Posts Tagged smart phones

Mobile Apps: The Tactical Radio Mobile App?

This is one of those posts where I thought, why hasn’t anyone in the tactical industry or law enforcement industry developed a mobile app that can convert your smart phone into a 2 way radio? Because according to this article, private industry has already created three mobile apps that turn your phone into a basic 2 way radio.

So for this post, the idea is basic. Create a similar 2 way radio mobile app, but ‘tactify’ it. lol Get it encrypted and secure, and give it functions that would be applicable to military/police/contractor uses. Or just have basic switches on the mobile app that allow a user to customize the app to suite their needs.

The top mobile app for turning your smart phone into a basic 2 way radio according to this article below is Voxer Walkie-Talkie. If you would like to play around with it, and maybe use it for hunting or none tactical purposes, here is a link to check it out. Here it is on iTunes, and below is the description of what it does.

Featured by Apple in 50+ countries
Turn your phone into a Walkie Talkie.
Don’t waste time on phone calls and voicemails.
Voxer® is a Walkie Talkie app for smartphones. Send instant Audio, Text, Photo and Location messages to one friend or a group of your friends. Your friends can listen to your message while you talk or check it out later.
-Cross Platform Messenger
-No annoying advertisements
-Works over WiFi, 3G and any other data network
-Get notifications for new messages
-Create messages even offline
-Play voice messages faster
-Connect with Facebook friends on Voxer
Voxer turns your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch device into the ultimate Push To Talk (PTT) real-time Walkie Talkie.

The other thing I was thinking about with a Tactical Radio Mobile App is that companies could save money by not having to buy expensive handheld two way radios. They could just depend upon an internet connection locally or 3G/data networks, and have a team work off of that. So instead of depending upon a repeater, you are depending upon a diversified array of ‘repeaters’. Or you could have this as your back up to your pre-existing communications system.

Another angle is to create a Garmin Rhino style mobile app. Something that turns your smart phone into a basic Garmin Rhino, complete with blue force tracker style capability and two way radio functionality.

On the downside would be battery life. So along with the mobile app, you would probably have to get hardened cases with extra battery juice installed, to further extend the radio’s life and durability through a shift. Although I think the market has plenty of sources for this type of thing. I would think a power source that would give your phone enough juice to last a 12 hour shift would be acceptable. Rechargeable would be necessary as well. Pretty neat and I hope someone out there is able to take this idea and run with it. Maybe do a kickstarter for it? –Matt



Smartphone? Presto! 2-Way Radio
September 5, 2012
Cave drawings, smoke signals, letters, Pony Express, telegrams, phone calls, text messages. From the dawn of civilization, man has experimented with different modes of communication, each with pros and cons. Smoke signals, for example, contribute to far fewer car accidents than text messages. Text messages, on the other hand, leave much less soot.
You might think that we’ve exhausted every variation on electronic communication — text, audio, video — but you’d be wrong. A new one is quietly winning over millions of gadget fans. They’re free apps with names like Voxer, HeyTell and Zello, and they really do mess with the rules of the game.
Nobody’s settled on a good name for this communications category. But if we call them voice-texting apps, or walkie-talkie apps, you’ll get the idea.
They work on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Android phones and Windows phones. You open the app, tap someone’s name, hold down the big Talk button and speak. A second after you start talking — yes, even before you’re finished — your voice bursts to life, extremely clearly, on your friend’s phone, wherever it may be in the world.
Your buddy can respond to you by pressing his own Talk button, and the conversation is under way.
Now, before you roll your eyes — “These youngsters today! Why do they need so many different ways to talk!?” — consider all the ways these apps improve on existing modes of chat.

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PMC 2.0: The Army Wants To Give It’s Soldiers Free Smart Phones

    You know what would really be cool is if companies handed out free smart phones when you signed a contract? I would classify it as a piece of kit as important as a rifle or radio that would be issued.  Because as you read through all the reasons why the Army wants to give their soldiers smart phones, then you can see why something like this would be important for companies to think about doing. Especially if they want to share the battle space with the military.

    Also, contractors already deploy with smart phones.  I take an iPhone 3GS with me when I go on contract, and it is indispensable.  Most contractors you work with now a days have these phones as well and take them out on gigs. This is nothing new and I have talked about this in the past.  It’s just now you see the military recognizing the smart phone’s utility and potential, and they are the ones leading the charge of incorporating them into their operations. Good on them.

