The Special Forces May Be Getting Even More Special By: Michael Ruiz In the realm of Special Forces gear, there are some new and improved pieces of equipment that just may be on the horizon. Scientists in various parts of the world are getting closer and closer to making a soldier or person to appear completely invisible. Fact or Fiction This is not just science fiction; this is the beginning of science fact. Special Forces gear has evolved a great deal over the years and this is what may be the next level of change. There are several possible ways that the process could be done, but most of them are either ridiculously difficult or extremely cost prohibitive. The Main Theory The most predominant theory that is floating around out there involves cameras and monitors. Both the cameras and the monitors are nothing like what you might imagine. The entire suit that would make up the main portion of the Special Forces gear would be covered in tiny cameras and LED’s. The cameras are so small that a person would have to lean in very close to even hope to see them. The LED’s would be slightly smaller than those used in modern flat screen TV’s. The idea is that the cameras on Side A of the Special Forces combatant would take millions of pictures per minute of what is visible on that side of the soldier. The opposite side, Side B, would use the LED’s to display an image of the opposing side of the soldier. In other words, if there is a red ball on the ground behind the soldier, the LED’s in the pants of the Special Forces suit would be showing a real time picture of the ground and the ball. Anyone standing in front of the soldier would be seeing a suit comprised of a movie that is exactly what can be seen on the other side. This is the amazing part. The cameras and the LED’s are all possible right this minute. Even the computer that does the work is basically there. The Special Forces could be wearing a suit like this in the next five years. The only problem at this point is the perspective of the movie being shown. Right now, if the soldier and the observer were both standing at the right angle, the soldier would virtually disappear. However, if the observer begins to move to the side, the movie will not quite look right because it is showing the exact opposite side in relation to the soldier’s body. It is like one of those optical illusions that only works from a certain angle. If either of the two point, the observer or the solider, shift to the slightest degree, then the illusion begins to fall apart. The further they move from the center point, the worse the skewing would get. A computer could compensate by tracking movement and calculating an angle based on where the observer is in relation to the Special Forces soldier. This would only work for one observer and the computer goes from making a huge number of operations every second to making a hundred times that number. Using a system of that nature, a solider could be virtually invisible to security cameras. There is also a good chance that in low light or low visibility situations, the system could give enough cover to create an element of surprise. Every day, each aspect of the system is getting improved in the real world. Computers get smaller and faster. Cameras get smaller and the resolution and dynamics of LED video gets more lifelike. Within a few short years, it is more than possible to see (or not see) a Special Forces solider using one of these suits against a single opponent or security system. At this very moment, without any new technology, a Special Forces solider in full gear can drop into an area with guards without as much as a whisper. A HALO or High Altitude Low Opening parachute drop can put a near silent and near invisible soldier a few steps from another person without them even knowing it. The gear that the Special Forces solider carries is amazing. From camouflage to silent or near silent weapons, it is an amazing thing to see in action. Pushing forward from that point every day, thousands of scientists and researchers look for the next improvement in Special Forces gear. Whether it is a suit that makes the wearer invisible or a plane the size of a matchbox that flies in and takes pictures of enemy camps, you can rest assured that it will be something amazing. Every time you put on a Special Forces t-shirt or pair of pants, know that you are being part of a bigger and stronger group than you were a few minutes ago. It is not just science that makes the Special Forces great, it is pride.