"...That, says the whisper filtering out from the scientific community, is just the start. Fabric engineering already used in the military field will soon make headlines for all the right reasons: it can cure the sick, relieve pain for the terminally ill, provide speedy rehabilitation for crash victims, improve the lives of millions. But how long before the technology reaches the world of sport?..."And this paragraph too:
"... As one leading light in the sport put it: “If we don’t stop the suits now, our sport will be destroyed by this and future developments. The last thing we need is to become the ‘testing ground’ for companies that want to do medical experiments on humans to promote their new products. The Roman Circus is here. ...” [Link]If you step back and do a Google search with the text string: 'smart fabrics' or 'MIT Military Fabrics' to see if these grandiose predictions are valid, the materials suggested are a bit more involved then the Times Online presents.
For instance, the fabrics that can "heal you" according to MedicalNewsToday will work something like this:
"...Intelligent use of microelectronics allows scientists and engineers to extract useful data from very simple inputs. For example, the WEALTHY project integrated temperature sensors in the armpit and shoulder of their garment to register core and skin temperature. ..." [Link]Note the word 'sensors' and realize that a electrical current would be running through the fabric and connected to a computer to collect the data. The material does not magically "heal you." However, the military wanted something that would.
As for the super human stuff the Times Online suggested: In 2002 The military gave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 50-million dollars for a five-year contract to create a uniform that would make soldiers invisible, be able to jump over 20-foot walls, and deflect bullets too. If the Iraq war is any indication, I don't think they delivered! It was suppose to be a 5-year plan and here we are six-and-a-half years later and we have witnessed horribly wounded soldiers who barely had effective armor on their vehicles let alone a fabric that could heal them or make them bullet proof. From 2002 CNET article:
"...Researchers also hope to develop a kind of molecular chain mail that can deflect bullets.
In addition to protecting soldiers, these radically different materials will have uses in offensive tactics, at least psychologically.
"Imagine the psychological impact upon a foe when encountering squads of seemingly invincible warriors protected by armor and endowed with superhuman capabilities, such as the ability to leap over 20-foot walls," ISN director Ned Thomas said in a release. ..." [Link]
Speedsuits are not hurting swimming in any way. They are making it more fun especially for masters swimmers and overweight swimmers.
I smell manufactured consent on the part of USA Swimming's PR department in conjunction with the media to move public opinion towards their point of view. It's a sloppy article and presents no counter opinion.