by David Crane
Below is a press release that DefenseReview recently received from Symbionics, Inc. and Icuiti Corporation about a U.S. Marine Corps contract they just won to develop modular wearable computer (MOWC) systems for Marine Corps infantry personnel. Symbionics and Icuiti are working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) in this endeavor. These integrated technologies are actually right up DefenseReview’s alley, since DefRev’s been interested in wearable computers/wearable computing for quite some time now. Defense Review has been following the work that’s being done at the MIT Wearable Computing Lab, specifically their MIThril research platform for next-gen wearables. The MIT Wearable Computing Lab is part of the MIT Media Lab. We’re actually big fans of the MIT wearables (wearable computing) program.
DefenseReview will be publishing an article (hopefully, very soon) on the modular wearable computing systems and technologies being developed by Symbionics, Inc. and Icuiti Corporation for the U.S. military, including TAC-EYE Digital Tactical Eyewear/Tactical Display System. In the meantime, here’s the press release we received:…
"Symbionics Inc., and Icuiti Corporation announced today that the United States Marine Corps has awarded the two companies a contract to develop and deliver Modular Wearable Computers (MOWC) for use with the Corps’ Unmanned Vehicle programs. The first phase of the MOWC is on track to be delivered in five months after integration, customization, and testing. The rugged MOWC will weigh less than five pounds, have an integrated SVGA rugged Head Mounted Display (HMD) using Icuiti’s patented Quantum Optics(TM) technology, and will provide the user with hands free access to data and video from a variety of Unmanned Vehicle sources.
As the prime contractor, Symbionics will supply its commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computer equipment. Icuiti will integrate its advanced technology HMD to form a ruggedized MOWC. Destined to become a life-saving and indispensable tool for the warfighter, the MOWC will interface directly with military unmanned vehicles and ground sensors enabling it to locate threats, such as an enemy over a hill or an improvised explosive devise, before the threat can take lives.
"Symbionics is honored to have won this quick response contract to create a modular computer system in support of the USMC," said Chris Ortlieb, President of Symbionics Inc "We are equally pleased to join with Icuiti to support the warfighter today. Our goal is to supply the Marines with a product that is both cost-effective, modular, legacy compatible as well as state-of-the-art. To that end, we’ve chosen a design based on our proven ATACC (Advanced TActical Combat Computer) body worn computer that provides expandability to the warfighter of today as well as for the warfighter of tomorrow. We have specifically chosen the Icuiti HMD – the most robust display on the market today – to be part of the MOWC. We will work together to create body worn systems that set the bar for the future and guarantees the safety of our fighting forces."
"Icuiti is privileged to have the opportunity to work with the Symbionics and the Marine Corps on this program", said Stephen Glaser, VP of Sales at Icuiti. "The sharp rise in the number of Unmanned Vehicles in use around the world has created a need for advanced, low power, body worn systems. We predict our joint efforts will result in one of the most advanced body worn computer systems ever built. Based on our Quantum Optics technology, our HMD is the lightest, highest resolution and most cost effective system in use by the military today".
Mr. Ortlieb noted that the two companies were so encouraged by the contract with the Marines, that they were forming a partnership to develop body worn computer systems for other branches of the Department of Defense.
"Symbionics, Inc. is a leader in technology solutions dedicated to design, implementation and integration of custom hardware and software. Symbionics specializes in the development of innovative technology with a wide range of specialties from medical applications to Military rugged computer systems. Symbionics staff represents over 60 years of combined experience, successfully partnering with industry and government to provide solutions to the challenges of technology. Symbionics currently provides products and services to the DoD, the National Guard Bureau, HHS and other government agencies. A privately held small business, Symbionics is headquartered in Chantilly, VA. For further information, please see www.symbionics.net.
Icuiti Corporation is a leading provider of near eye display solutions for Personal Viewing. Icuiti has been designing and producing micro display based products since 1997 and has shipped thousands of units to customers all over the world. These products include mobile viewing devices, wearable computer displays, Military certified micro display electronics, rugged Military Head Mounted Displays, and OEM solutions. Icuiti’s products are proudly made in the USA. Icuiti is currently privately held with offices in Rochester, NY and Tokyo, Japan. Visit us at www.icuiti.com
Icuiti and Quantum Optics are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Icuiti Corporation in the United States and other countries.
Symbionics and ATAAC are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Symbionics, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
Chris Ortlieb, 571-234-4600
Stephen Glaser, 585-273-8293