U.S. Marine pilots are trading in 60 to 80 pounds of maps for iPads in a small trial being conducted by the Marine Corps. The service wants to determine whether the iPads will help better coordinate air strikes called in by troops on the ground.
It’s not about saving space, but simplifying a complicated process. Disruption to radio signals can lead to mistakes that may have fatal consequences. The iPad will allow pilots in the air and troops on the ground to confirm that they’re looking at the same thing.
The trial, which involves 32 iPads and has cost just $20,000, has had some success. One commanding officer claims the iPads sped up communications by about 15 minutes. Despite some initial apprehension from higher-ups about the security of the commercially available tablets, senior military officials seem to be warming to the idea.