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Sitka Gear to feature GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products
Sep '08
W. L. Gore & Associates announced that it has developed GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products – the first visual concealment technology based on how deer and other hoofed animals see, both spatially and colorimetrically. W. L. Gore is partnering exclusively with Sitka Gear, a Napa, California-based manufacturer of high-performance clothing for hunters, to bring the new technology to market next year.

The first Sitka gear featuring GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products will be available at retail in fall 2009 and is maximized for hunting deer and other hoofed animals in the Mountain West.

“W. L. Gore has a long history of creating scientifically-sound innovations that improve outcomes for our customers. GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products is designed to give hunters the best advantage over their prey to-date,” commented David Dillon, Hunting Category Leader at W. L. Gore & Associates. “We believe this technology is the future of visual concealment for hunters and intend to continue to develop products based on its scientific principles.”

Until now, visual concealment has been designed from the perspective of the human eye. To create GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products, the team at W. L .Gore worked with a panel of scientific advisors and employed the latest research in animal vision science, camouflage science and computer technology to create a proprietary new concealment pattern. In contrast to mimicry camouflage, which attempts to make the hunter closely resemble his environment, Gore's technology aims to prevent the animal from recognizing a hunter as a predator, even if the hunter is detected.

GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products incorporates a micro and a macro pattern. The unique micro-pattern considers the way a deer or other ungulate perceives color, the ratio of positive to negative space and other visual elements to create an effect that allows the hunter to blend with the animal's perception of the environment. The macro-pattern breaks up the symmetry of the human body so that if a hunter is detected, the animal will not be able to identify the hunter as a predator.

Experts point out that predators in the animal kingdom operate on the same macro and micro pattern principles.

“Stalking predators, like tigers, have a macro-pattern of stripes that break up their body symmetry as they move through their environment. Ambush predators, like spotted leopards, utilize micro patterns that enable them to blend with their environment while poised to attack,” says Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Tim O'Neill, PhD, one of W. L. Gore's advisors on the project.

“Human hunters both stalk and ambush, so we've used scientific research and technology to combine the best practices of the animal kingdom. GORE OPTIFADE Concealment Products is a whole new category of concealment. Interestingly, in the wild, mimicry patterns like those on more traditional hunting camouflage are most often employed by prey – not by predators.”

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