Some boffins at the Australian National University have developed wearable flexible solar panels for soldiers. You know, so they can charge their gadgets easily and be spotted by snipers from a mile away.
The panels, called SLIVER cells, are the result of a $US2.3 million contract with the Australian Department of Defence. Professor Andrew Blakers, head of the project, describes their development:
We are able to use the sliver cells to make modules that can be bent around a radius of around a few centimetres. This means we can roll them up, put them in a package, carry them long distances and then unfurl them for use in remote areas.
That's all quite nice until he mentions that the panels are designed to be worn on the soldier's "uniform, helmet or guns".
I understand the need to generate energy on the battlefield and to reduce the weight soldiers have to carry, but I'm sure any infantry man or woman will agree with me that wearing shiny stuff anywhere on your body is a pretty stupid idea unless you want to get killed. I know lots of military people read Gizmodo, so speak up in the comments: Would you rather carry batteries or wear shiny stuff all around you? [9news via Ubergizmo]