June 3, 2011 report
Army tests iOS and Android devices for potential combat usage
The US Army is beginning some interesting testing. They are considering dropping out some of the bulkier and significantly more expensive communications gear currently carried by soldiers, and replacing it with a smart phone. The phones, which run between $400 to $700, would either be Apple models, running on the iOS, or one of Googles Android-based OS phones.
The testing is expected to be a bit more intense than what the device goes through in order to be sold to the average consumer. This will be more like field combat testing to see if it can manage not only the daily wear and tear but significant environmental factors and some extra bumps and drops, because the last thing that soldiers will be worried about when they are fighting for their lives is the effect that it will have on their iPhones.
If the smart phone system is adopted it will represent a faster way to update troop information and put a variety of different types of information, from the location of other units to the weather front rolling in, in the palm of a soldiers hand.
Of course, to be usable for military applications these phones will need a serious security upgrade. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the military is looking into biometrics in order to not only help to secure the phones, but to help identify suspected insurgents on the spot. This system could be similar to the fingerprint that is currently being added to the Atrix 4G by Motorola. Of course, since there are already tools to hack the iPhone out there
© 2010 PhysOrg.com