With combat shifting increasingly to urban environments, the need for adaptive camouflage is stronger than ever. Today's uniforms can be a hazard: A soldier in desert fatigues would stand out like a bull's-eye against a red brick wall. But the next-generation suit would take on the appearance of the wall, allowing the soldier to blend into the background. In the same way that an enemy scanning jungle brush might miss a soldier in classic green-and-brown camouflage, the uniform's optical trickery might cause an urban foe to glance over the future soldier. "Sometimes it's fairly easy to confuse the human eye," Moynihan says, explaining that the real goal is not invisibility but simply buying a soldier extra time to react.