Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ironies of Innovation

I focused on American innovativeness the other day when I considered a list of what is great about America--more so than Geico commercials.  This piece, where an American army officer develops an app that allows him to target the enemy quickly and effectively, illustrates that American spirit.
His answer was to create the Tactical Nav app, which troops can download to their smartphones. The Tactical Nav app combines a compass, a map, and a camera
"It combines three components," he said. "A compass, a map, and a camera. It's pretty simple - but obviously it does a little more than that."
He said he's tested his app against everything currently in use in Afghanistan - and claimed it is just as accurate.  The app is designed to give soldiers exact co-ordinates for where enemy fire is coming from.They can then send that information to their command centre, who will decide whether to call in an air strike, or send a rescue helicopter to help wounded troops.
"The first time I tried it for real," he said, "I sighed with relief. "I could have got into trouble - but it worked. "As a fire support officer, I take into battle a compass, binoculars, a map, a protractor, a GPS device - a secondary GPS device in case one fails - and batteries. "What this does is, it combines all these components, and throws it into just the one app," he said.

What is even more American is that the when he faced an unsupportive army bureaucracy, he went out on his own to develop the app and then find some financial support. 


Jonathan said...


Just wanted to say thank you for covering this on your blog - I truly appreciate it.

CPT Springer

Steve Saideman said...

No problem. And next time I go into a war zone and need to counter-fire, I will get your app (if you have it for android!).