Its a competition unlike any other. A competition offered by the Army to use applications developed for cell phones in the combat theatre. Its different another way too — its not limited to the usual bezy of DoD contractors. Anybody can play. –
Cellphone technology is gearing up to go to war. From defense giants like Lockheed Martin, which rolled out a new militarized mobile network this morning, to the start-up tech firm Berico Tailored Systems and even individuals, a diverse range of players is pursuing an equally wide range of approaches.
The most basic approach is that of “Apps for Army” (A4A), a contest held by the Army to develop new military-specific applications for the personal cellphones that many soldiers already have.
But civilian phones rarely work in a war zone: If you think your reception is bad, try getting a signal in rural Afghanistan. Forward bases in devastated countries don’t have access to the billions of dollars in very static infrastructure that civilian mobile devices require, and the Taliban routinely shuts down cell towers with threats and sabotage. Current military network devices require so much power and weight that they are only practical at fixed command posts or on vehicles; soldiers on foot scream into staticky handheld radios the old-fashioned way. So the critical problem in bringing handheld devices to troops in the field is how to get them on the network.
Dare not call is open source, surely the govt would close source any winner for security reasons once selected. So maybe it should be called Open Sourcing? Anyway it is very novel and far from the usual way of gaining DoD business.