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Future Tech - What Might Lie Ahead

Almost every day there are releases from a variety of sources about new technologies being developed that could have an impact on the way battles are fought or the security is implemented in the future. So here is another sampling of things that are being evaluated.

First we have a special bullet being developed by Alliant TechSystems that can be shot by a newly designed XM25 rifle that is equipped with a laser rangefinder that is able to calculate the exact distance to an obstruction when targeting an adversary. The radio controlled bullet is able to clear whatever obstruction and then detonate within 3 metres of the target. The rangefinder on the rifle uses a radio signal to a chip embedded in the bullet and calucaltes the distance to the target based on the known bullet rotation through the barrel of the rifle. This approach clearly does not allow shoot an adversary around a corner, but does enable our troops to detonate the round near the target, even if there is an obstruction. This technology is being descirbed as the first leap ahead in technology for our troops.

"This airburst shell gives the close-combat capability of a grenade launcher, combined with the ability of indirect fire weapons to hit stuff on the other side of the wall," says John Pike, a defence analyst with Washington DC think tank GlobalSecurity.org.

The Army plans to field test this new weapon soon, and could put it into operational use as early as 2012 in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The second interesting area is the development of a perspiration detector by the US Army. Although the concept has been around for some time, the Army has requested proposals for an enhanced suite of biometric sensors that would check for "abnormal perspiration and changes in body temperature."

A favorite saying from the "Dry Idea" antiperspirant advertising is "never let them see you sweat." While anyone could argue that a "sweat detector" is frivolous, when recognizing that it adds to existing biometric information would make it less so.

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