British Army Using iPad to Train Artillery Troops
According to a report on the BBC's website
, UK soldiers have begun using the iPad to train them about "fire missions," learning how to set up precision artillery shots several miles away from the target. The story, picked up by AppleInsider
, explains how trainees at the British Army's Royal School of Artillery in Wiltshire are learning faster than ever before due to the interactive features of the iPad, and are more interested and engaged than they were when it was just classroom lectures: one soldier talks about how the trainees even use the iPads to set up "little competitions" in the barracks at night.
The custom-built app allows the soldiers to input the information they would get in a real-life situation and use it to calculate a "firing solution:" what angle and direction the artillery piece should be set to in order to reach its target. This is a complex, tedious calculation that can be difficult for young soldiers to learn. The iPad makes it easier for soldiers to practice the skills required because it puts the dry details in a real-world context the trainees can relate to. It saves money on printing materials, makes for a more flexible learning environment and is just flat more fun for the young soldiers than sitting in a classroom listening to a complicated and boring lecture. One trainee told the BBC that "you can take this [iPad] back to the block and practi[c]e with it, even have little competitions with it."
An army training officer involved in rolling out the app to the Royal School said it has been a success, shortening training time, but also said he faced some skepticism from people who though the iPad was just a gimmick that wouldn't be effective. "That was one of the first things we considered and it's not about the gimmicky side of it," said Major Rich Gill. "You can get all the material that you need on there at the right time and it's really mobile as well."
The article also says that the people that put together the artillery app are working on a training system for pilots that will use 3D graphics to train them to identify different types of vehicles from the air.
, image via BBC Newsbeat