Thursday, December 8, 2011

DARPA calls on developers for military app store


 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for smartphone developers who can use their app-building skills to take advantage of military sensor networks or control swarms of UAVs - think Angry Birds with more bite.

"DARPA is looking to tap the smartphone application development community with experience in application creation," says Mark Rich, DARPA program manager. The agency's Adaptable Sensor System (ADAPT) program employs many of the sensors found in commercial smartphones, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes or cameras, but without a direct touchscreen interface. Instead, the sensors can be buried in the ground or embedded in UAVs and ground-based robots and feed data to a soldier's tablet device.

It currently takes between three and eight years to create and deploy military sensor applications, but DARPA hopes that bringing in external developers with experience of the fast-moving smartphone market could speed up the process.

The eventual aim is to create a military app store providing a range of programs running on a common hardware and software platform, much as civilian apps can run on a variety of devices that share the same operating system.

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