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2012 – The Year of Materials

We’ve already seen a prediction that 2012 will be the year of camouflage, and to a degree with this is true. Lots of patterns will be unveiled pursuant the US Army Camouflage Improvement Effort but with their program slipping further and further behind schedule the home run, winner-take-all announcement doesn’t look good for this year.

Instead, I’d like to propose that materials will be king this year. Whether they are completely new or just new ways of using existing ones, materials will have a major impact on our industry in 2012 and beyond.
We’ve already seen materials making a toe-hold. Consider Tyr Tactical’s PV material or Blue Force Gear’s Helium Whisper and you can see that there is a gradual shift in basic materials application. Then, there is whole revolution in digital printing that is allowing companies like GHOSTEX and Special Operations Apps to rapidly develop and produce new, tailored camouflage patterns as well as clothing and equipment in those patterns. The day when a client can identify an operational area and the radios, weapons and other equipment to be used and have clothing and individual equipment tailored in form and function within weeks rather than months is here. The scale is still limited but the capability exists.

Changes unveiled this year will shake some trees and leave a lasting impact how we do business. Even more importantly, these developments will inspire further changes in the out years as a new generation of developers begins to search outside the box for inspiration.

Look for a few of these new applications over the next few weeks and you’ll see what we mean.

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One Response to “2012 – The Year of Materials”

  1. Bill says:

    Outstanding, look forward to more of this!