Feeds

Hurlable 360° cam-grenades used by IDF in Gaza

UK MoD expects to have Wheel-2.0 operational soon

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Israeli war-tech boffins appear to have stolen a march on those of Blighty in the matter of the long-sought 360° wireless camera grenade, which can be hurled or shot through a door, window etc and so give combat troops a picture of what lies beyond.

To mild media fanfare, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced last November that such a device - dubbed "I-ball" - is under development by British designers.

"The technology behind I-Ball is an exciting new development that has very significant potential... particularly in difficult urban operations," said MoD tech chief Professor Andrew Baird.

"We are very excited about the technology's potential to help our troops," added Paul Thompson of Dreampact, the UK firm developing the cam-grenade with MoD funding.

However, when the I-Ball arrives (it was "in its early stages" at the end of 2008, apparently) it will not be new or exciting. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have such equipment ready to use, and indeed have used it.

According to the IDF website, the recent Gaza strip incursion by Israel - referred to as "Operation Cast Lead" - saw the combat baptism of a piece of kit called "Bull Island":

Bull Island, which is a camera shaped as a tennis ball that can be thrown into any building and transfers 360 degree imagery to the troops on the ground outside of the structure. This camera, as well as other robots, used by the IDF helped to identify booby-trapped houses, or buildings with armed terrorists, thus minimizing the risk of IDF casualties.

So it would appear that I-Ball or something very like it is already to be had. If we British taxpayers corporately believe that such a gizmo would save our troops' lives - and that after all is why we're developing I-Ball, apparently - we should just buy some Bull Islands. The Israelis would certainly sell - they're already supplying the British Army with surveillance drones.

Why, it's almost as though the MoD procurement budget was more about industrial subsidy than about equipping troops and saving lives. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.