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US Army consults with Apple on troop-ready electronics

updated 05:10 pm EDT, Wed March 24, 2010

Military keen on simple designs

The US Army is consulting with Apple in hopes of attaining better technology for soldiers, an official press statement reveals. Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general of the Research, Development and Engineering Command, is said to have visited Apple's Cupertino headquarters on March 5th with a portion of his staff in tow. The group toured labs and other offices, also sharing examples of the battlefield use of Apple products.

Aside from testing modern iPods, iPhones, iMacs and MacBooks for military use, the Army is also said to be examining the potential of the iPad, which will only become publicly available on April 3rd. Justice's team is further said to have discussed the development of new technology, which could be based on Apple concepts. The company's utilitarian, "just works" ethos is a good match, the Army claims.

The US military already makes use of several Apple products in the field, including iPods for translating Arabic, and various combinations of gear for handling IT infrastructure and video surveillance. The Army's Communications-Electronics Research and Development Center is in fact said to be working on two iPhone apps. One is for gathering counter-insurgency info, while the other, MilSpace, combines planning and social networking.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. OtisWild

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Sweet

    Apple could probably do a killer Land Warrior with 21st century tech, COTS for much less than LW is today..

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Maybe the Army doesn't want to use

    Windows 7-based tablets. I hope Apple thoroughly impressed those soldiers. Those Army dudes probably had to have top level clearance just to get near the Apple labs.

  1. martinX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    History repeats.

    OH NOES! It's Xerox PARC all over again! The army is going to go in, take a look around and get some cool ideas from Apple's skunkworks projects, stuff that Apple just doesn't know what to do with. Then the Army will ship the coolest killbot, and call it the STEVE209 and tell everyone "Apple had some cool stuff in development, but real warriors ship. And kill. With the stuff they just shipped."

  1. MacScientist

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    re: History repeats

    martinX wrote "OH NOES! It's Xerox PARC all over again! ..."

    No, it is not. The must obvious rebuttal to this nonsense is that the Army is not a commercial competitor to Apple; it is a customer. The US military manufactures very little of what it uses. Almost everything is contracted out. You have heard of Haliburton, haven't you?

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    WALL-E

    The military must have heard that EVE was based on apple designs, so they are researching how her Laser arm works... That thing packs quite a punch (although it can't destroy a roach)

  1. MattJeff

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    Fun idea but...

    Most of the time these never make it into real life situations or sometimes even off the drawing table. Either way apple could make some extra $ in the process.

    P.S. Thats a U.S. Marine in your photo, not an army soldier.

  1. facebook_Guy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010

    -9

    the best tablet yet

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada

  1. facebook_Jean-Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010

    +1

    Logical Maj. Gen. Nick Justice

    It's so nice to hear that DOD is using some common sense into this. Like the General said, the stuff works. And besides, who has time to fiddle with broken technology on the battlefield with lives at stake when every second is literally priceless.
    Look at the cost-saving of using mainstream products of the shelf...What a concept?!
    For those of you cynics, Apple, NSA and the Pentagon has had a very nice and quiet relationship since the development of the NEXT machine. I saw the first demo of multimedia implementation with the NEXT machine at Maxwell AFB in Alabama back in 1990 which is the Mac OS today.
    In fact, there is a great deal of utilization of nothing but Macs at the Pentagon today. You simply do not hear about it except for the noisy c*** about Windows. Pulease!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Re: Logical

    It's so nice to hear that DOD is using some common sense into this

    Of course it is common sense. They're talking to Apple, thus they must be right. Who cares if no one knows what they'll be able to do with an iPad. It's great and everyone should buy one immediately.

    Of course, it won't be common sense when some Marine's macbook's battery goes dead, and he can't just replace it with another one, he has to go find himself an outlet somewhere.

  1. martinX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    History repeats.

    OH NOES! It's Xerox PARC all over again! The army is going to go in, take a look around and get some cool ideas from Apple's skunkworks projects, stuff that Apple just doesn't know what to do with. Then the Army will ship the coolest killbot, and call it the STEVE209 and tell everyone "Apple had some cool stuff in development, but real warriors ship. And kill. With the stuff they just shipped."

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