With the approval of Smart Phones, the Army is implementing the Go Mobile program to let their soldiers access the Army Knowledge Online/Defense Knowledge Online (AKO/DKO) portals. The conferencing devices are affordable as well as small enough to fit into the soldiers’ pockets.
The Army’s on the go with Go Mobile
The first two Smart Phones available are the Palm Treo Pro and HTC Touch Pro, using the Windows operating system. Additional approved phones are the HTC Ozone and the Samsung Epix, with the iPhone and Android being reviewed. The Go Mobile Smart Phone assembly package includes five devices contained in a solar-powered backpack. These cool devices include: the Myvu Solo Video goggles, the Optoma Pico pocket projector, the Celio Redfly companion (an 8 inch screen with full QWERTY keyboard), the Planon Printstik, and a mini solar charger. The total price for the package is only a little over $1,000 and gives the user the ability to view, modify, present and print their work from virtually anywhere they can get a wireless signal, even a mud hut.
Since the Army has banned the use of all removable storage devices like USB flash drives, the data center stores all documents and files. The phone uses the DOD’s Common Access Cards but because no data resides on the phone, if the phone is stolen or lost the AKO can wipe it clean. The protocols for accessing the AKO portal are stringently monitored of course, using a two-factor authentication and a series of questions as well as the usual user name and password. The NOC (network operation center) connects the data center and the mobile devices so there are no open inbound ports and no way for outside hackers to connect in. (Yet…)
The Army is actually seeking input from the soldiers and then implementing those requests. Some of these soldiers are 19 year olds who have been writing code for years. For once, the Army seems to be ahead of the curve ball in this competitive communication world.
It seems to me that the private sector will soon be clamoring to implement similar systems. Then we will be truly in the days of Big Brother Watching. The convenience of using Google documents, bookmarks, calendar, etc., will have eased us into this brave new world. Are you ready for yet another step towards this kind of control?