US military developing Android, iPhone, iPad apps

Multitouch gestures will control drones, say reports

Soldiers to be equipped with apps for the battlefield

The US military is working on a host of smartphone apps for Android, iPhone and iPad to assist their forces in the field, according to reports.

Military contractors Harris and ISS are working with the Pentagon on applications that could work on 'ruggedised' smartphones, rather than expensive bespoke machinery, and keep soldiers out of harms way.

Harris is working on an app that uses the iPad 2's video conferencing capabilities to control the camera on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), using multi-touch gestures to search for targets. The data can then be transmitted quickly to command centres.

John Delay of Harris says: "You can steer the camera and look at what you want. There's a lot of interest in this. If you can use sensors to give the ability to grab control of a camera and look over a hill, that is huge.

"They [the military] are realizing that the media and entertainment industry are going faster than they can go, and for the first time in history, commercial developers are ahead, so they are looking to adapt those technologies"

ISS, meanwhile, is preparing an application that uses GPS-mapping to let a ground soldier know which areas have already been bombed.

According to Computer World "geo-mapping on the smartphones would be super-imposed with historical data sent wirelessly from a command center, showing the locations and types of encounters - from shootings and bombings to arrests - to better prepare troops on the ground."

Let the CSD (Campaign for Smartphone Disarmament) protests commence!

Link: Computer World