Korea develops apps for battlefield usage

Government develops nine battlefield applications for Samsung and other Android-based smartphones; deems mobile software useful to country's armed forces.

The Korean government has developed and completed nine battlefield applications for Samsung's Galaxy S and other Android-based smartphones.

A senior defense official told The Korea Times on Sunday the government had been looking into using smartphones for military operations and development work started last year. Military units and other organizations also jointly assessed the suitability of these new-developed apps and concluded mobile software were assets to the country's armed forces.

The nine applications include the Battlefield Augmented Reality System (BARS), which displays maps and animated terrain to assist military planning, and other apps which replay audio and visual messages simultaneously. One of the applications is also able to track troops and military units with the use of built-in links to a global positioning system (GPS) and allow soldiers to view and transfer text messages and document files.

Another military insider also told the news site Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff will decide the extent of the apps usage by the end of the year. He noted they were currently deciding if they should use the applications on both mobile devices and those designed specifically for military purposes.

"If the military uses the Galaxy S II as the platform for the newly-developed smartphone applications, troops will be able to use the cellphone for at least five to six years without changing it," he said.