The Army Wants to Give Smartphones to Every Soldier

With the billions of dollars the US Army spends in state-of-the-art technology, they're now looking for a battlefield advantage from a more common device: the smartphone. And they want to give one to every soldier enlisted. It's like extreme Oprah.

Though it's still in the early stages of planning, USA Today says the Army would like to give an iPhone or an Android-based handset to every soldier, plus pay for the bill. They believe the versitile nature of these devices—with their ability to display maps, intelligence, translate and allow battlefield communication—will make troops more effective in action. They'd even like phones to collect biometric data from enemies.

But it doesn't stop there: they'd also like to incorporate such devices as iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other "connected" mobile devices of the like.

Currently, they're distributing smartphones to soldiers in specialized training programs, and plan to begin field testing with smartphones in February. Besides the gathering and distribution of these devices, other challenges include ruggedizing the devices, and providing secure networks for soldiers to use. But if all goes well, widespread use of these phones could happen as early as next year. [USA Today]

Photo Credit: Annie Gammell, Army Times