On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will help kick off a new partnership between the Obama Administration and an array of tech players including Apple (AAPL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Boeing (BA) to create next-generation wearable technology for U.S. armed forces, according to VentureBeat and other reports.
The goal of this public-private partnership, which will be based in Silicon Valley, is to come up with wearable gadgets that monitor the wearer’s vital signs or other data without restricting his or her range of motion or becoming a distraction in what could be dangerous circumstances.
Specifically, the Department of Defense awarded the Flextech Alliance $75 million over five years to create what it’s calling a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. The federal award will be matched with more than $96 million from other sources, including private companies, universities, the City of San Jose, and non-profits, according to Flextech. The Manufacturing Innovation Institute or MII will be overseen by the DoD.
To be clear, the wording of the DoD press release itself is a little nebulous as to the involvement of Apple, or any of the specific companies, in this effort. It says that the FlexTech Alliance is
“Backed by companies as diverse as Apple and Lockheed Martin and major research universities including Stanford and MIT, represents the next chapter in the long-standing public-private partnerships between the Pentagon and tech community.”
So don’t count on soldiers getting their own Apple Watches just yet.
For more on the wearables market, please take a look at the video below:
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