HP has started the development of a next-generation wristwatch for the U.S. Military. The wristwatch called “Dick Tracy” may eliminate the need for soldiers to carry backup batteries and cumbersome technological gear.
Beside these, according to the company, the watch will be equipped with a flexible display that shows maps and other strategic information to soldiers in remote combat fields.
Also, the watch’s screen will run on solar energy, being made of plastic. In this case the chances that it to remain out of power in a tensed scenario are less. HP plans to unveil a prototype within a year. Carl Taussig, director of information surfaces at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California said for the beginning that the U.S. military will use this prototype with a small group of soldiers, before deciding whether to expand its use of the technology.
The company will make the watch’s display from plastic rather than glass, as plastic is lighter, is less destructible and uses less power. “It doesn’t break. It’s thin. It’s potentially flexible,” Taussig said of the plastic display. Unlike glass displays, plastic displays use 40 times less raw material. HP said its plastic-display technology could also be used in e-readers, commercial signs and laptops.
Using a technology developed by PowerFilm, the flexible solar panels will be printed onto the watches. The same company has also developed tents powered by solar energy for military use.