British scientists are developing an active camouflage system for tanks that uses electronic ink to project images of the surrounding terrain onto the armored vehicle's shell
. According to The Telegraph, electronic sensors would be placed on the tank's exterior. These sensors scan the environment, and use the e-ink to project colors, lines and shapes onto the tank's hull -- turning the vehicle nearly invisible to the eyes of enemies. As the tank rolls along, its camouflage changes in real-time, depending on the environment. BAE Systems, the British defense firm developing the concept, believes that active camouflage is the answer to problems such as the one troops are facing in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. There, tanks are painted tan to blend in with the desert; but, when these vehicles roll into the greener parts of the region, where the Taliban sometimes hides, the tanks stick out like a sore thumb. BAE hopes to have built its active camo system into a prototype within four years. At that point, the company expects, a tank could simply change colors like a chameleon to better blend in with its environs and to keep troops safer.