How can soldiers on the ground see around corners and shoot without exposing their position? The Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program envisions a family of high-tech gear including sensors, aerial drones and manned and unmanned ground vehicles, all fully networked and linked to individual soldiers. Click here for a tour of the equipment.
In effort to broaden its thinking about terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security is tapping into the thinking of a group of science fiction authors called Sigma, according to USA Today.
"We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science fiction writers clearly inform the debate," said department spokesman Christopher Kelly.
Science fiction authors are often prone to flights of extreme fancy, but they can be good prognosticators. Indeed, in the novel Footfall, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the government assembles a group of science fiction writers to seek their counsel about an alien invasion. Pournelle … Read more
It's one of the most worn-out cliches of all action movies: the laser beam alarm system. But if they've been around for so long, why they haven't become household staples in today's security-obsessed society?
The latest example comes from Arizona-based company Ionatron and its "Portal Denial System" (sounds so RoboCop). Created for the U.S. government, it fires a stream of "laser-induced plasma" across any entryway, though SCI FI Tech says the operator has the option of making it lethal or "less lethal." Come to think of it, maybe it'… Read more
Pool toys this summer are getting strikingly high-tech. Or maybe they've been high-tech, but I hadn't noticed because last summer there was no such thing as Crave yet (shocking!) Either way, they're a whole lot more sophisticated than the Super Soakers we had back when I was a kid.
We've already seen that many of the season's hottest (coolest?) water toys are pirate-themed. I like being a pirate. But I realize you might not. If you're more enamored by the idea of trench warfare than high-seas combat, this water balloon cannon, called the Water … Read more
Maybe it was the influence of the Segway, but some spy bots apparently prefer to travel by two wheels. Earlier we saw the "Spy-Cye," for instance, which almost seemed to borrow its rather awkward design from the "Clocky" runaway alarm clock.
But as it turns out, the bi-wheeled surveillance robot seems to be something of a trend--even in the military. Developed according to Marine Corps specs, the remote-controlled "Recon Scout" is reinforced with titanium to withstand battlefield conditions and can "even be launched out of a mortar, or dropped from an unmanned aerial … Read more
Judging by the survivalist nature of many products coming on the market, we sometimes wonder if half the computer world is in a real-life episode of Lost. Either that, or it's an inordinately clumsy bunch. (We suspect the latter.)
Whatever the case, VictorSystems saw an opportunity to customize the Mac Mini for today's extreme computing, specifically for military use. This armored Mini has a case of reinforced aluminum that's "constructed from extruded rails and finned heat sinks to keep it cool, while the outer covers are made from wrought plates," SlashGear says. Bulletproof mouse and … Read more
Not everyone's gadget craving can be satiated by Hello Kitty pirates or Barbie MP3 players. If you've ever wondered what military folk dream of finding under their Christmas trees, you might wander the aisles of the Navy Opportunity Forum being held this week in Arlington, Va.
This year's show featured all sorts of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to fly (or swim) up ahead to check out potentially dangerous areas while their human operators stay at a safe distance.
Let's not delude ourselves. These things don't come cheap. This one, from Lite Machines, … Read more
We're no experts on night-vision technology, especially under water, but this is one item that seems to have extremely limited utility. As far as we can tell, the "Marine 2" scope is a waterproof device that provides night vision but with only 2x magnification and apparently no camera.
So unless you're in dire need of doing crossword puzzles or reading something up-close in the pitch-dark seas, we're not quite sure why anyone would want to spend 295 pounds (about $588) for one of these Spycatcher gadgets. Moreover, if this is meant to be a covert … Read more
It's no secret that Crave is fond of things to put on your head, but many of the items we've come across are fragile in nature. (Tin-foil hats can be so finicky sometimes.) So the survivalist in us appreciates any attempts to create headgear for extreme conditions.
The "Veecam" from U.K.-based Persides fits that bill, a battle-ready digital video camera designed for use in sports or even military applications. How ready, you say? It's waterproof up to 50 meters (164 feet) and can withstand temperatures from minus-4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while being … Read more
That's why we like the "Ellos RescueBot," which Gearfuse describes as a "damage-resistant" machine designed to go where humans can't in emergencies. Its description makes it sound more like something from the Amazon (the river, not the store) than a piece of robotics: "Its main standout feature is 10 lifting arms on its bottom. When … Read more