Sure, you knew your iPhone could help you buy movie tickets or order a burrito, but did you know you could also use it in times of war?
Yes, there's an app for that, thanks to Raytheon.
The company said it is developing new apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch that can be used by the military and other law enforcement agencies. So when soldiers gear up for battle, an iPhone may be just as important as night-vision goggles and personal body armor.
This is what Raytheon is envisioning: "A new situational awareness application based on military messaging standards that provides multimedia access, audio and textual points of interest, free text messaging, collaborative planning, spot reports, and call for emergency or fire."
The New York Times puts it in layman's terms, saying it "tracks friends and foes, shows their positions on live, real time maps and provides secure communications."
Basically, we're guessing it's like Loopt on steroids. Lots of steroids. And we're thinking the app won't be available for 99 cents on iTunes.
But that's not all Raytheon has up its sleeve. The company said it's also developing an app that works as a training device for air traffic controllers. The goal is to allow them to practice outside of traditional classroom and training environments.
All of this would run on secure networks, of course, making the likelihood of hackers finding out our secrets slim to none.
That hasn't stopped the enemy recently, however. The Wall Street Journal reported that Iraqi militants have been able to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones with software that can be bought on the Internet for, get this, just $26. Which has made the millions of dollars the government has spent on the drones pretty much obsolete.
So while the new consumer-to-military handheld technology is convenient and shows lots of promise, there is always a chance that strategic information could fall into the wrong hands.
Now if Raytheon could just come up with a quality fantasy sports app...