Newark, Delaware – W.L. Gore & Associates, a leading manufacturer of advanced technology products including GORE-TEX® branded products, today 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 in 2009.
“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.”
The Science of GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products
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.”
In addition to Colonel O’Neill, who is widely regarded as the “Father of Digital Camouflage” and has developed many of the visual concealment technologies employed by military units worldwide, Gore’s team of professional advisors includes:
* Guy Cramer, founder and CEO of HyperStealth® Bio Technology Corp., designers of digital camouflage patterns
* Dr. Jay Neitz, an animal vision expert at the Medical College of Wisconsin
Sitka Gear to Feature GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products
GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products will be first brought to market by exclusive launch partner, Sitka Gear. Sitka’s entire system of high-performance clothing for the 2009 big game hunting season will feature GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products. As a result of the partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates, Sitka’s full system of gear will now also incorporate W.L. Gore’s technical fabrics – waterproof, windproof, and breathable GORE-TEX® and windproof, breathable WINDSTOPPER® fabrics.
“Sitka has always believed in pushing the boundaries of traditional gear and creating outcome-based technologies for the serious hunter,” said Jason Hairston, Founder of Sitka Gear. “W.L. Gore & Associates shares that philosophy and has proven expertise in developing science-based products that work. We’re confident that GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products will revolutionize the sport of hunting and are proud to be the first company to provide this advantage to those who like to ‘hunt hard.'”
“With Gore’s new concealment technology and their superior GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® fabrics, Sitka’s new line of gear will provide ultimate visual concealment and ultimate comfort and protection to serious hunters. That maximizes chances of success in the field,” commented Jonathan Hart, Founder of Sitka Gear. “This gear is not about fashion – it’s all about function.”
The first Sitka gear featuring GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products will be available at retail in 2009 and is maximized for hunting deer and other hoofed animals in the Mountain West. For more information about GORE® OPTIFADE™ Concealment Products visit www.optifade.com.
About W.L. Gore & Associates (www.gore-tex.com)
Perhaps best known for its consumer products like GORE-TEX® fabric and ELIXIR® guitar strings, Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, industrial, fabrics and medical markets. The company is headquartered in Newark, Delaware, posts sales of approximately $2 billion, and employs almost 8,000 associates at 50 facilities throughout the world.
GORE, GORE-TEX, WINDSTOPPER and designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.© 2008 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., 295 Blue Ball Rd., Elkton, Maryland, 800-431-GORE, gore-tex.com.
About Sitka Gear (www.sitkagear.com)
Established in 2005, Sitka is known for its commitment to using the best technology, fabrics, designs, construction and partners to produce the best products available in the hunting market. Sitka Gear excels in the worst of conditions and is built to last. Sitka: Turning clothing into gear. 860 Napa Valley Corporate Way Suite F, Napa, CA 94558. Phone # (877) SITKA-MG or 877- 748-5264