The hottest new battlefield weapon in Baghdad is also a hot item on the home front.
The US military has found the iPod Touch to be a valuable battlefield tool for soldiers.
Apple's iPod Touch is proving to be a valuable tool to members of the US military, according to a report in Newsweek. The report notes that the iPod performs many functions in this time of "networked warfare", the iPod allows soldiers to be linked with other soldiers as well as intelligence resources, such as aerial images from drones and translation software.
Soldiers can use apps to add translated phrases to maps and photos, as well as show villagers video messages from local leaders. A new program called Vcommunicator translates spoken and written Arabic, Kurdish, as well as two Afghan languages.
Another application developed for the iPhone allows soldiers to take a photo of a street sign, upload it and immediately receive intelligence on the local area, such as water and sympathisers. Because new recruits are already familiar with how the iPod and iPhone work, it's also easier to train soldiers on loading content, the report notes.
Oh yeah, this rugged device, which retails for less than US$230, was developed in the private sector without taxpayer money. Considering the military's history of being charged for US$435 hammers, US$640 toilet seats and US$7600 coffee-makers by contractors, this is a great deal.