Smarty Pants: US Govt Invests in Audio, Video & Geolocation Spy Clothing

Kristina Akhrarova

Well, actually SMART ePANTS. See the pictures below!

Resulting innovations stand to provide the Intelligence Community (IC), Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies with durable, ready-to-wear clothing that can record audio, video, and geolocation data.

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The United States government recently made an announcement regarding its efforts in the development of smart textiles with the aim of turning any type of clothing into a surveillance tool. This initiative, referred to as SMART ePANTS, involves the creation of computerized garments that possess a seamless integration of audio, video, and geolocation recording capabilities, while still maintaining the appearance and functionality of regular clothing.

Officials have announced their intention to manufacture a range of clothing items, including shirts, pants, socks, and underwear, that will incorporate discreet cameras, sensors, microphones, and seamlessly integrated energy harvesting technology. These innovative features are designed to blend seamlessly with the fabric, mimicking the appearance and behavior of typical threading. It has been reported that the National Intelligence Department has dedicated a total of $22 million to this initiative, primarily aimed at equipping undercover agents, law enforcement personnel, and emergency medical technicians with cutting-edge attire.
Officials plan to produce shirts, pants, socks & underwear with tiny cameras, sensors, microphones - energy harvesters powered by the body.Photo bydailymail
The surveillance clothing is for government personnel and first responders. Cameras could be placed inside fabrics to go undetected.Photo bydailymail
IARPA plans to develop AST electronic components completely integrated into the fabric - something no public or private group has achieved.Photo bydailymail

The announcement was made by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), an arm of the Office of the Director of National Defense.

The Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems (SMART ePANTS) program represents the largest single investment to develop Active Smart Textiles (AST) that feel, move, and function like any garment. – IARPA shared in a press release.

IARPA assigned funds to five entities, including Nautilus Defense and Leidos, defense contractors, receiving $11.6 million and $10.6 million respectively. The other three recipients are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SRI International, and Areté. Specific amounts for three recipients were not disclosed.

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