The Tables Have Turned

DoD Apps Store in our future?

DoD Apps Store in our future?

I have noticed at recent industry conferences and exhibitions a predominant focus on software, marking a larger seachange in the military and aerospace industry. Case in point: ESC 2010 in San Jose.

ESC was always the venue at which I, as a mil-aero systems architect and geek-of-all-trades, could roam exhibit aisle after aisle looking at hardware. Tangible chips and boards, shrinking silicon and innovative I/O that I could pick up, hold, and inspect. This was true even of ESC Boston in the fall of 2009—just roughly seven months prior to ESC Silicon Valley 2010.

When I roamed the aisles this time around, the largest and most active booths were those of software vendors—Mentor Graphics, included. Microsoft Embedded was the Signature Sponsor, in fact, manning two large booths.

Is it just me, or has software taken over?

It is interesting to see trends change over time, especially from a hardware-centric to a software-centric focus. When I was in the mil-aero system design and development trenches, so to speak, innovative and reliable hardware was the main focus. All eyes were essentially on us, the hardware engineers. Software was looked at a bit like a value-add, and came virtually last in the workflow, before testing. (This was unless, of course, we were updating a legacy mil/aero system that required Sun Microsystems’ Solaris, for example.)

Some speculate that software will continue to garner much more attention—not only in the commercial world, but also in mil/aero environments. We are rapidly progressing toward an application-driven world. On the civilian front, one need only look at the iPhone, iPad, and Apple’s App Store. “Apps for everything” is its current tagline…and I don’t doubt it.

How long before Soldiers will want the same level of convenience, robustness, variety, ingenuity, availability, and ease of use on the battlefield? How will the Department of Defense, and technology companies that aid them, deliver it while also maintaining safety and security in the network-centric battlefield?

“Is there a DoD App Store in our future?,” ponders this mil/aero geek.

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Posted May 29th, 2010, by

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About J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

J. VanDomelen holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and myriad certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTia in varying facets of computer software, hardware, and network design and implementation. He has worked in the electronics industry for more than 12 years in varied fields, including advanced systems design of highly technical military and aerospace computer systems, semiconductor manufacturing, open source software development, hardware design, and rapid prototyping. J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

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[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by J VanDomelen, MindShare LLC, MindShare LLC, MindShare LLC, J VanDomelen and others. J VanDomelen said: Read my latest blog at http://bit.ly/aG1UQB and see why…perhaps…The Tables Have Turned in the world of software vs. hardware. [...]

Commented on June 21, 2010 at 1:19 am
By Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] I see a bright and cutting-edge future ahead for our militaries in the new world of hardware and software/applications that is emerging. We will explore this new app-driven world and more in upcoming [...]

Commented on July 2, 2010 at 11:39 am
By More Cores in Store « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] multicore Sony PlayStation 3 equipped with a Cell processor and play high-resolution video on their Apple iPhone) to the battlefield to stepping back into the 1950s. An Osborne Executive portable computer, from [...]

Commented on July 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm
By Antenna Advancement? « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] for an apparent lack of design, testing, and innovation in regards to the antenna design in the new Apple iPhone 4. Consumers are complaining that when the phone is held in a certain manner, performance in [...]

Commented on November 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm
By Selling RATS to the Military? « J. VanDomelen Mil/Aero Blog

[...] Compact, portable, and handheld, the new common mobile device “disseminates vital intelligence data via the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) Intelligence Backbone (DIB) architecture system,” says a company representative. “Information is instantly viewed on the DIB and searchable to mobile device users and other users. Raytheon has demonstrated how the device provides the warfighter the ability to make decisions in seconds and minutes, rather than hours.” [...]

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