US military enlists iPhone for battlefield

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.
(Credit: Apple)

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.

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j remi posted a comment   

any real soldier doesn't rely on technology 100%. I cant count how many times technology has failed me on the battlefield and im still alive to tell about it. Its called training and believe me when i say we are as trained in the use of no technology as we are with the use of technology.


PeterT posted a comment   

well... i think the military will not be that stupid. I think the iPhone they use in the battlefield are very different than our iPhone. I reckon they are modified for military purposes.


iphone on the battlefield? posted a comment   

Have they thought about what happens if they rely on the device too much, makes other skills redundant. E.g. batteries run out, now where the hell do i obtain resources or know where i am -_-"


iphone killer posted a comment   

Everyone's been waiting for the iPhone killer, who ever thought it would be another iPhone.

Nice piece cnet, you must be proud.


Takaetun posted a comment   

Uh, they gave it a 7.0 and regularly tear apart pretty much every app on their, I fail to see bias here.

As for the story, it's hilarious. Especially about the $7600 coffee maker.


BorisBC posted a comment   

well... can you name something that does what an Iphone/Touch does as well as they do? I've owned many many phones and mp3 players over the years, but nothing, bar nothing, has been as easy to use or as wonderfully designed as the Touch I got for my b'day a few days ago. When someone else manages to get it as right as Apple has done, then I imagine Cnet will be just as fullsome in their praise!


josh posted a comment   

they are a tiny bit bias... you must admit


SMILEY :) posted a comment   

Well maybe realist you should try being enthusiastic about technology. CNET isn't biast, complimenting technology isn't showing favouritism.


realist posted a comment   

Does CNets but kissing of apple/iphone ever stop?

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