By Dean ~ October 6th, 2011. Filed under: Industry.
Unfortunately, Wired’s Danger Room chose to give their coverage of the Nett Warrior End User Device (EUD) a somewhat misleading title: "Army Shows Off Soldier Smartphone Beta." It actually appears that the Android powered EUD will connect directly to secure military networks via the Rifleman Radio. You didn’t seriously think that they were going to be taking iPhones onto the battlefield and connecting over commercial 3G networks, did you?
In addition to the small tablet form factor EUD pictured to the right, the Nett Warrior system includes a monocle to provide heads-up display of maps and unit location data (this bit comes from a Defense Systems report). To help you visualize the setup, we have a 2010 vintage mock-up of the (then current) Land Warrior kit below.
Apparently the proposed EUD weighs less than 0.5 kg, and provides a familiar touch based user interface. With this announcement, it’s clear that the Army is getting closer to providing our fighting forces with state of the art communications technology. However:
"This is not a phone," clarifies Brig. Gen. Camille Nichols, [commander] of the Army’s […] Program Executive Officer Soldier
Even though it’s not, strictly speaking, a “smartphone”, the EUD is yet another example of the flexibility and power that the JTRS program is bringing to the Networked Battlefield and we’re proud to be a part of the effort to develop this critical technology.