12 December 2011

Army Driving Ahead on Smartphone Integration

It's nice that the Army is pushing forward with integrating smartphone technology into the force.

Whether you want to learn the different bugle calls or call in an artillery strike, there’s an app for that.
And some of the most promising and powerful apps are proving problematic for an Army trying to provide this information without putting its network at risk.
Indeed, digital applications are off the chain. Most centers of excellence are developing their own apps. The Signal Center of Excellence recently surpassed 1 million downloads over iTunes and the Android market. The service is soon to launch the Army Market Place, which will offer “official” apps that are Army-tested and approved.
The potential is limitless, as apps are already proving their worth.
For example, the Army Blue Book app provides easy access to information on Army culture, history, training and regulations — and it saved $750,000 in printing costs, according to Army data. The Sustainment Soldiers Advanced Individual Training course app showed improvements in proficiency test scores.
The Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications initiative stands at the heart of this endeavor. Conceptualized in September 2009, the unfunded program is run by the Army’s chief information officer and Army Capabilities Integration Center, with support from Army Training and Doctrine Command. It provides applications for select administrative, training and tactical functions with three stated goals:
  • Evaluate new training approaches that allow soldiers to learn anytime or anywhere (providing a “persistent learning environment”).
  • Explore smartphone potential to enable every soldier to access information and learning in any environment.
  • Develop means to rapidly update and share information — at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.
So how long before we start to see persistent multi-player training games on smartphone platforms? By: Brant

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