Fast Company

U.S. Army Visits Apple HQ to Discuss Uses for the iPad (Other Than Saving the Publishing Industry)

The Army uses Apple products for a host of reasons. They're durable, easy to use in the field, tough to hack, and readily available (unlike many specialized computer hardware items). They've been known to use iPods Touch as simple translation tools (they can translate and say "get down!" in Arabic--useful in our worldwide exportation of freedom!). So what went on in Cupertino?

From the military's site:

Apple officials gave the Army group tours of its laboratories and other facilities and talked about some examples of where the military is already using Apple technology. The Army's research and development command is evaluating commercial hand-held solutions such as iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac, and MacBook platforms.

It's not made clear exactly what the Army plans to do with the iPad--but its large screen, faster processor and ability to display a large amount of text would make it an excellent digital clipboard. It'd be an easy way to deliver new briefings and other information to the troops (or as they dramatically call them, "warfighters"), if they can work out security properly.

But the Army is looking seriously at cellular technologies for transmitting and receiving information in the field--I'm not sure how that'd work in places without cellular service, but it's clear that they'll be working with Apple to equip our fine fighting men and women with the prettiest gadgetry out there.

[Army.mil]

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7 Comments

  • Mark Brittingham

    Catherine, I agree with all of your sentiments regarding what the US was trying to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. The whole world - including these two nations - would be better off with a consensual government in place in each. But, in Dan's defense, I think we was just trying to be funny.

    It is an unfortunate reality that (as you point out) there *are* a sizeable number of people who would kill to impose tyranny. Our soldiers may well have to learn "get down" in Arabic to warn people of an impending attack. That is, you needn't deny the pathos and moral compromises inherent in war in order to understand and support the troops.

  • Catherine Fitzpatrick

    Re: they can translate and say "get down!" in Arabic--useful in our worldwide exportation of freedom!)

    I really have to marvel at the snarkiness and blindness to reality this signifies.

    Let's take Iraq. Regardless of whether you think it's a good idea for the U.S. to have invaded Iraq (I don't think it was), you'd have to concede that the overwhelming majority of deaths there are cause by terrorists, homegrown or backed by Iran. Monthly, weekly, we have seen 25, 50, 100 people blown up in marketplaces or employment lines. That's not the U.S. telling people to "get down" in Arabic to "spread freedom," that's terrorists putting people down permanently and spreading unfreedom.

    Or let's take Afghanistan, another place it wasn't exactly wise to get enmeshed with militarily. There, too, U.S. troops kill innocent civilians -- yet 70 percent of the civilian deaths there are caused by the Taliban, using terrorism, suicide bombing, execution, etc. -- 30 percent are caused by Karzais' troops and NATO combined. Again, maybe you don't like the recipe for spreading freedom, but you'd have to concede that it's the other side spreading unfreedom that is quite the problem here.

    Or take Gaza. Obama blasts settlements, Palestinians feel their hands are untied to throw stones and stoke violent demonstrations, Israelis intervene and shoot people. Who's spreading freedom here? Can't Hamas ever be the one to renounce violence?

    And so on. Most of the situations around the world where you snarkily imagine it's a G.I. telling people in bad translation to "get down," it's really about some other force that is putting people down first.

    What's particularly disingenuous about you, Fast Company engaging in this snark against U.S. forces even under Obama is the fact that the Silicon Valley that enables your existence is only to happy to sell whatever the U.S. military needs to buy.

  • Guy Winter

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada

  • Guy Winter

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada

  • Guy Winter

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada

  • Guy Winter

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada

  • Guy Winter

    check out the new app. for the new iPad
    it also works on regular p.c and on firefox, explorer and safari browsers.
    http://www.200linx.com makes your surfing experience a whole lot easier
    try it...
    also for the u.k and canada