Raytheon turns iPhones into battlefield tools

December 17, 2009
The new iPhone 3Gs at an Apple store. US defense contractor Raytheon on Wednesday unveiled the first of what it said will be a series of software applications to make iPhones or iPod touch devices into battlefield tools.

US defense contractor Raytheon on Wednesday unveiled the first of what it said will be a series of software applications to make iPhones or iPod touch devices into battlefield tools.

One Force Tracker (OFT) software takes advantage of features built into Apple's wildly popular touch-screen mobile devices to let soldiers track whereabouts of allies and adversaries on maps in real time.

"We have developed a situational awareness application based on military messaging standards that provide multimedia access, audio and textual point of interest, free text messaging, collaborative planning, spot reports and emergency call for fire," said Tushar Patel, director of Advanced Programs and Technology at Raytheon's Network Centric Systems.

"Raytheon is a leader in secured wireless networking. Combining that with Apple's expertise allows us to provide rapid, low-risk and affordable interoperable system solutions."

OFT capitalizes on iPhone and iPod Touch capabilities including global positioning, high-speed Internet, and accelerometers that let controls respond to twists, tilts or turns.

The software could also be used by medical personnel, firefighters and other emergency workers responding to disasters, according to the Massachusetts-based defense contractor.

Raytheon said it has built in augmented reality and content-centric networking capabilities along with guards against network disruptions or hacks.

A glimpse at OFT on an showed a map marking locations of military units in relation to each other.

Soldiers could potentially use iPhones or devices, which have wireless Internet capabilities, to feed each other updates in real time the same way motorists use smartphones to share feedback regarding traffic.

Military as well as civilian companies are eager to take advantage of innovations in mobile devices, according to Raytheon, which said it is working closely with Apple on applications tailored to the needs of soldiers.

"We are committed to providing innovative technology solutions for warfighters and all of our customers," said Jay Smart, chief technology officer of Raytheon's intelligence and information systems business.

"Raytheon's experience with mobile communications in the tactical environment and the government customers' need for low-power, simple plug-and-play applications led to the development of a real-time situational awareness application using Apple's touch technologies."

Raytheon, which posted 2008 sales of 23.2 billion, specializes in defense, homeland security and other government markets worldwide.

Explore further: Briefs: Ex-Army official leads Raytheon unit

Related Stories

Skype comes to iPhones on Tuesday

March 30, 2009

Skype has confirmed that a free software application enabling iPhone owners to use its Internet telephone service will be available in Apple's online App Store beginning Tuesday.

Apple's booming App Store tops 100,000 programs

November 4, 2009

Apple on Wednesday announced that outside developers have crammed the virtual shelves of its App Store with more than 100,000 mini-programs for iPhones and iPod Touch devices.

Cisco releases Web security app for iPhone

November 20, 2009

Cisco on Friday announced the release of a free iPhone application for anyone who wants to stay on top of the latest trojans, worms, or other threats marauding on the Internet.

Recommended for you

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 17, 2009
Better hope they don't have service with At&t.

"Hold off the attack! We just lost service."

"When did we have service?"

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.