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Raytheon developing enemy-tracking iPhone app for military

updated 06:50 pm EST, Wed December 16, 2009

Company also working on Android platform

The military contractor Raytheon recently introduced an iPhone app that allows users to track enemies and allies, according to the New York Times. The interface continuously updates positions for individuals and military units, plotting the locations on a map. Users can also securely communicate using the app, or receive notifications when arriving at particular areas.

"This is hypothetical, but if there is a building with known terrorist activities, it could automatically be pushed to the phone when the soldiers get near that area," said J Smart, chief technology officer for Raytheon's Intelligence and Information Systems division. "If there was another platoon that was supposed to arrive, and they were delayed, or ahead of schedule, you could adapt your plan."

The company is also working on integrating sensors that communicate with the handsets. Details have yet to be disclosed, although similar technology is used for monitoring vital signs or assisting medics.

Raytheon has expressed the need to modify the consumer iPhone for use on the battlefield. The militarized versions would benefit from ruggedized construction, larger batteries or replaceable cells, and multi-tasking for running concurrent app processes.

The defense contractor is eyeing other mobile platforms as well, including Google's Android OS. The Raytheon Android Tactical System (RATS) is geared for intelligence collection and analysis. The utilities would allow users to read license plates, stream camera feds, and gather biometric information such as facial recognition.

by MacNN Staff





  1. donmontalvo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's hope enemy doesn't crack Find My iPhone


  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Use data innundation

    I was envisioning every soldier with an iPhone and a twitter account. There would be so much data, the enemy would be inundated and would not be able to respond.

    >Approaching rally point.

    >Haven’t showered in days. Feel stinky.

    >Taking position at rally point.

    >Enemy spotted on the horizon.

    >Wait, just a goat.

    >Movement on our East flank.

    >The enemy is by some building in the distance but I cannot make out the name on the sign.

    >Hold on, I need to switch to my augmented reality app to get the name.

  1. designr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Corporate Version?

    Oh, boy! I can't wait for the Corporate Version so I can walk the halls of Corporate America without getting jumped....

  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Finally, the killer app...

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I sure hope this system doesn't "accidentally" send some missile flying towards Redmond after the next iPhone OS update.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So, does this mean the entire capability of our military is going to be dependent on ATT having good 3G coverage in the area?

    And are they choosing the iPhone because the iPod touch is a 'gaming' device?

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