"The idea for a smartphone application to assist soldiers in combat came to Captain Jonathan J. Springer in a dream last July. The idea was to use the iPhone to help soldiers sync firing on Taliban locations The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality. Also, he put $26,000 of his own money into the project. Tactical Nav, which is expected to be available through Apple’s App Store next month, assists soldiers in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on a battleground and conveying coordinates to supporting units. Captain Springer used a variety of armoured vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support.
The soldier, who serves as a battalion fire support officer in eastern Afghanistan, said most soldiers use smartphones and the app has been designed specifically for them. “Since day one, I always believed that smartphones could be utilised by the US military for combat purposes,” he said. “Basically, the issue was the fact that these smartphones were being untapped by the army and I was motivated and determined to change that, even if it cost me my own money out of pocket to do so." (Side note, Mr. Springer actually is from a small town called Columbia City which is about 15 minutes from where I grew up. He makes a functional product and all I have to show is a web site.)
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