Feeds

DARPA wants military iPhone and Android apps

Pentagon boffins spit on Windows phones

The essential guide to IT transformation

Bandwagon-bothering boffins at everyone's favourite military tech hothouse DARPA have announced that they would like some apps written for the iPhone or for handsets running Google's Android OS - "with potential relevance to the military specifically and the national security community more generally".

The Pentagon deathnerds note that:

In today's military, handheld systems are characterized by a tight integration of specialized hardware with a narrowly focused software suite. Most of the handheld devices are heavily optimized for a particular task and are ill-suited for general-purpose use. A soldier's radio, for example, has very limited data capability and essentially no multimedia capability. Current language translation devices support neither messaging nor collaboration of any form ...

A transformation in technical approaches and business processes is called for.

But it won't be a transformation powered by Windows Mobile. DARPA specifies that "initial interest will focus on apps developed on the iPhone or Android platforms". The idea is to find apps which will be helpful "especially among the end-users at lower levels in the military echelon".

Famously there are already apps for the iPhone which can make ballistic calculations for a sniper. Other existing software which would obviously help a soldier could include various kinds of navigation kit, user interfaces for remote drones - again, several of which are already on offer - and so on.

Some military hardware, too, has already taken on many of the aspects of a smartphone - for instance the Land Warrior wearable comm/puter rig. And in fact, no matter DARPA's perferences, at least one maker has produced a covert version of military belt-computer software to run on a Windows smartphone.

DARPA, unusually, would seem to be very much with - or even a bit behind - the times on this one. The agency normally prefers to be well into the future.

Full instructions for developers to submit whitepapers to DARPA can be found here (Word doc). ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.