The iPhone and iPad are consumer devices, but they're powerful enough to be used in a variety of industries, including the military and law enforcement. One such military tool is a new hardware and software system from Special Operations Apps that lets you attach an iOS device to military grade optics like an infrared imaging system, night vision equipment, or laser range finder. The product works with current optics and will be sold as the Operations Apps/System for Optical Attachments system, also known as [SOA]2.
In the [SOA]2 system, the smartphone or tablet will become a heads-up-display that'll let the user easily view their field of view without squinting or having to keep one eye on the ocular and one eye on their surroundings. The app supports geo-tagging and high-definition video recording so users can mark their location and save what they see for later review. A future version will include facial and object recognition as well as advanced targeting. The company completed testing and is now demonstrating the technology to law enforcement, defense contractors and government security agencies.
[SOA]2 new technology hardware and software renders comprehensive integration
TAMPA, Fla., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) --
The Apple iPhone, iPad, and military-grade optics can now be seamlessly and simultaneously integrated to deliver mobile data-recording, navigation, and instant situation-analysis in a comprehensive solution to debut at this week's SOFIC, according to its developers.
Special Operations Apps/System for Optical Attachments - also known as [SOA]2 - can allow geo-tagging in the standard Military Grid Reference System in frame-stamped high-definition video, geo-located and accurate within seven (7) meters. The integrated smart device can be attached permanently or temporarily to optics, weapons, or equipment, according to K. Dominic Cincotti, founder of SOA and its affiliated company, MW Research and Development, Inc.
"In addition to the Apple iPhone 4S and the New iPad," Cincotti said, "we're also excited about the platforms and devices like the Windows phones, the Android, the Lumia 9000, and the Nokia PureView, with its game-changing 41-megapixel camera." He added that all of these are under consideration for [SOA]2 development, and his companies are in continuing talks with Nokia.
Generation III night vision devices, long-range day optics, infra-red imaging systems, and laser range finders, among others, can now be configured with commercially available smart devices - including the iPhone 4S and the New iPad - from the [SOA]2 cluster of newly patented and patent-pending hardware and software.
The Dream Team
To produce [SOA]2, Cincotti's companies led the program development with proprietary solutions, including an intellectual property cluster for attaching mobile smart devices onto weapons. Cincotti established a Joint Teaming Alliance (JTA) with US Night Vision, Hoodman USA, and Jonathan Springer, the US Army captain who created the critically acclaimed Tactical Nav App that has been soldier-deployed in the fiercest combat zones.
"This is the Dream Team for optics, US Night Vision hardware, and software, and a chance for us all to help customize the future," Cincotti said, "and with the US Army's announced intention to issue smart devices to soldiers, [SOA]2 is the best use of the newest technology and the army technology already in hand."
US Night Vision's vice president of sales and marketing, Chris Byrd, said "With [SOA]2 and USNV Hardware, warfighters can use their smart devices as a calibrated, heads-up display for optics to improve situational awareness. No longer will they have to squint through a scope and close one eye - or be locked into goggles."
"We are taking military-grade optics and turning them into mobile high definition data-recording navigational and analysis systems," Byrd said, "while still maintaining the integrity of the original optics that have already been purchased in previous acquisition cycles."
Tactical Nav's developer, CPT Springer, said, "Bottom line up front, this joint teaming alliance is about integrating the best uses of technology we have right now and putting this technology into the hands of our combat soldiers downrange."
"The soldier already knows these mobile smart devices," CPT Springer said, "it's already in his pocket, and he's already an expert at using it."
[SOA]2 completed testing earlier this month in North Carolina, Cincotti said, and at SOFIC the Special Operations community, law enforcement, government security agencies, and major defense contractors will have the opportunity to schedule meetings for field demonstrations and to discuss inclusion in the [SOA]2 program.
"We do our best to answer and anticipate the needs of special operations," Cincotti said, "and we are looking forward to continued input from the operators and SF soldiers as [SOA]2 progresses to adoption and deployment."
