The US military’s flirtations with Android date all the way back to 2009, so it should come as no surprise that the operating system originally intended for civilian mobile devices is once again being turned to for advanced battlefield technology. This time the military is contracting Harris and Intelligent Software Solutions (ISS) with the aim of developing apps for smartphones and tablets that can be used in critical mission situations.
ISS has been tasked with creating an interface that will quickly allow newly deployed soldiers to get a top down view of what fighting has already occurred through the combination of historical data, geo-location, and mapping capabilities. Harris is currently developing an application that will act as a remote display for images and video captured by flying drones.
The aim is to create sophisticated experiences tailored towards battlefield use without the need for expensive battlefield equipment. Instead of paying up front to ruggedize devices, the apps would function on off-the-shelf consumer products, which could be easily and cheaply replaced if broken. The fact that soldiers may already be familiar with the smartphone and tablet technology from their civilian lives doesn’t hurt either.