The Cloud and Smartphones

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    Henry Brown
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    From Information Week:

    DARPA Creates Cloud Using Smartphones


    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is testing new software-based approaches to create cloud-like computing networks on the battlefield, using the power of smartphones and radios. The lessons DARPA learns are expected to be useful not only to U.S. troops in remote locations, but also to first responders when traditional communications infrastructure fails or is unavailable.

    Today, forward-deployed troops have to communicate with leaders outside the combat arena to get information — from photos of local leaders to biometrics of prisoners and civilian suspects, maps to troop movements. Connectivity frequently is an issue, causing problems for personnel looking for information from higher-ups and updates from other units that might be nearby.

    It is easy to think of other applications for CBMEN, particularly in disaster response. In many circumstances — hurricanes, tornados, and wildfires, for example — communications infrastructure frequently has been damaged or destroyed. Emergency responders from police and firefighters to EMTs and National Guard troops could use their smartphones to quickly establish communications networks and share critical information.

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