5 Reasons the Army is issuing iPhone and Android Smartphones to Troops
The Army budget morphs that of individual law enforcement agencies, but thinking outside the box seems to be consistent on the battle field. The US Army is going to equip their field soldiers on the front lines with iPhones and or Android mobile device as soon as the Spring of 2011. I originally saw an article on www.digitaltrends.com and tracked the original information to the www.armytimes.com website. As a mobile device evangelist, enthusiast, I find the Army’s action to be an obvious technology progression of both physical mobile devices and web 2.0 technologies. Below are 5 reasons why the Army is issuing mobile devices to troops.
1)Portability- Mobile devices are small enough to slip into a pants pocket, jacket pocket, ruck sack, duffle bag, etc.
2) Powerful- Smartphone’s have become mini laptops in the last year or so and upcoming generations of these devices will boast duo core processors, increased graphics, more HD video capture models and overall more power.
3) Real Time Intelligence- At war smart phones would let soldiers view real-time intelligence and video from unmanned systems overhead. Drones would be able to provide intelligence to field personnel via smartphone. While this certainly already occurs with laptops, laptops are unreasonable to carry individually.
4) Real Time Maps- Track friends and enemies on dynamic maps, this could certainly be life saving.
5) Real Time Information- Soldiers will have the opportunity to use network searches, email, MMS, and get information real time while in critical situations, through individual mobile devices.
My first thought was how are the soldiers going to access a network? Not to worry, the Army has already been working on this with basically a portable or mobile cell tower that would provide soldiers a mobile network in battlefield situations. There really is no argument why this is not a brilliant move by the Army to equip their troops with more information. Does law enforcement see the same benefit as the Army does from mobile devices? I think issuing police officers iPhone and or Android smartphone’s is also a no brainer, what do you think?
This blog post original appeared on 12/19/10 Social Media Five-O by Michael F. Vallez
I totally agree with Mike Vallez. Using iPhone and Android smartphones is a cheaper and more efficient way for troops and law enforcement to receive real-time information in the field. If a smartphone gets lost or damaged, it’s cheap to replace. Our company uses these phones to run “FaceFirst” facial recognition technology in the field for clients.
Thanks Nick and look for more law enforcement agencies, companies to jump on this bandwagon once they see how their competitors are using these devices. Another key factor is the increase of technology, specifically cellular transmission technology (see Mike Bostic’s blog post) http://connectedcops.net/?p=3438. Mobile devices are also becoming handheld computers and their technological growth is far from over.
5 years from now we will be using mobile devices like never considered today.
So true!!! But I do think everyone has to embrace the idea of using new and emerging technologies. Maybe not from the start, but once they become more refined or fine-tuned. This company has done just that for it’s mobile applications – http://www.facefirst.com
checked out Face First and this is the sign of things to come. So in the near future police will take a photo with a handheld, use this software, get an immediate download of who this person is. Going to be much harder to hide as a wanted person. Great for known terrorists as well.
@Scott Mills could not agree more with you. I think budget as always plays a big part in limiting law enforcement as far as technology tools go. But, I think over the next few years you will see law enforcement agencies cede to the overwhelming impact these tools have for LEO’s. Truth be told, I am sure there are a high percentage of cops out there that already pay for their own Android & iPhone to get the job done.
@Chris Duque I agree and I think you will see more buy in for smartphone’s over time.
Look forward to seeing both of you in a few weeks.
great, informative post – iPhone and Android phones are truly the way to go for law enforcement needs
Mahalo for the article, Mike!
Law enforcement IS a para-military organization and often the tactics and weaponry used by the military are adopted by the cops. Hopefully, we’ll see more agencies follow the military’s lead and see the potential of mobile devices as a crime-fighting tool.