Full Metal iPhone
Air strike? There’s an app for that….
The U.S. military may soon add another item to the standard-issue field and garrison furnishings it issues to every soldier: The smartphone. Come 2011, the Army Capabilities Integration Center will begin field-testing phones, network equipment and applications as part of a combat team modernization program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications. The first smartphones to be reviewed will be Apple’s iPhone and an Android device.
“What we’re doing is fundamentally changing how soldiers access knowledge, information, training content and operational data,” Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, told the Army Times. “The day you sign on to be a soldier, you will be accessing information and knowledge in garrison and in an operational environment in a seamless manner. We’re using smartphone technologies to lead this.”
But in order to do that, those technologies need to be adjusted and modified for the Army’s purposes. That means “ruggedizing” the devices for combat and potentially adjusting the Army’s traditional purchasing model to allow soldiers to personalize their phones with the apps best suited to their duties. To that end, the CSDA is considering creating an iTunes-esque portal through which it can monitor app downloads and ensure that they are secure.
“The requirements that General Vane have are far different than Private Jones down in second squad of 1st Platoon,” McCarthy said. “We need to create an environment that lets them find the applications that are best suited for that individual, and that’s the approach we’re taking.”
This is my iPhone. There are many like it but this one is mine. My iPhone is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.