    Another idea for companies is to develop applications that contractors can download for a contract. For example, DynCorp could have a DynCorp application that could serve as a portal for employees to access their intranet, all from a mobile phone.  DynCorp could send out alerts to their employees and contractors through this application, and people could call or write back to the company with these devices.  For travel arrangements or time sheets, this could also be done on the mobile phone through a really easy to use and understand company application.  For secure communications, they could integrate Hushmail or something similar on their company application and the possibilities are endless.

    The military could benefit from the companies having contractors armed with smart phones as well.  An application could be set up for a specific Area of Operation in a war, and all companies would require that their contractors download that app on their phone.  It could be set up as a secure means for the military and contractors to communicate with each other, and establish unity of effort through the real time exchange of information.  Smart phones could be that thing that could connect private industry with the military in a war zone.

     Apps like this could lead to more enemy killed, less fratricide incidents, and real time information exchanges that could assist in local COIN efforts. Contractors are a HUMINT resource that could really be exploited via smart phones and their applications.

     A contractor AO specific app could also have the rules for the use of force (RUF) that could be constantly updated by the military in that AO, or that RUF could be sent to them by the company via a company app. Unity of effort all the way and as long as the military has a network established out there, companies could be brought into that as well.

    The other thing that would be interesting with a company app or a company issued smart phone, is security.  If you want your employees/contractors using these devices, they have to be secure.  By channeling everyone through an app, a protected remote browser or company issued phone, a company information technology security team or contracted security team could stand a better chance of protecting the system.  Because once you have have established a connection between the contractor and company, there will always be some group or person out there that will want to sabotage it or try to hack into it.

     That last part is very important to remember, and there are numerous folks out there that are making it very easy for anyone to be a hacker.  Easy to use programs like Firesheep, that allow folks to break into other people’s computers or phones via wifi are just one example of what I am talking about. (thanks to DVM for that story)  As the military or companies delve further into integrating smart phones into their organizations, their phone and computer security personnel will be vital to the safeguarding of their operations. But the benefits still outweigh the negatives with this technology, and this is where the military (and private industry) is going. –Matt

Army sees smart phones playing important role

The service also views smart phone as a ‘force multiplier’ — and it wants to give you a free one

By Joe Gould and Michael Hoffman

Sunday Dec 12, 2010

The Army wants to issue every soldier an iPhone or Android cell phone — it could be a soldier’s choice.

And to top it off, the Army wants to pay your monthly phone bill.

To most soldiers, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s real, said Lt. Gen. Michael Vane, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center. He said the Army would issue these smart phones just like any other piece of equipment a soldier receives.

“One of the options potentially is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier’s clothing bag,” Vane said.

With the backing of officials such as Vane, efforts are underway around the Army to harness smart phones to revolutionize the way the service trains and fights.

Army-issued smart phones are already in the schoolhouse and garrison, in the hands of some students at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Lee, Va.; and at Fort Sill, Okla., under an Army program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications. CSDA’s next step, already underway at Fort Bliss, Texas, is testing for the war zone.

In February, the Army plans to begin fielding phones, network equipment and applications to the first Army brigade to be modernized under the brigade combat team modernization program. That test will not be limited to smart phones but will include any electronic devices that may be useful to troops.

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Law Enforcement: ‘iPhone On Steroids’ Gives Law Enforcement A Biometric Boost

     “The technology is a game-changer,” McDonald said. “It’s going to enable officers to really get a handle on who the bad guys are, and make it more difficult for these bad guys to hide from us.”


     I really like technologies like this, because they piggy back on already available platforms that everyone is familiar with.  Plus this is just neat.  To be able to use your iPhone to capture electronic fingerprints, iris scans and photographs, and then send them into a massive database to tell if you have a criminal or not, is pretty damn cool.

     This could also have application in the war.  Biometrics were used in cities like Falujah in Iraq, to keep track of everyone coming in and out of check points.  If you can put together a database of everyone’s identity in a population center, and you have iris/photo/finger print identification for each person, you can track people way better. It could also help out a country in determining the status of their population, and truly identifying people who are citizens so they could award them the services they deserve. We should be using these technologies more, if we want to separate the bad guys from the good guys.

