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Special Operations Apps’ Camouflage App and Direct-to-Garment Printing to Revolutionize Camo and Combat Uniforms
Jun 24, 2011 (12:06 PM EDT)
CamoScience™ Creator: "The best camo is the most specific camo."
HOLLYWOOD, Fla., June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IMI 1st DIGITAL MANUFACTURING CONFERENCE -- CamoScience™ — the Special Operations Apps' smart-device breakthrough — and new Direct-to-Garment printing technology, the major focus at this week's 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference, may herald a revolution in military camouflage uniforms, according to K. Dominic Cincotti, president of MW Research and Development, Inc., and the creator of Photo-Stealth™.
"In a matter of days — using new technologies and military intelligence already in hand for mission planning — precision camouflage uniforms for special operations and other combat/military units can now be created," Cincotti said, "with site-specific patterns and designs derived from photography of the actual operating environment gathered by satellites, drones, or the CamoScience™ app itself."
"The best camo is the most specific camo," Cincotti said.
"CamoScience™, the photo application that turns site-specific photography into Photographic Camouflage patterns and designs, can now be coupled with advances in Direct-to-Garment printing — delivering uniforms at lower costs, in radically faster production runs, with the ability to execute and produce mission-specific uniforms in a fraction of previous production time," Cincotti said. Much of the discussion at the 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference revolved around these new capabilities.
Dr. Alan L. Hudd, managing director of the British Direct-to-Garment innovation firm Xennia Technology, addressed the conference on "Building manufacturing processes and products drop by drop." Dr. Hudd outlined the inkjet proposition as a manufacturing technique and creating new products through a technology push and market pull. Dr. Hudd's speech also described technology requirements and complexities, and discussed inkjet and new functional materials as part of the developing application processes.
Mark Hanley, president of I.T. Strategies in Hanover, Mass., spoke on the prospects for inkjet technology's success in digital manufacturing, how worldwide digitization drives digital manufacturing, and the relative strengths of the inkjet process.
"We are seeing the advent of just-in-time camouflage, using completely digital processes," Cincotti said, "that includes customization to specific areas of operation, no material waste, and a tremendous savings on labor and resources. We no longer need to stockpile millions of uniforms with a generalized, ineffective camo pattern because we are unsure of where the next threat will emerge.
"We can create uniforms on-demand for the precise environment," he said, "and adjust production runs accordingly. The very same digital intelligence and GEOINT the military gathers for mission planning can and should serve as the basis for the camouflage design of vehicles and uniforms — to truly blend in."
Cincotti noted that the operation against Osama bin Laden, and others like it, are the kind of SOF missions that would benefit from the Photo-Stealth™ camo and the CamoScience™ app. "Just as they used GEOINT to create a replica of the bin Laden compound, so too can we create uniforms — and vehicles — camouflage-specific to that micro-environment, using the same type of intelligence" he said. "And now we can produce the uniforms with Direct-to-Garment printing faster than they can make the site mock-ups."
In the field, the CamoScience™ App delivers designs and patterns in a real-time, three-step process, he said.
"All three steps occur within the mobile device," Cincotti said. "Then you transmit or email the designs, and we start production."
To develop CamoScience™, the MW R&D Apps Team paired with NASA veteran Dr. Craig Hunter. Dr. Hunter and his brother Todd founded Hunter Research & Technology and are renowned as the minds behind The Theodolite App for the iPhone 4, the best-selling navigation application. CamoScience™ is a new type of hybrid app, blending Hunter's advanced understanding of app development and the groundbreaking site-specific Photographic Camouflage created in 2007 by Cincotti.
The IMI 1st Digital Manufacturing Conference, entitled "Opportunities for Manufacturing Rebirth," examines the current digital manufacturing technologies, application opportunities, challenges, improvements to enhance implementation, economics and other factors in expansion of digital manufacturing. The conference opened Wednesday and concludes today at the Marriott Hollywood Beach.
Special Operations Apps was launched last month, with the release of the CamoScience™ app by MW R&D. Nine more Special Operations Apps are slated for release this year, with more currently in development.
CamoScience™ is a photo application native to the Apple iPad 2/iPhone 4, with its Android counterpart soon to be released.
Special Operations Apps — a company affiliated with, but independent of MW R&D — designs and fields apps specifically for warfighter mobile devices, touchscreens, laptops, and smartphones.
Cincotti, who founded MW R&D, has developed more than a dozen patent-pending CCD technologies. As MW R&D president, Cincotti is credited with creating Photographic Camouflage, camera-derived camo design that is an orders-of-magnitude advance over paint and pattern concealment. Using site-specific, digitally enhanced GEOINT imaging, Cincotti has developed a cluster of intellectual properties, including Photo-Stealth™, Photo-Real™, T.R.I.G.G.E.R.™, RO.U.T.E.S.™, MW Gripz™, Photo Veil™, 3D Hot Targets™, P.I.R.A.T.E.™, and P.I.R.A.T.E. 3D™.
CamoScience™ passed beta testing earlier this year, debuted in late February, and is in final testing phases.
Within days of the CamoScience™ announcement in February, the U.S. Army released a solicitation for a service-wide Camouflage Improvement Effort (Solicitation Number W911QY-11-R-0008), which has as its objectives development of a family of camouflage patterns that offers improved concealment and reduced detection capability over current patterns and acquisition of the data rights for a portion or all of the best performing camouflage-pattern families.
The digital process to create the Photo-Stealth™ camouflage has been in place since 2007, Cincotti said, but the textile process currently used to manufacture military camouflage uniforms is essentially the same process used in the Vietnam era. "We needed the Direct-to-Garment know-how that we have now. Textile camo production needed an overhaul for the digital age."
CamoScience™, was developed from two of MW R&D's patent-pending technologies, Photo-Real™ and Photo-Stealth™, new camouflage processes introduced in 2007, designed initially for the unique requirements of U.S. Special Forces.
Photo-Stealth™ consists of layered, site-specific Photo-over-Photo Camouflage patterns, and Photo-Real™ consists of Photo-over-Colors patterns derived from site-specific photographic images of the intended operating environment or prevalent geographical features. Both breakthroughs use state-of-the-art inking infused onto specially developed vinyls, directly adapting the visible wavelength to the site-specific environment, with algorithmically fine-tuned images "averaged" and merged into the camo design scheme.
"We have already produced Photo-Real and Photo-Stealth designs for vehicles utilizing completely digital inkjet printing technologies," Cincotti said. "Now with Direct-to-Garment advances, the final hurdles that had prevented textile applications have been overcome. So, finally, we can now apply camera-derived camo to uniforms.
"We also believe that CamoScience and Direct-to-Garment printing has huge potential for commercial applications," Cincotti said, "especially since camouflage products are more popular than ever. Hunters and outdoorsmen know that these processes will produce better camo, and they're part of a worldwide market that has moved to digitization and one which craves individual customization."
At Special Operations Apps, Cathlena Spencer, who the led the commercial-application team for CamoScience™ serves as Chief Technology Officer. Mark Tocci, a former Ranger and patent-pending inventor, is Vice President of Business Development. David Mullins, a former Special Forces operator, leads in-house subject matter experts. Cincotti, in addition to his duties at Special Operations Apps, continues as president of MW R&D.
Special Operations Apps, a privately held company, is based in Wilmington, N.C., strategically situated between Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, and convenient to Virginia Beach, Va.
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SOURCE Special Operations Apps