The Army has a program called Nett Warrior and that was to allow a solider to be equipped with advanced technology that could help them in the heat of battle.  Some mentioned that a smartphone could do the trick and a couple of months ago it seemed that the Army was not going to be talking about smartphones within the program.  All that has changed since the Army has put the program on hold as they decide whether or not the smartphone could provide the same technology as the eight pounds of equipment that was first lined up for the soldiers.  A smartphone weighing just ounces could be a big relief to those on the battlefield provided it can give the same assistance.
Google’s Android operating system is going to get a little boost in market share as the Army has mentioned they want the smartphones that are part of the program to be powered by Android.  At this point about a year ago, other companies were trying to get designs together for the Army that included mapping tools, eye displays and radios that included more than enough cable.  Granted, there are plenty of requirements for a smartphone to take the place of a lot of other equipment.  Not to mention that soldiers go places where there is little to no cell tower reception.  Other than having to tap into the Army battle network wirelessly, tether to radio’s via USB, but other features like GPS, a compass and light sensors are already standard features on most smartphones.
Touch screen devices are going to have to be receptive of fire retardant gloves, dust storms and other wet conditions.  Most rugged smartphones can already provide this type of technology and others would just have to be changed a little bit to comply with that.
The incoming Chief of Staff will have to decide whether a smartphone will become a standard piece of equipment for soldiers and in that respect there is less need for the Nett Warrior separately.  With the Army about to open their own app store soon, it would only make sense that they get a smartphone as part of the normal equipment for those on the battlefield.


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