     Plus contractors and soldiers have access to iPhones, and many carry them.(I carry one on contracts)  Or these smart phones could be purchased off the shelf for military units, and distributed that way. The phones come equipped with all the computing power and mobile apps available on the internet. Apple makes a great product, and they have fantastic support for that product. Devices like the MORIS just slip over the thing, and give it this capability. That is far better than re-inventing the wheel, and paying for that re-invention to get a product that will probably be less capable than what is currently available. –Matt



‘IPhone on Steroids’ Gives Law Enforcement a Biometric Boost

Jun 25, 2010

By Russell Nichols

Plymouth County, Mass., Sheriff Joseph McDonald calls the county’s latest crime-fighting tool “an iPhone on steroids.”

A fitting description for the device, which he said enhances and strengthens the ability of law enforcement officers to identify suspects and retrieve their criminal records in seconds by capturing biometric data.

“The technology is a game-changer,” McDonald said. “It’s going to enable officers to really get a handle on who the bad guys are, and make it more difficult for these bad guys to hide from us.”

This month, Plymouth County became the first in the country to deploy the Mobile and Wireless Multi-Modal Biometric Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS). The system is part of a national network, designed to help law enforcement agencies keep track of sex offenders, gang members, inmates and illegal aliens, said Sean Mullin, president of Plymouth-based Biometric Intelligence and Identification Technologies (BI2 Technologies), which developed MORIS in partnership with Apple.

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Mobile Apps: Army Launches Software Application Development Challenge “Apps For The Army”

   Ok military guys and gals who are ‘avid readers’ of Feral Jundi, now is your chance. If you want to win a portion of that $30,000 prize, then you would be foolish not to submit Feral Jundi as a mobile app for this contest. lol  Just kidding.  But hey, if this blog counts as news about contractors (which is important to the military), then FJ would be a cool app to have on these new military smart phones they plan on distributing.

   Either way, FJ is already set up as a mobile app, complete with a cool little button avatar. Although I refuse to pay for the thing to be submitted to iTunes Store.  At least not yet.

   The most important part of this article though, is the idea that some of these apps that the contest produces might be Blackberry/Android/iPhone compatible.  That would be cool, and I can’t wait to see what the contest produces.  I am sure some of the stuff they make will have PMC 2.0 utility as well. –Matt


smart phone on a weapon

Army Launches Software Application Development Challenge “Apps for the Army”

March 1st, 2010

The Pentagon, Arlington, VA  – Today the Army announced its first internal applications development challenge, dubbed Apps for the Army or A4A.  Open to all Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians, A4A offers Army personnel the opportunity to demonstrate their software development skills and creativity.  In return, the Army hopes to improve its current capabilities or to add new ones – all through the ingenuity of its people.

“We’re building a culture of collaboration among our Army community to encourage smarter, better and faster technical solutions to meet operational needs,” said Army Chief Information Officer/G-6 Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson.

“Soldiers and Army civilians will be creating new mobile and web applications of value for their peers—tools that enhance warfighting effectiveness and business productivity today,” Sorenson said.  “And, we’re rewarding their innovation with recognition and cash.”

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PMC 2.0: Security Threats For Smart Phone Users

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Building Snowmobiles: The Bounty Hunter Mobile Application

Dog Chapman

   This is a basic one, but I think extremely intriguing.  The idea behind this post, is that I am hoping that some programmer or entrepreneur will take this idea and run with it. Meanwhile, my ultimate goal of wanting to see an increase of criminals and terrorists being captured would be the best outcome of all, along with people making money off of the concept.

    You can thank me later, if someone does take the ball and runs with it. Or maybe some whiz kid has already produced something like this? Nothing has come up on my PMC 2.0 radar that would indicate this, but if you do know of a similar concept, I would like to hear about it.

   So lets get this started.  This concept is really pretty simple.  Everyone owns or will own a smart phone with GPS capability.  That is an inevitability in my opinion, and the trends in mobile phone technology and availability points to this. They will actually be free with service plans, and you are already seeing this with some of the older smart phones.

   If everyone owned a smart phone with this GPS capability, then you could very well introduce a type of bounty hunter mobile application, which would connect folks who are looking for something or someone with the folks that are currently signed on with the BH application as hunters.  And what would really make it a ‘bounty’ hunter tool, is if those individuals looking for whatever, offered a reward.

   The way I see this working, is that you download the program onto your phone for free or for a small fee, and have the option to participate in the program or not, based on your personal preference . Just turn on the button that puts you into hunt mode.  You can either participate as a bounty hunter, or you could be the guy or gal offering the reward.   It could be individuals, police departments, organizations, schools, telecom companies, computer companies, countries, it doesn’t matter.  The application is open to the world, and they can sign up and play, all with intent of connecting folks for a common goal and creating an industry out of it.

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