Smart Phones and DOD

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    Henry Brown
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    From DOD Buzz the Online Defense and Acquisition Journal

    iPhone Likely Loser For DoD Biz
    By Colin Clark Monday, June 14th, 2010 12:21 pm
    Posted in Intelligence, Land, Policy

    White Sands Missile Range — As the Pentagon and Boeing explore the best uses for smartphones on the battlefield, it looks as if the iPhone’s proprietary software may mean the military will give it a miss and gravitate to Android phones because of their open operating systems.

    This comes even after the Army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, stood up last year, waved his own iPhone in the air and said it offered lessons to the Army for rapidly designing and moving equipment to the field. The potential military smartphone market is enormous since it could mean tens of thousands of Army and Marine troopers would be armed with phones designed to connect with secure mobile Internets created by the software radios, known generically as Joint Tactical Radio Systems.

    Both the Army and Boeing are exploring how to use smartphones to improve soldiers’ performance on and off the battlefield. As Col. Marisa Tanner of the Army’s Future Force Integration Division puts it: smartphones provide each soldier with more sensors. The phones, coupled with those sensors and tied to a network, would also enormously increase the sharing of data between front-line troops, Special Forces operators and their commanders. In addition to the sensors on them, the phones could use custom-designed apps to speed data collection and sharing. The Pentagon’s advanced research arm, DARPA, is building an experimental app store, roughly modeled on Apple’s business model, which Tanner said “should open any day.” Soldiers would be able to build apps on the fly. Once they get approved for service-wide use, they could be shared online through secure Army portals.

    The Army is trying Android, Windows Mobile and iPhones, Tanner said.

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