The military has been testing the use of off-the-shelf smartphones and tablets for a while. The idea is a smartphone like the iPhone or a tablet such as the iPad can be used to run specialized applications for military personnel that will allow them to get improved intelligence when they need it. A company called Special Operations Apps has announced an interesting new attachment for the iPhone and iPad to military-grade optics called the [SOA]2.
One of the coolest functions of the system is that the screen of the iPhone or iPad can display images using night-vision technology allowing a soldier to see in the dark and get information right on the screen of the device about target. The smartphone or tablet turns into a special heads up display offering better situational awareness and more viewability as well as offering the ability to record video for commanding officers. The [SOA]2 system includes a multiuse optics case integrator, adapter rings machined from a virtually unbreakable and lightweight material called Ultem 2300, Hoodman System Accessories, a proprietary software platform that has a range of special operations tactical navigation apps and more.
US Night Vision’s vice president of sales and marketing, Chris Byrd, said “With [SOA]2 and USNV Hardware, warfighters can use their smart devices as a calibrated, heads-up display for optics to improve situational awareness. No longer will they have to squint through a scope and close one eye — or be locked into goggles.”