Real-time embedded software companies this year will be turning their attention this year to creating robust security for Android-based smartphones and tablet computers in a big way. Android security is taking top priority to enable deployed military forces to use Android devices on the battlefield for ad-hoc networking to exchange text messaging, voice communications, and even intelligence imagery and video.
It's a fact that military forces are taking their smartphones and tablet computers onto the battlefield with them. It's up to leaders in the Pentagon to create software security so they use these devices securely and safely, and military officials are turning to the high-reliability software companies like Wind River in Alameda, Calif.; Objective Interface Systems, Inc. (OIS) in Herndon, Va.; and Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif., to provide Android security sufficient for battlefield operations.
Wind River, in fact, is standing up an Android team to focus on military Android security issues, says Wind River's director of vertical marketing Joe Wlad when I visited the Wind River offices this week. Wind River is starting some substantial secure Android military projects, which are still too new to talk about, Wlad says.
Android-based smartphones and tablet computers are becoming a fact on the battlefield, and Android-based tablet computers acting as electronic flight bags (EFBs) in commercial airliner cockpits are not far behind.
Just a few months ago software-defined radio (SDR) experts at the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in Ottawa announced they have ported the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS)-compatible P25 emergency public safety radio waveform to an Android hand-held communications device, which may lead the way to running SDR applications on commercial smartphones and rugged tablet computers.
Last summer L-3 Interstate Electronics Corp. (IEC) in Anaheim, Calif., introduced the VideoScout full-motion video collection and intelligence management software as an application for Android-based commercial handheld smartphones and tablets, which enables users to view video from local area network connections and shared intelligence resources such as remote sensors, military computer servers, and intelligence collection nodes.
Panasonic is introducing a rugged Android-based Toughbook tablet computer, General Dynamics C4 Systems is offering an Android-based wearable computer for the battlefield, and the list goes on.
Android for the military is here. Now software security for Android devices has to follow, and that's well in progress.