Apple markets its products as friendly (but sometimes snarky, if you're watching the Justin Long TV ads) and easy-to-use – but now it seems that the U.S. Army is looking towards things such as a iPhone for militaristic use.
As reported on the official U.S. Army website, Major Gen. Nick Justice, Research, Development and Engineering Command commanding general and key members of his staff traveled to Apple headquarters earlier this month for a tour of the computer company's laboratories and to discuss the use of Apple products in Army business and battlefield operations.
The two parties talked about some examples of where the military is already using Apple technology, such as through both public and private iPhone applications. Such specific applications are: COIN Collector, a counter-insurgency information collection tool, and MilSpace, a combined planning and social networking environment.
Like many other consumer-oriented technology companies, Apple spends obscene amounts of money into R&D – something that the military would like to piggyback on.
"We're continuing to leverage commercial technology for battlefield uses; we can't ignore that kind of existing knowledge," Justice said. "Our job, as stewards of the taxpayer's dollar, is to adopt and adapt appropriate commercial technology and offer the best possible solution to the Warfighter."
The Army's look into Apple is just one part of the "Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications," which examines how commercial cellular technology could be utilized in a tactical environment.
"Apple technologies offer unique and proven solutions with intuitive designs that allow users to learn quickly without a training manual," said Ron Szymanski, CERDEC's lead computer scientist on the project. "The Army would like to leverage Apple's experience when designing military applications."