iPhones and Android Smartphones For Troops
U.S. Military plans to issue smartphones to all soldiers on the battlefield...
In a move that plans to provide troops with information whenever, and wherever they need it, the U.S. Army is planning to issue iPhones and Android smartphones to every soldier on the battlefield.
The Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications (CSDA) program, which began last year, calls for the wide deployment of a range of mobile devices including iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and Android phones to help soldiers perform their duties better.
U.S Army Soldier Samrtphone Program
The mobile devices would be installed with specialized applications that could, amongst many things, allow soldiers to view real-time surveillance and remain in constant communication by instant chat, email, video or voice calls.
We’ve already seen the iPhone remotely controlling military drones, as well as a whole host of military orientated applications – the possibilities are literally endless.
Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center said that one day a smart phone could become a standard piece of equipment in every soldiers clothing bag.
The Army will create its own secure network for the mobile devices, a feature which is currently being adapted to commercially-made handsets via an antenna sleeve.
A new wireless card reader called the Common Access Card would also accompany the network and devices. The cards will come to the iPhone in January and Android phones later in June.
The Army is also looking into the possibility of a software portal where troops could go to download a range of applications.
Although these ideas will require extensive security systems, we’re sure that security is the Army’s top priority following the uproar regarding the military ban on USB drives.
The pilot program was launched in June and soldiers at the Ft. Bliss, Texas, are currently testing out applications that track both enemies and friends location on the battlefield. Other software has also undergone classroom trials at several undisclosed locations in the U.S.
The Army has also said that it doesn’t want to be tied to one brand instead it would likely issue a range of different devices depending on the applications.
Field tests are planned for February 2011, and although there’s no final date on the project it will be reviewed every 6 months in the hope that one day in the not too distant future, all U.S. soldiers will have access to communication and applications provided by their standard issue smart phone.
- Joe Gould and Michael Hoffman: Army sees smart phones playing important role. Army Times, 12/14/2010.
- Elizabeth Montalbano: Army Expanding Soldier Smartphone Program. Information Week, 12/16/2010.
- Chris Gayomali: The U.S. Army Considers Making iPhones Standard Issue. Techland, 12/16/2010.
- Image Source: Photo by Familymwr. U.S. Army: Official Army iPhone app. Via Flickr, 01/12/2010.