The Army's New Helmet Design Comes with Built-In A/C

It's starting to look like the soldiers of the future could almost fight in space. The Army's latest helmet concept, specifically designed for chemical-biological protection, includes a respirator that keeps the air clean and cool, like a mini air conditioner built right into the mask. It also looks very badass.

Well, to be more specific, it looks like a real-life Halo helmet (or a motorcycle helmet). It also looks like the Army really does have a bit of a thing for Halo, since the last helmet update we saw looked equally as inspired by the game.

But this new design is all about functionality. Respirators are awesome for helping soldiers avoid breathing poison gas, but they also tend to be bulky and heavy. The technology built into this helmet weighs less and uses less power. A hose connects a blower unit and battery to the mask, which keeps a steady stream of cool air on the soldiers face.

The Army is still perfecting this design. They'd like to build a helmet with a responsive respirator that's only on when it needs to be on, and presumably, the helmet should also feature the same functionality we've seen in previous concepts. That means a heads-up display with live targeting, GPS battle mapping, and incoming video. Because without all that, it would just a head bucket, wouldn't it? [Army]