Recently we have seen how iPhone applications are increasingly being used also in the military, to control micro-helicopters used for reconnaissance or to perform simulations that help soldiers familiarize with anti-missile systems.
Therefore, it is natural that the new addition in the Apple family, the iPad, has generated the same attention from military authorities, who have already started several research projects to develop applications that can make life less dangerous for U.S. troops at the front.
An interesting application was developed by Textron, which can be used can keep under control the movements of troops, displaying them on the iPad screen as if they were part of a videogame. The application, called Soldier Eyes, uses augmented reality to detect, in collaboration with the soldiers directly involved in the area, the location of enemy and friendly forces, sending the relevant information back to a control center, which builds up a map in real time.
This map is then sent directly on the iPad, whose users can communicate in real time with soldiers on the front line, giving them the location of potential enemy threats, displayed directly on their smartphones or PDAs. Soldier Eyes achieves this through simultaneous use of a series of small applications that manage the information coming from the field, to provide an overview of the situation.
Once the picture is clear, one can send out two patrols of soldiers to separately attack an enemy position, simply by send them information directly on their iPad or iPhone, so that they can view the location of their target and converge towards the same point from different directions in order to neutralize it.
In short, this is a way to conduct real operations of real war, but making them look almost like a simple video game.