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  • Defense Contractor Designs (Jailbroken?) App


    A major US defense contractor announced an iPhone app yesterday that it would make available to support troops in the field. One Force Tracker is an app developed by Raytheon that uses the phone's GPS to track friendly and unfriendly forces, show their positions on real time maps and provide secure communications. Raytheon - otherwise known as the world's largest producer of guided missiles - noted that the app can also be used by first responders like police, firemen, and emergency medical technicians.

    Dr. Jay Smart, the Chief Technology Officer for Intelligence and Information Systems at Raytheon, says the app is working now, on unmodified iPhone hardware. He described how the app would be used by a soldier or Marine on the battlefield, entering information on the iPhone - probably in a ruggedized case - and sending it to a local server, which would push updates to a common map back to all connected One Force Tracker apps with points like, for example, identified sniper sites or safe fallback 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,” according to Dr. Smart.

    The app would also allow units to more closely coordinate their activities in real time. “If there was another platoon that was supposed to arrive, and they were delayed, or ahead of schedule, you could adapt your plan,” said Dr. Smart. “If one of the units you are counting on is redirected, you know that in real time.”

    Dr. Smart also hinted that the fielded version of the app would have to rely on a heavily modified version of the iPhone OS, to deal with the lack of multitasking on the platform. “Underneath the iPhone is a Mac OS X operating system which is based on Unix, which gives us Unix multitasking,” he said. This indicates that Raytheon would essentially be jailbreaking their iPhones in order to get multitasking to work. It's possible that Apple may roll a unique software release for the huge defense contractor, but Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the app from the New York Times.

    Raytheon is also at work on an app for training air traffic controllers. The app would use gaming techniques to build trainees' skills in identifying aircraft and terrain, visual scanning, doing math in their heads, and rule-based decision-making.

    satellite image via Raytheon
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Defense Contractor Designs (Jailbroken?) App started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. EPzJamin's Avatar
      EPzJamin -
      wow, talk about making apple even closer to world domination. i can see the remote controlled bombs now. talk about black rain ha.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      "First"

      I guess your day is complete now and you can go back to bed, or go cruising for chicks to share in your victory.
    1. dmaximob's Avatar
      dmaximob -
      I find it hard to believe/kinda scary that our military doesn't already have a system like this to make the described intel available to units.
    1. sandstorm77's Avatar
      sandstorm77 -
      5th............................

      This is crazy
    1. my95z34's Avatar
      my95z34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dmaximob View Post
      I find it hard to believe/kinda scary that our military doesn't already have a system like this to make the described intel available to units.
      Lol, we do. And the funny part is, it's called Blue Force Tracker. The app they are developing here is called One Force Tracker.

      The entire time reading this I was shaking my head... like... "Uh, yeah it's been done... Why would we need that on an iPhone when we've already got dedicated hardware for it..."

      Aaaanyways...
    1. ifonemaniac's Avatar
      ifonemaniac -
      Yeah, we have to rely on apple now to provide military technology!
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      And now we see why defense spending has increased so much!
    1. howlett15's Avatar
      howlett15 -
      I just don't see the iPhone being very military friendly.... Don't troops wear protective gloves a good portion of the time?
    1. rickuk's Avatar
      rickuk -
      Anything to stop the US military dropping bombs on their allies instead of the enemy has to be a good thing
    1. nimavafi's Avatar
      nimavafi -
      Sounds like a upcoming army recruiting commercial.

      Not only will they make you think you will drive your own tank, but you will also get a free iphone!!
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      Hope this gets Apple to finally see the light, hide their face in shame and include all these desired capabilities and more into future iphones, totally open up the OS and stop making noise about modified iphones!!!
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by EPzJamin View Post
      wow, talk about making apple even closer to world domination. i can see the remote controlled bombs now. talk about black rain ha.
      lol, i know right?

      This might give apple the incentive to do something more about multitasking. They sure are keeping quiet.
    1. brianlg's Avatar
      brianlg -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      "First"

      I guess your day is complete now and you can go back to bed, or go cruising for chicks to share in your victory.
      Someone wanted that first. Don't be jealous, just get it next time tiger
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      Raytheon will now bomb apple if they try to make jailbreaking illegal!
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      I've been deployed and the U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan is zero tolerance for cell phones on combat zones. For obvious intelligence reason. So I do not see this remotely coming true. It's just not practical or tactical at all.
    1. jeepfreak1983's Avatar
      jeepfreak1983 -
      Rugged case called an otterbox
    1. wiiwet's Avatar
      wiiwet -
      it must be fun if the enemies got your iphone..... you are on target.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Finally! The iBomb in the palm of my hand!
    1. ddonuts4's Avatar
      ddonuts4 -
      About the remote bombs(in 1st post) it is actually possible to do that.
    1. andypropaganda's Avatar
      andypropaganda -
      That is friggin' awesome.

      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      I've been deployed and the U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan is zero tolerance for cell phones on combat zones. For obvious intelligence reason. So I do not see this remotely coming true. It's just not practical or tactical at all.
      If they were running a modified OS they could probably drop the phone functionality, along with text messaging so that the only communications were via the apps they allowed. At least, I would assume so.