Ackerman explores the possibilites of MIT’s project to sew conductive fibers into uniforms to “allow soldiers’ threads to detect light, heat and sound”:
The fibers could make identifying friendly soldiers on a confusing, smoky, dusty, dark battlefield easier. Shine a laser designator on someone you don’t recognize. If she’s wearing the same uniform as you, the functional microfibers sewn into it would sense the laser and send a data signal back to your shirt. Same with someone’s voice. Heat-sensitive fibers show potential for battlefield medicine: the shape and rate of change of a heat pattern pressed up against the shirt indicate where and how severely someone’s been wounded.