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Military officials say iPod hasn't been hacked, is cheap, and robust enough for the battlefield

Apple is the clear leader in the mobile music player category with its dominating iPod line. The company is also a leader in the high-end smartphone market with its iPhone. When Apple first thought up the iPod touch, the engineers probably didn’t think much outside the realm of music, video, and games.

Games may dominate the civilian App Store, but the U.S. government has taken the iPod touch and extended the device to serve functions that Apple likely never dreamed of. In the past, handheld devices for soldiers were large and costly devices that tended to be very narrowly focused in what they could do. Soldiers were using digital translators in the field to speak with the local population for instance.

Soldiers now need to access much more data than simple translations and the military is using the iPod touch for an increasing variety of tasks. According to military officials, "networked warfare" requires each solider to be linked electronically to other troops and weapon systems. The iPod touch is relatively cheap, easy to use, and very robust in the applications it can run.

Soldiers are using the touch in the field already for all sorts of tasks from controlling bomb-disposing robots to calculating ballistics tables for snipers. The Army also says that the iPod has yet to be hacked. An Indiana company called Next Wave Systems is developing an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that would allow soldiers to take a picture of street signs and get up-to-date intel on the street and local population. The application would be able to provide pictures of the local area and any suspects questioned at the location.

The Marine Corps. is funding the development of an app that would allow soldiers to take images of detainees and upload them to a biometric database for easier searching and follow up later.

The touch is also being used for translation with an application called Vcommunicator being issued to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The app produces spoken and written translations for Arabic, Kurdish, and two Afghan languages.



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I can seethe comercials now
By vapore0n on 4/20/2009 12:43:26 PM , Rating: 6
quote:
Ever wanted to blow up the **** out of terrorists?

There is an app for that.




RE: I can seethe comercials now
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/20/2009 12:47:45 PM , Rating: 5
Flawless victory, sir. FLAWLESS. :-)


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By FITCamaro on 4/20/2009 1:39:04 PM , Rating: 5
Glad you gave credit where its due and made this a 6.


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By Spivonious on 4/20/2009 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
LOL


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By mmp121 on 4/20/2009 12:56:38 PM , Rating: 5
And we all laughed when we saw the iPhone Sniper App

http://macenstein.com/default/archives/2122


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By invidious on 4/20/2009 12:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
Heh nice one.

I think this idea is pretty awesome, another technological edge for soldiers is always a good thing.


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By mondo1234 on 4/20/2009 1:36:08 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The touch is also being used for translation with an application called Vcommunicator being issued to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The app produces spoken and written translations for Arabic, Kurdish, and two Afghan languages.


They have this but I still cant get an app to translate Ebonics?


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By FITCamaro on 4/20/2009 1:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
YES!

That'd actually make me buy one.


RE: I can seethe comercials now
By espress0 on 4/20/2009 11:22:29 PM , Rating: 2
haha nice


iPod Touch app using a camera?
By RetardicalSam on 4/20/2009 2:12:28 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The Army also says that the iPod has yet to be hacked. An Indiana company called Next Wave Systems is developing an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that would allow soldiers to take a picture of street signs and get up-to-date intel on the street and local population.


Wouldn't that be tricky on the iPod Touch, considering the Touch doesn't have a camera?




RE: iPod Touch app using a camera?
By bodar on 4/20/2009 2:36:52 PM , Rating: 3
The app is just that damn good. It defies the laws of physics. Take that, Zune!


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/20/2009 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
The app is for both the iPhone and the iPod touch and we all know the iPhone has a camera.

Or maybe they are just expecting apple to announce a next gen iPod touch with a camera since the apps is still in development; who knows :)


Better iPods?
By KentState on 4/20/2009 1:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the adoption of the iPod Touch in military use will lead to better features for general customers. For example, I would think that allowing expandable memory, replaceable battery, and a non-proprietary charging cable would be beneficial to the military. I also wonder how well the screen will hold up to textured gloves covered in sand.




RE: Better iPods?
By Shadowself on 4/20/2009 3:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
The point of using the iPod touch is that it is an 80% solution that costs less than 20% of a 99% solution. The military has systems that have been custom designed to full military specs that can do the same thing, have replaceable batteries, expandable memory, standard (military standard that is) charging systems, a dust/sand proof screen, etc., etc. However, these systems -- even in quantities of several thousand per order -- can cost $5,000+ each.


RE: Better iPods?
By mindless1 on 4/20/2009 8:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
Screen might actually improve, covered in sand scratches it won't reflect outdoor light as much, though the display brightness might need tweaked a bit.

Start allowing expandable memory, replaceable battery, and you increase the size which is the opposite of Apple's goal.

This is a short-lived application though, higher integration will result in more and more programmable hand-held computers, and those without the Apple tax keeping the price artificially high.


New!
By MegaHustler on 4/20/2009 6:03:21 PM , Rating: 5
Apple announces a new waterproof iPod model for the Navy, the Apple iiPod.

(try saying it out loud...)




RE: New!
By Donkey2008 on 4/20/2009 11:37:15 PM , Rating: 1
**Rimshot**


recruitment tool
By MadMan007 on 4/20/2009 1:41:46 PM , Rating: 5
'Join the Army, get a free* iPod touch!'




Mac users are poopy-heads
By ggordonliddy on 4/21/2009 4:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
Mac users can suck the extremely bloody and chunky diarrhea from my anal cavity.




RE: Mac users are poopy-heads
By bodar on 4/21/2009 6:39:48 AM , Rating: 3
You may want to seek medical attention for that. Do you often eat Indian food with crushed glass in it? This sounds like an episode of House. I'm gonna go ahead and rule out Lupus though.


where is mine?
By smackababy on 4/20/2009 1:12:52 PM , Rating: 3
I am in the military and where is my iPod Touch?




Cloak and Dagger Apps
By nstott on 4/21/2009 1:09:00 AM , Rating: 3
Is there a waterboarding app yet for the CIA?




who would have thought
By obiwankenobi on 4/20/2009 4:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
Who would have thought that the army can now engage the taliban while listening bon jovi at the same time, this is awesome! technology at its best, long live Prophet Job, fanbois are now singing hallelujah!!!




Minor quibble
By 1078feba on 4/21/2009 12:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
The Marine Corps doesn't have 'soldiers'.

They have Marines.




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