U.S. Army Visits Apple in Search for Military Tech

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."

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • alvine
  • coopchennick
    Haha, this is NOT the way to cut spending, military...
  • gekko668
    In the end everybody knows that PC will emerge victorious.
  • Good job apple! You can con more than just stupid consumers into buying your overpriced products. I wish I had these skills. Too bad apple is conning the US army out of our taxpayer dollars :/
  • XD_dued
    Battery life not good enough in my opinion (for iphone)...also fragile glass screen.
  • ElysianMerc
    Everyone knows that Apple products are only used by hippies.
  • ravewulf
    Sounds like the military is yet again looking for ways to waste money.
  • STravis
    The guy's name is Nick JUSTICE. How f'n cool is that last name.
  • JackNSally
    So now the military will be buying overpriced/underspecced computers?
  • jr88
    They saw the effectiveness of an iPhone as an incendiary and decided they just had to upgrade from the conventional grenade...