W.L. Gore, the same company that brought us Gore Tex, is now setting its sights on helping hunters kill deer more effectively using their new Optifade digital camouflage. Apparently, someone had the bright idea to find out exactly how a deer sees a hunter, then use that information to design a better brand of camo. After a tireless investigation into ungulate vision and the distribution of countless food pellets to test deer, researchers came up with an "abstract" design that consists of a micropattern of tiny squares and large geometric shapes that should, theoretically, prevent the deer from connecting the dots and registering the shape as a human.
Optifade may have an uphill battle on its hands with regard to hunting purists, however. The difference between Optifade and traditional camo is that it does not seek to mimic the natural environment—and until someone can prove that this newfangled fancy technology actually provides an advantage, hunters are likely to stick with what they know. [NYT and NYT]