Mobile Apps for Real, Live Battlefields

Military adaptation of mobile technology has been limited due to a lack of communications access in remote areas. However, one company is looking to bring smartphone-like devices to soldiers in the field.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

DARPA, the R&D arm of the US Department of Defense, has developed a number of smartphone apps designed to assist soldiers with identifying explosives, mapping, and other required wartime tasks. It is also working with defense contractors to create fixed and mobile wireless systems, allowing devices to connect with each other in areas with little to no communications infrastructure. Currently, some custom-designed apps are being tested on Dell Streak 5 tablets carried by over a thousand soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. They include a combined camera and notetaking app that facilitates intelligence collection and an app that lets commanders keep track of troops' movements. Of this app, a platoon leader said, "[It helped] orient weapons...Without a doubt it helped cut casualties."

What's the Big Idea?

Commercial communications surpassed military technology in the late 1990s, according to DARPA scientists. Early bugs in today's programs were fixed by embedding engineers at patrol bases, which enabled soldiers to provide them with quick feedback. Despite ongoing limitations, the convenience of effective mobile devices makes them very popular on the field, where every tactical advantage counts.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

If you want to spot a narcissist, look at the eyebrows

Bushier eyebrows are associated with higher levels of narcissism, according to new research.

Big Think illustration / Actor Peter Gallagher attends the 24th and final 'A Night at Sardi's' to benefit the Alzheimer's Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 9, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
popular
  • Science has provided an excellent clue for identifying the narcissists among us.
  • Eyebrows are crucial to recognizing identities.
  • The study provides insight into how we process faces and our latent ability to detect toxic people.
Keep reading Show less

Why are women more religious than men? Because men are more willing to take risks.

It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.

Photo credit: Alina Strong on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
  • A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
  • The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
Keep reading Show less