Apple is among the 162 companies, universities, and other groups partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop new sensors for the military, including some that could be worn by soldiers. But far from developing a military-grade Apple Watch, Apple, Boeing, and others are being asked to help build high-tech, multi-purpose sensors that could be worn by soldiers, but also used for other purposes, like being attached to vehicles.
The new technology aims to use high-end printing technologies to create stretchable electronics that could be embedded with sensors and worn by soldiers, a defense official said, and could ultimately be used on ships or warplanes for real-time monitoring of their structural integrity.
In addition to Apple and Boeing, the so-called FlexTech alliance consists of companies, universities, and other groups. Membership includes Harvard University, Advantest Akron Polymer Systems, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. The research and development program will be based out of a new lab in San Jose, California.