The iPod has lots of uses: music and movie player, photo album, contact and calendar organizer and military tool?
The U.S. armed forces are deploying the iPod touch to troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq for use as translation tools and for "networked warfare" linking soldiers to each other and to weapons systems and intelligence sources reports Newsweek.
According to the story the iPod touch has become the gadget of choice for analyzing data from satellites, drones and ground sensors and can even be used to show villagers a video message of a relaxed and respected local leader encouraging them to help root out insurgents.
Next Wave Systems in Indiana, is expected to release iPhone software that would enable a soldier to snap a picture of a street sign and, in a few moments, receive intelligence uploaded by other soldiers (the information would be linked by the words on the street sign). This could include information about local water quality or the name and photograph of a local insurgent sympathizer. The U.S. Marine Corps is funding an application for Apple devices that would allow soldiers to upload photographs of detained suspects, along with written reports, into a biometric database. The software could match faces, making it easier to track suspects after they're released.
Some of the iPod applications that the U.S. military is deploying include:
- Vcommunicator produces spoken and written translations of Arabic, Kurdish and two Afghan languages. It also shows animated graphics of accompanying gestures and body language, and displays pictures of garments, weapons and other objects.
- BulletFlight is a military-grade ballistics calculator that feature built-in profiles for common military rifles and a bullet database of most major brands.
Pictured: US Army M110 Sniper Rifle with iPod touch running the BulletFlight. Courtesy of Engadget.