iPod touch, iPhone become military tools | iLounge News


iPod touch, iPhone become military tools

Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch are becoming the electronic handheld devices of choice for U.S. military overseas, according to a new report. Newsweek reports that the iPod touch, and to a lesser extent the iPhone, are gaining popularity thanks to their relatively low cost compared to custom-designed mil-spec devices, their ruggedness when sheathed in protective cases, and their versatility. Since both devices can run a myriad of different apps, many government agencies are funding development of new software. The Pentagon is funding the technology behind an app that would allow a soldier to take a picture of a street sign and quickly receive intelligence on the local area, while the U.S. Marine Corps is funding an application that would allow soldiers to upload photos of detained suspects to a centralized, biometric database, which could then be used to match faces and make it easier to track suspects once they’ve been released. Other software includes an app that would display aerial video from drones, a bomb-disposal robot remote control app, the ballistics calculator BulletFlight, currently in use by snipers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Vcommunicator, a spoken and written translator. An iPod “may be all that [soldiers] need,” says Lt. Col. Jim Ross, director of the Army’s intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors operations in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. The Pentagon has not disclosed how many Apple devices are currently deployed.

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Probably the reason why Apple recently filed a myriad of Biometric Access patents (fingerprint sensors, iris scanners and so on) for iPods/iPhones and Macs.

Posted by David on April 20, 2009 at 11:21 AM (CDT)


This just goes to show that the military knows a good thing when they see it…pure awesome.

Posted by Daniel S. on April 20, 2009 at 1:24 PM (CDT)


Kudos to the USA military for looking past red tape and conventional wisdom and adopting new technologies that work. In many other militaries, adopting devices that don’t meet formal ruggedization specs or have image-taking capabilities is a taboo. In practice, there are many use cases that don’t need to conform to these rules, and can definitely benefit from utilizing today’s technology today.

Posted by tarZen on April 22, 2009 at 4:08 AM (CDT)

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