Intellectual Property Cluster
[SOA]2 comprises a cluster of interlocking intellectual property, including issued patents, patents pending, and proprietary IP. SOA and MW R&D have been issued two patents already this year, executed three patent filings addressing mobile devices on weapons, and filed more than a dozen US and international patents in the last five years. US Night Vision has a patent pending, and Hoodman USA has a patent on their products.
Special Operations Apps/System for Optical Attachments [SOA]2 includes:
Multi-use Optics Case Integrator
Adapter Rings machined from Ultem 2300, which is virtually unbreakable and super-lightweight
Hoodman System Accessories, now modified for mobile devices for [SOA]2, including Day/Night Solutions to reduce glare and light bleed
A proprietary software platform that includes a range of Special Operations-specific tactical navigation apps, integrating various optics hardware and mobile-device capabilities
Future iterations of [SOA]2 now being developed by Cincotti's companies are expected to deliver Facial and Object recognition and advanced targeting, on smart phone platforms, as well as on iPads and tablets. The Tactical Nav App will feature tracking of a unit, or an individual within a unit, and a "John Madden-style" tool that allows for mark-up.
US Night Vision, founded in 2001 and located in Roseville, CA, has been providing federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the US Military, with advanced night vision, thermal imaging, infrared and lasers. The company handles the exportation of night vision systems following U.S. Department of State, ITAR guidelines. In addition to the exclusive line of US Night Vision products, manufactured and assembled at the Roseville facility, the company is also a national distributor for L3 ETO (Electron Tube Operations), FLIR GS (Government Systems), FLIR CVS (Commercial Vision Systems), Laser Technologies, Inc., and a point of sale for L3 Warrior Systems, Laser Devices Lasers and other related optics and accessories.
Hoodman USA, founded in 1986 and headquartered in Torrance, CA, manufactures digital camera tools, including Glare Fighting LCD Loupes, Ratcheting variable angle viewers, the fastest, longest lasting CompactFlash memory cards and the world's first steel-plated, ruggedized SDHC memory card line. Hoodman has more than 500 dealers in the US and around the world.
CPT Springer, while a Battalion Fire Support Officer in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne, began developing what would become the Tactical Nav App. He spent more than $30,000 of his own money to create the app, now available for download on the iTunes App Store.
A New Science of Stealth
January 2012's Popular Science cover story, Invisible Warriors and the New Science of Stealth, reports the two biggest new tech advances in modern camouflage, as "Camo Gets A Makeover."
Popular Science (The Future Now) reported SOA's development of site-specific camouflage using an app and a mobile smart device that combines photographs of a given location into customized, terrain-specific patterns that can be digitally printed directly onto a garment or fabric. One new camo technology in the Popular Science article is simultaneous camo stealth, in which multispectral countermeasures are simultaneously deployed for manned and unmanned vehicles, equipment, hardware, and weapons, for maximum tactical advantage.
Another SOA breakthrough, the CamoScience™ app, was featured in CNN and NBC TV news programs last year, demonstrating the power of iPhone-like smart devices with feature-rich app attributes, including geo-positioning, augmented reality overlays, and Area of Operation HD in-camera imagery. In 2009, intellectual property created by MW R&D garnered a $43 million contract award for its licensee.
The CamoScience™ commercial effort is led by Cathlena Spencer, SOA chief technology officer, teaming with Apple iTunes award-winning developers of the Theodolite App, a best-selling navigation app.
For MW R&D/SOA, Dave Mullins, a veteran operator with experience on four continents, leads in-house subject matter experts, along with Mark Tocci, a veteran Ranger and a patent-pending inventor.
The Special Operations Apps/System for Optical Attachments in-house team included Sam Thompson, physicist, veteran of NASA's Mars Rover project, and a patent-pending inventor; and Ronnie Medina, veteran special forces operator and project consultant.
The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) is an annual event, bringing together more than 7,000 attendees from government and industry and featuring more than 350 exhibiting companies.
Special Operations Apps is a privately held company based in Wilmington, NC, strategically situated between Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune and convenient to Virginia Beach, VA.