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Scout Observer uses iPhone 4 for soldiers to find satellites

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Sun September 11, 2011

Scout Observer Toolkit mates iPhone with satellite

Coolfire Solutions has rolled out a unique military kit that could give soldiers field intelligence using the iPhone 4 as its core. The Scout Observer ties Apple's phone to a satellite frequency observer that can both find the phone's position over GPS as well as find raw wireless signals nearby, including satellites. Although much larger than the iPhone, the rugged box at six pounds is nearly 27 times lighter than the US military's SATCOM box, making it easy to bring to the front line.

The iPhone during use stays in a sealed-up compartment. Although unstated, it's presumed an internal battery pack keeps the signal finder powered without having to rely on the smartphone for power.

The accessory is already available for pre-orders and should be available to the primarily government-focused customers in the fall. Coolfire hasn't said what other platforms might get support, but it promises more beyond the iPhone and is most likely to support Android next.

Smartphone use in the military has been increasing and culminated in the conclusion of a recent trial that could see infantry carry them on the field. Most of the work so far has been internal, though, and not through private sector contractors. [via Engadget]

By Electronista Staff


    Comment buried. Show
  1. dma1965

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Security Risk

    So if an attacker roots the iPhone being used by the soldier, he can now track the soldier's every move, and also know where all their military satellites are located. I am not sure this is a great idea.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Ruggedized version

    A ruggedized, waterproof version of the iPhone would be great for the military, sports and those who work outdoors. ICOM has been making MilSpec versions of there commercial and amateur radio gear for years. Why not Apple?

  1. spencerocks

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2011


    Home Button

    Is that the iPhone 5! With the home button in the wrong spot!?! Photoshop fail

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