Today’s Military Swords Become Tomorrow’s Civilian Plowshares


What will the hot, new tech of tomorrow be like? As a general rule, we need look no further than the cool tech of today’s military. It is the closest thing we have to a fulfillment of the biblical prophecy that swords will be beaten into plowshares. Unfortunately for the prophecy, we just keep making newer, better swords. All military tech is designed to facilitate blowing things up, right? Not really, but it is comforting to know that at the very least those tools eventually enter the civilian techosphere to facilitate better, fuller, happier lives.

It is almost certain that the Swiss army did not anticipate their multi-function pocket knives becoming the hottest dad gift of a generation. Yet today, what boy-scout pack is complete without one? Other sword-to-plowshare tech includes:

1. GPS
2. Duct tape
3. Freeze drying
4. Epipens
5. Microwave ovens

What will tomorrow’s civilians make of today’s military tech? To get some idea, lets take a look at some of the coolest gadgets intended for the military:


I know, I know, It sounds like something from a bad sci-fi movie. But if you think good TV instead of bad movie, what you have is an early version of the Universal Translator from Star Trek. Talk to a person in your language, and they will hear it in their language. Right now, it is being used to say things like, “Put your hands over your head and don’t make any sudden moves!” Eventually, it will be used for asking, “Where’s the restroom?” and “How fresh is the squid?”

Of course, for the military to use delicate tech like this in the field, it has to be ruggedized for survivability in all conditions. Like the specialized chassis for any military rugged computer, this device will have a tough exterior and non-moving parts like the SD cards found in consumer cameras as opposed to spinning hard drives.

It is only a matter of time before Klingon is one of the supported languages.

Prism 200C Backpack

Sure, we have been sending our kids to school with backpacks for ages. But can your kid’s backpack see through walls? I didn’t think so. The Prism 200C can. All you have to do to covertly scan the inside of a building is to lean against the outer wall with the backpack. It will send a 3D image of the other side to your smartphone. Now why would you not want your kid to have one of those?


I don’t know why, but I definitely want one of these. It is a platform about the size of an iPad mini with four good-sized skateboard wheels. I suspect it is festooned with cameras and sensors. It works like a remote-controlled toy with a nice bonus. When it gets to something like a wall or rock face it will rare up on its hind wheels and jump atop or over the abstraction up to 30 ft. high. You have to watch the video to fully appreciate it. Because of its rugged nature, it can also survive a long drop. This can be deployed into caverns and mineshaft, get the lay of the land, and hop back out. I have no idea what you as a civilian would do with this thing. But I’m sure you’re going to want one too. Get in line.

Whether it be the burglar-zapping gloves, or the pizza delivering drones, the military is hard at work field-testing the tech of the day that will change our lives of tomorrow for the better….right?