The nanosuits in Crysis are pretty amazing and the idea behind them and the abilities they have are completely out of this world and unrealistic, or are they? Kotaku has put together a great article on the real technology behind real-life nanosuits of the future (mainly constructed of wonder material Graphine) and how the technology is not as far-fetched as you might expect:
“Nanotechnology offers unprecedented possibilities for progress—defeating poverty, starvation, and disease, opening up outer space, and expanding human capacities. But it also brings unprecedented risks—the specter of devastating wars fought with far more powerful weapons of mass destruction.” – Chris Phoenix, Director of Research, Center for Responsible Nanotechnology.
When you step into one of the games in the Crysis series, you step into something called a “Nanosuit.” It makes you a stronger, better soldier.
The Nanosuit is supposedly made up of a material called CryFibril, also referred in the game as Nanoweave or Nanofiber. CryFibril is the single most important component of the suit, as it is the medium for the various Nanosuit functions. In Crysis 2, the CryFibril got a major overhaul, making the Nanosuit lighter, stronger and more energy efficient.
Someone at Crytek must have been doing their homework because CryFibril looks suspiciously like a recent real-world breakthrough in nanomaterial technology.
Rise of the digital battlefield—war v2.0
Medical and military scientists alike claim that nanotechnology will transform the future as we know it. With the global proliferation of nanoscale technologies, from the research bench to theconsumer market, it is both inevitable and fast-approaching. The question remains though, what will the future landscape look like? The answer really depends on who you ask.
My previous article about nanotechnology in video games—specifically, the Metal Gear series—took a glimpse at how nanotechnology could completely revolutionize the future of warfare. Using some not-so-far-fetched science, soldiers and machines can be integrated into a massive command-and-control network with the help of computers, epidermal electronic sensors and wireless communication systems. The central combat environment would provide detailed battlefield information and control to commanders in real time, in what Colin Milburn (nano culture researcher), dubbed the “Digital Battlefield“. Or maybe more appropriately: War—the video game.
“Taking inspiration from the Future Warrior 2020 program, we developed the Nano Fibre Suit [a.k.a Nanosuit) that can enhance strength, speed and armour levels. The player can max the speed and dash across an open field, change to the strength setting and silently punch out a sentry.” – Bernd Diemer, Senior Game Designer, Crytek 2006
Does the suit make the man, or does the man make the suit?
Crysis 3 is the newest installment in the Crysis series. For the unfamiliar, Crysis 3 is set in the near future (2047ish) and follows the adventures of
AlcatrazProphet, a soldier equipped with a nanotechnology-inspired battle suit, aptly named the Nanosuit. Prophet must protect the human race from complete extension from the Charybdis, a race of technologically-advanced aliens that are dead-set on our destruction. The Nanosuit comes fully-fitted with three primary combat modes: Armour, Power and Stealth. These modes allow Prophet to battle the Charybdis with superhuman abilities. Let’s take a peek behind the curtain and delve into the science of the CryNet Nanosuit.
Coincidence? I think not—CryFibril on the left and nanoscale carbon (graphene) on the right
CryFibril—fabric of the future or is it already here?
Graphene (pictured above) is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon arranged in a repeating hexane pattern that has some really amazing mechanical properties. It might not look like much, but the discovery of graphene in 2004 was a big deal. In fact, the researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize just 6 years later, which is almost unheard of. So what’s so special about this graphene stuff anyways?
Well in short, graphene is one the strongest materials ever manufactured. It has a breaking strength 100 times greater than steel and weighs thousands of times less (10,194 times less to be exact). Graphene can be rolled up into tubes, called carbon nanotubes, which are even stronger than graphene sheets. Carbon nanotubes can then be spun together and woven into fibers which are much more flexible and useful as engineering materials, making them the ideal fabric for the Nanosuit. If you can believe it, carbon nanotubes are even harder than diamond. So it comes as no surprise that research is already underway towards developing carbon nanotube composite body armour for police and military applications as well as building an elevator to space, just to name a few ideas.