According to an article yesterday in Total Telecom, global smartphone shipments have surged 43% to 60 million units as more and more of us take up using the devices. It isn’t just consumers or business users either; militaries around the world are looking at uses for smartphones.
The US military has recently been considering ways to take advantage of social media, and no doubt the mobile internet will be a part of that. Smartphones in the hands of soldiers wouldn’t just be for Twitter though. Defence companies have been working on mobile apps for war. IT Pro today has posted a story about software that gives a soldier the ability find enemies in the surrounding terrain using a mobile phone with the Android operating system.
The software could be powerful enough to pick up aerial images from unmanned aircraft or satellites and then focus in on details like license plates or facial features.
It sounds like neat stuff, and would be very interesting if it ever makes it to the consumer market; Google maps to a scary new level! But we may not have to wait for consumer-friendly versions of military apps to be released before we get a sneak peak, if figures this week from the UK MoD are anything to go by. An iPhone 4 Gizmodo style leak might be expected.
From SC Magazine, it turns out that the MoD has been having a hard time trying to hang on to their gear. A freedom of information request has revealed that 440 laptops were lost or stolen in the past two years. As well as laptops, they’ve lost hundreds of DVDs, CDs and disks, 96 hard drives and 13 mobile phones. Worst of all, much of the data on lost devices wasn’t encrypted. Who knows what cool software or data is waiting on a forgotten phone in the tube’s lost and found.