The US federal government has forked at least $22 million to develop "smart" clothing that spies on the wearer and its surroundings.
The inspiration may have come from science fiction and James Bond movies, but the primary applications are on brand for the government: surveillance and data collection.
Billed as the "largest single investment to develop Active Smart Textiles," the SMART ePANTS -- Smart Electrically Powered and Networked Textile Systems -- programme aims to develop clothing capable of recording audio, video, and geolocation data.
Garments slated for production include shirts, pants, socks, and underwear intended to be washable.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is undertaking the project, the intelligence community's secretive counterpart to the military's better-known Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.