By Gautham Nagesh - 06/08/10 05:43 PM EDT
The U.S. Army is testing the efficacy of giving soldiers access to smartphone applications to help them accomplish their mission.
The Army's Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications program has established pilots within several Army units, where soldiers will be given access to iPhones, Droids, Palm Treos and other smartphones. Through the phones they will have access to information, interactive maps, training materials and other applications to help them better perform their duties.
The aim of the program is to establish best practices for providing personnel with the latest technologies while also educating soldiers on using technology, according to an Army document outlining the program provided to InformationWeek.
Among the units participating are the Evaluation Task Force, 5th Brigade, and the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas. Soldiers were given 200 phones to test field applications that could perform a variety of tasks, including determining whether an individual is hostile or friendly during battle.