Hands on with Army Go Mobile gear
The real potential of the Go Mobile program is in providing military personnel access to their AKO/DKO accounts wirelessly. The days of luggable laptops might be over soon, replaced in this case with smart phones that pack almost as much computing power.
What sets the Go Mobile program apart is a combination of compact devices that lets users view, modify, present and print their work from virtually anywhere they can get a wireless signal. In addition to a choice of smart phones, Go Mobile includes five devices, contained in a solar-powered backpack from Voltaic Systems.
Here, Maj. Keith Parker, assistant project manager for Go Mobile AKO/DKO, demonstrates some of the Go Mobile components. Each piece of the kit has to meet stringent Defense Department information assurance requirements, Parker said.
Read a full report on the Army's Go Mobile technology.
Click to the next page to see more on the individual compact devices that lets users view, modify, present and print their work from virtually anywhere they can get a wireless signal.
The Planon Prinstik has a 50-page capacity. The thermal printer is designed for quick jobs, not publication-quality documents, said Maj. Keith Parker. Even so, the printed pages are durable. Parker said he once left a page in direct sunlight for a week and the print didn’t fade.
Celio Redfly Companion
The Celio Redfly Companion looks like a laptop computer, but it lacks an operating system, processor or memory. The two-pound device displays whatever is on its companion smart phone on an 8-inch screen with a full QWERTY keyboard. Because users can’t save data on it. If it’s lost or falls into enemy territory, there’s no harm done.
HTC Touch Pro
One of the first smart phones to be approved, the HTC Touch Pro runs the Windows mobile platform.
The Defense Department rigorously tested the phones before approving them. Users will be able to buy an approved smart phone and a service plan from their wireless carrier. After completing a specialized registration process, qualified users will then be able to download Go Mobile's customized software. The middleware for the project was developed by Good Technology, a third-party vendor.
Palm Treo Pro
One of the first smart phones to be approved, the Palm Treo Pro runs the Windows mobile platform.
Army personnel can get to the AKO portal from anywhere in the world. Maj. Parker demonstrated AKO on his smart phone by launching the Opera browser and going to the AKO portal from www.us.army.mil, then entering his user name and password. AKO uses two-factor authentication. In addition to user name and password, users must answer a series of questions.
The battery-powered Optoma Pico pocket projector, which is smaller than a cell phone and lets users project full-sized presentations onto any available surface. “You could run it from a mud hut,” Parker said.
Myvu Solo video goggles work as a personal media viewer. Soldiers can privately watch training videos through the goggles and listen to audio through attached ear buds.
This mini solar charger folds to about the size of a computer mouse and can charge all of those devices. The charger takes a few hours to fully charge but can run the devices for about eight hours.
The whole Go Mobile kit fits into a solar-powered backpack from Voltaic Systems. Each backpack is embedded with waterproof solar panels that use mono-cristalline cells to charge the devices. One hour in the sun will power 1.5 hours of cell phone talk time.