Sure, in the past we've got a hearty chuckle out of initiatives that involved Redfly terminals and Clippy variants, but the question remains: how can we get cutting-edge tech into the hands of soldiers faster? We've recently come across some RFIs for DARPA projects aimed at developing apps and an App Store for Android and the iPhone OS, with two in particular -- Mobile Apps for the Military (DARPA-SN-10-27), and Transformative Apps (DARPA-BAA-10-41) -- catching our eye.
The agency is calling for apps for battlefield, humanitarian, and disaster recovery missions, including command and control, mission planning, surveillance, reconnaissance, and language translation. Of course, if you start taking commercial smartphones out to the field there's the small matter of network coverage - if you thought that getting a reliable connection in midtown Manhattan was an issue, what about downtown Kabul?
Looks like DARPA also has plans for a military that brings its own towers with them, light-weight mobile base stations that could create a "secure mobile tactical network ... compatible with commercial smartphones." What do you think? Looking to help your country out, make a bit of money, or maybe a little of both?