Android Goes to War

raytheon_logoFile this one under “unexpected uses.”

Defense contractor Raytheon has developed an app called RATS for use by the U.S. military. RATS is an acronym for Raytheon Android Tactical System.

The app sounds a lot like Latitude– it’ll let military personnel keep track of a list of “buddies” on the battlefield via a map view–but beefed up for military use:

A soldier could make an unmanned plane a “buddy,” for instance, and track its progress on a map using his phone. He could then access streaming video from the plane, giving him a bird’s eye view of the area.

If rolled out, of course, use of the app would require each soldier to be carrying around an Android device of some kind. That in itself has some pretty interesting implications. Can’t wait to see what a military-grade Android phone looks like.

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  • Ronnie

    Regarding the comment about soldiers needing to carry Android devices… Not necessarily. My sister has a Blackberry Tour, and she has Latitude on it. I have a G1 and we can track each other.

  • BigHeat

    @Ronnie: Because the product is named "Raytheon Android Tactical System" it seems reasonable.

    I would also expect that these devices would need to support mesh networking of some sort (or at least that would be ideal in my mind). Exciting technology. Military still drives innovation.

  • Craig

    @Ronnie: After reading the article, it sounds like RATS will be an application that is run on the Android OS. This application, while like Latitude is not Latitude. Latitude was written to work on a number of OS's while RATS looks like it will run on just android. Because of this, I would assume that anyone using this application would need an Android device to run it on.

  • Ronnie

    Good points. Disregard my comment. LOL!!!

  • wow i can't believe soldiers are going to use it. Then again the internet was first mastered by the US military so its not so hard to believe. After all tech equals speed and intelligence and power.

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