SDSU and UCSD Help Develop Military-Grade Portable Technology
With roadside bombs so common in Iraq, the military is increasingly using technology to buffer troops from danger. A consortium of government agencies and universities, including UCSD and the SDSU Res
Troops need technology, but in the heat of war, they need less detectable, more portable devices. C-CAT is funded by the Department of Defense. And it’s helping companies bring innovations first to the battlefield, and then back home.
It's smaller than a golf ball. You can stick it on a door, roll it into a room, and its creator says on the battlefield, it can save lives.
Gioia Messinger, Avaak Founder & CEO : You have them in your backpack as a soldier, put them anywhere to clear a building, and make sure it remains clear once you leave, so you put them through the building and walk away.
Messinger says Avaak's vision network camera is the smallest wireless one in the world. Marines and Army soldiers are using the 1-ounce cameras in Iraq. They monitor its networked images on PDAs or cell phones, so they can stay out of harm's way.
Sanford Ehrlich, CCAT Board of Directors : Because a lot of these technologies are employed by the war fighters or first responders and they have to be portable, they have to be light, and they have to work well.
Sanford Ehrlich says smaller, faster technologies are helping the U.S. military in Iraq. He's part of CCAT, the Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology, which funds entrepreneurial companies. CCAT supported Avvak's miniature camera, and these new inventions.
Suzanne Finch, CCAT Spokesperson : So when a soldier puts this on, he can see field instructions, he can see emails, he can see anything through his computer or laptop.
Reporter : So it’s actually like a computer monitor right in here?
Finch : It is, it’s like a transparent computer monitor.
This helmet-mounted transparent monitor allows troops to see what's happening behind their screen. This chemical agent detector signals when a liquid is toxic, within a minute. And the video clarification system cuts down on static from digital binoculars or periscopes.
Finch : If you see tanks coming over a hill or see an individual walking towards you and they're greatly magnified you may not be able to see what uniform they're wearing or what insignia is on the tank. With this that clears that up so you can see exactly who it is you are looking at.
Speaking of looking, CCAT is now helping Avaak bring its camera to the commercial marketplace. Watch out, it may be soon pointed at you.
Messinger : If you want to know what kids are doing in the back yard or upstairs. If you're not home and the front door opens, we have a motion sensors that triggers cameras and sends that picture to your cell phone or your email
The vision network camera can transmit hundreds of thousands of images on a single battery. And the battery can last two to three years. Messinger says its wireless camera will be available to the public later this year at a cost of about a hundred dollars.