Thursday, 25 March 2010

Part 5A

In this essay I will be covering the topic, which I went into depth with in semester one. I firstly looked into personal security but it then developed into the technological development of armed forces uniforms and how smart technology should and could be used in the further safety, security and even personal health. I will be looking into how development in this field would be improved or advanced from the different observation methods I have gained from semester two.

After re-reading my work from last semester I think that I was on the right track to understanding how this could be achieved using technologies that my primary sources had looked at in more depth. Koncar and Boussu look into the improvement that could be achieved if electronic and optical technologies were to be used in battlefield communications. Tunde Kirstein, Didier Cottet, Janusz Grzyb and Gerhard Truster also look into the benefit of wearable technology in the case of it becoming aware of the users health situation. I still think that these are all still very relevant to this topic to take it further.

The methods that I have developed and practiced using this semester would be of huge beneficial use to further my research into smart technologies and wearable electronics. Some of the visual observations that could be applied to this topic would be firstly be the activity we covered ‘Observe and Record’, this would be applied through watching how the armed forces move when in action, for example carrying out this activity at a training facility to observe exactly what movements and durability that the smart materials would have to withstand and be put through. Watching where the weapons are held, what is the most worn out part off then body, the body part used in forceful situations etc. From watching shooting ranges and target practice within the facility it would make the most at risk area more obvious to the researcher, seeing where they are taught to aim and shoot for (torso would defiantly be the easiest or head are the most obvious targets) or the most vulnerable parts of the body so that the technology that is able to detect where a bullet has penetrated the clothing would be able to signal straight away, this could also be applied to the armoured vehicles such as 4x4 that don’t have the same stability as tanks were under attack and would speed up the mechanical procedures that would be carried out. From the experience I gained using this method of visual observation, habits and atmospheres can quickly be taken into account, therefore when observing all the different parts of the forces technologists would be able to differ the needed results for each force.

However I am a bit swayed into whether interviews would be a suitable option to carry out if I was trying to go into the development of these technologies. I found that when I was carrying out my interviews that the interviewees were not always 100% honest. Sometimes they were trying to convey someone that they thought that would sound better than the person that they actually are. And in this sort of field of protection it is not something that should be lied about or twisted if they wanted to portray themselves as somebody else. But then if the questions were worded as how they would go about using there training in action then it would be more useful, it would give the knowledge of how an armed forces member would think of how to use there training and not just how they are told. If an experiences or retired soldier was to be interviewed it would be extremely beneficial towards this research as they would be able to state clearly how they use there uniforms and what they feel is the most scarcely protected area.

Photography that may be kept on file of soldiers in battle or training would be useful towards the development of safety and security as it would allow us to see the posture of soldiers when they are in there most vulnerable and guarded positions. Doing a case study on hundreds or even a hand full of different soldiers from different criteria’s of armed forces would allow technologist specialists to develop a better understanding of the stances that mostly taken place during there most physically demanding procedures. This in itself would benefit where would be the most practical places to place the smart technology with out it interfering in the process of protection. When conducting a similar observations through another persons childhood photographs, I found that I was able to obtain a lot more than what I originally had from first glances, but when I went back over and really looked into them a lot more information can be obtained. You would also be able to look into where the communication appliances would be the best accessible, the idea of having electronic keypads have already been challenged in a research centre in California, they have looked into new displays that have the flexibility to be applied to any field requiring this technology.

Through this semester and the previous semester I have gathered many visual observation techniques that I have put into practice. I have concluded in this essay that by using the different techniques to gain more information into the armed forces uniforms, safety and protection. The observation method of visually seeing how training would be conducted seems to be the most valuable form of research.


'Wearable computing; towards humanist intelligence' IEEE intelligent systems 2001 May/June

Mann, S 'Smart clothing; the shift to wearable computing' commun Assoc. Computing Machinery, 1996

Coyle, M 'The lifeshirt system: bringing high tech patient monitoring from hospital to home' In proceedings second International Avantex Symposion, Frankfurt, Germany 2002


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