The future of on-the-ground military connectivity is a hot item these days; the systems used to keep track of soldiers, send secure communications, and so on, are showing their age… and weight. A unified platform for mapping, orders, requests, and so on is being sought with a fair amount of urgency, and Android has popped up as a fully-fledged system under consideration.
The Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P) handheld was developed by the Army as their effort to create an Android-based tool for evaluation as a technological asset. The framework (including things like ground reporting graphics, medevac, mission details, support for a number of radio protocols) was put together by MITRE and the development kit will be released in July.
By October, the system should be solid enough the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division can complete its scheduled tests at White Sands Missile Base. They’ve already shown the basic layout and tech to soldiers, who apparently found it familiar enough to use after only a five-minute briefing.
Will Android power our next-generation soldiers? It’s too early to tell, but using the free and open OS as a base to build on seems to be attractive to the Army boffins evaluating existing options. We’ll hear more about this over the next few months, I’m sure.
[via Danger Room]