective anyway. Making a pair she had to keep on 24/7 would probably kill her.

AAAAHZING!

Emission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525304)

But does it measure methane emissions?

HEV suit/underwear? (1)

auntieNeo (1605623) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525318)

Beep beep. Major fracture detected. Morphine administered. Warning: user death iminent. Seek medical attention.

Heh, I will forever associate the HEV suit with the rope elevator on the Lost Coast level.

Wedgie. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525328)

I'd love to see the readings off of a pair of these things when someone got an unexpected wedgie.

Also interesting, it seems this could be the first step towards a suit of medical power armor [wikia.com] . Who'd have guessed that such a great item would have started inside your pants?

Re:Wedgie. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525344)

One other interesting idea...if you really want to get these things into the mainstream, work with the sex pill companies to rig up a pair that can inject a sex-enhancement drug on command. Nothing would get these babies into mainstream public use like the promise of an on-demand erection.

Interesting Distinction (5, Funny)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525334)

Didja read that the officers' version of the Medical Briefs can actually read more vital signs than the enlisted version? Yeah, it's not because officers' lives are more important or anything, it's just that it's easier for the Medical Briefs to read pupil dilation when the officer in question has his head up his ass.

Go Go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525364)

Go Go Gadget Tighty Wighties?

Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525396)

Big deal. 23 years ago I developed a pair that could monitor nocturnal emissions. Around the same time my girlfriend devloped a pair that could determine with 99.38% accuracy if she was menstruating.

Stupid idea (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525452)

Here are the reasons why it is stupid.
1. Would need to be able to withstand multiple wash cycles. Washing machines are very hard on electronics and sensors.
2. Each person would require multiple pairs of underwear as very few people wash cloths every day.
3. Difficult to replace medications. (Take off your pants. I need to add insulin.)
4. Trans dermal meds are generally low dose. If a soldier needs pain meds I doubt that enough could be administered.

A much better idea would be an arm band that is worn under clothing.

Re:Stupid idea (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525620)

They should make it a "Smart Suppository" instead.
Don't need to change or wash it.

Other functionality ideas:
5. Can administer an electric shock for disobeying commanding officer/head nurse

Re:Stupid idea (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525842)

Here are the reasons why it's brilliant from the point of view of a military contractor:
1. Damage by wash cycles means that the military will keep needing to buy more of these things.
2. Each person requiring multiple pairs will ensure that they need to buy a lot to start out with.

How about washing them? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525458)

My first thought is: If all of these fancy pants (literally!) biosensors make it so you can't just toss them in the wash, then I don't want it, especially on underwear.

Semper ubi sub ubi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525464)

that is all.

Interesting but ... (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525478)

what else can they monitor?

I think we always receive a "vertical" look at the benefits (I.e., monitor blood pressure, heart rate, etc), and these are good in combat. Along with IPv6 addresses on just about all "elements" on a soldier (I.e., smart gear, location equipment, gps, etc), this adds another element of real-time combat monitoring and has a huge potential to monitor/save lives.

But, are we being told everything they can glean with these wondrous new underpants?

So the other side can just use a scanner to find s (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525954)

So the other side can just use a scanner to find soldier just my looking for there 100% of the time transmits?

Nice way blow some ones cover.

Caution: Reference For Old People Only (1)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525604)

"Close B Close mode"
"His pants are gone!!"
"Kid! What did you do??"

Re:Caution: Reference For Old People Only (1)

AkkarAnadyr (164341) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526036)

"Prepare Shift Simulfax for human form"
"Prepare mirror clone"
"Clone me"
<passwd: illegal entry>
"Clone me, Doctor Memory!"

oh god, not more waistband nonsense (4, Interesting)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525626)

Right off the bat I can tell you this entire possibility is being posited by someone who never spent a day in uniform. The waistband is the worst possible place for this, from a practical perspective.

Reason being, a fully uniformed soldier already has at his waist line:
underwear
undershirt
pants waistband
pants belt
blouse tail
pistol/equipment belt

when a soldier already has six layers converging at his waist, adding wiring/sensors is not going to be popular. The sensation of peeling embedded underwear waistband out of sweaty flesh is not a positive one.

First Calvin Klein Cologne, now this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32525634)

Before you know it, science will have successfully completed their goal of weaponizing Marky Mark

really smart? (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525800)

The idea of smart underwear is actually quite dangerous. The smart part would rely on software. It's one thing to do measurement, but it's a whole new ball game to give software the control to release medicine into the body. I don't think there would some nice UI to prompt you for permission when a certain drug is injected in you.

Re:really smart? (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525916)

The confirmation dialogue is audio-based. You confirm that you want the drugs by punching the OK button which is conveniently located in front middle. They're not sure yet if they want a double punch or a single punch though.

First Toilet Seats... (1)

greenlead (841089) | more than 3 years ago | (#32525898)

...Now briefs? You thought the thousand dollar toilet seat was bad, just wait til they start selling the government this new special underwear. If they dye them black, they should at least be able to sell them to the "tacti-cool" crowd: They'll buy anything!

How about for MLB players? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526044)

Inject steroids as pitch is thrown, inject HGH as runner tags from third.

Step 2 finally revealed! (3, Funny)

ggambett (611421) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526090)

1. Steal underpants
2. Upgrade them with high-tech devices and sell them to the military at 10x their original cost
3. Profit!!!

So why weren't these used... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526344)

in Operation Enduring Freeball?

Wireless tech with the ability to release drugs (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526350)

The designers also hope that one day the underwear can release drugs to relieve pain and treat wounds.

lets hope the enemy don't develop the tech to wirelessly/remotely activate the drug release.....

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