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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. iPhoenix3g's Avatar
      iPhoenix3g -
      Oh dear indeed, what's next an iPhone with a sniper riffle attachment? Or maybe just the whole thing could be a hand grenade? It seems like apple are slowly turning into umbrella, and we all know what happens there. ZOMBIES!
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      ive personally developed a product for Raytheon. not such a big deal.

      Quote Originally Posted by iPhoenix3g View Post
      Oh dear indeed, what's next an iPhone with a sniper riffle attachment?.......
      actually, yes....check past posts. about a year back.
    1. Kiserai's Avatar
      Kiserai -
      Quote Originally Posted by wiiwet View Post
      it must be fun if the enemies got your iphone..... you are on target.
      For real. All they would have to do is take one of these modified iPhones off a dead soldier and they would have all the intel they would need to pick off US targets one by one.

      Sounds like a terrible idea to me.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by andypropaganda View Post
      That is friggin' awesome.

      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.
      Yes, but then you wouldn't need a $500 device! They do have GPS trackers, but there's no reason to spend money on such an expensive device. This programmer made the app for use with the iPhone. He must have never been over there, as he does not know that you can't just be holding a handheld device while carrying 125lbs of gear and an M-4.

      I would be skeptical about using this as well. One of these in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage. I am much more comfortable with grid coordinates given by encrypted radio (the way it's done today).
    1. bigdefense77's Avatar
      bigdefense77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by my95z34 View Post
      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..."

      I can guarantee you that at $600 a pop, iPhones are much more cost effective than BFT units.

      We all know how much the government likes to waste on defense products that could be manufactured and bought for far less money.
    1. monadzback's Avatar
      monadzback -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post

      I guess your day is complete now and you can go back to bed, or go cruising for chicks to share in your victory.
      I see you homos are still saying "first". This is the only forum I have seen that people do this on. And your not even the first one! You can take the sailor out of the navy, but you can't take the *** out of the sailor. Hahahahaha
    1. bigdefense77's Avatar
      bigdefense77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by monadzback View Post
      I see you homos are still saying "first". This is the only forum I have seen that people do this on. And your not even the first one! You can take the sailor out of the navy, but you can't take the *** out of the sailor. Hahahahaha
      Haha. As a Marine that is some funny ****.