Soldier develops Smartphone app to track Taliban: Tactical Nav can pinpoint enemy and direct fire
An iPhone app that tracks down the Taliban has been developed by a US soldier who used pds 17,000 of his own money into the project.
Captain Jonathan J. Springer said the idea for a Smartphone app to help soldiers in combat came to him in a dream last July.
The 31-year-old, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has worked with programmers ever since to make the idea a reality.
Tactical Nav, which is expected to be available through Apple’s App Store next month, assists soldiers in mapping, plotting and photographing waypoints on a battleground and conveying coordinates to supporting units.
Captain Springer used a variety of armoured vehicles, remote observation posts and harsh combat conditions to test the accuracy of his invention, which can also be used to direct artillery fire on enemy positions or call in helicopter support.
The soldier, who serves as a battalion fire support officer in eastern Afghanistan, said most soldiers use smartphones and the app has been designed specifically for them.
'Since day one, I always believed that smartphones could be utilised by the US military for combat purposes,' he said.
'Basically, the problem is the fact that smart phones were not utilized by the military potential, and I am motivated by it. Therefore, I intend to change it, even if I have reached into their own pockets to make it happen,' added the soldier.
The app’s main functions include a compass, camera and a gridded map that aids in accurately pinpointing exact locations down to a few feet. The information is then relayed to others soldiers linked into the app.
Tactical Nav is also designed to be used to direct artillery fire or call in helicopter support for injured soldiers.
Captain Springer said the idea came in a dream while in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.
"I remember waking up in the middle of the night and coming up with an idea for a smart phone application that I just needed to start developing,' said Springer.
'It was weird how the whole thing happened – waking up to a dream about an idea and whatnot. Needless to say, after that moment, I decided to begin the process for the app’s development.'
After speaking to his family about the idea to invent his own app, he began working in his spare time doing research on what the project would entail.
'I started the process to legally form my own company and began trade marking my intellectual property,' he said.
'After that process was complete, I bought a couple of books and tried to teach myself how to write Objective-C-based code, but that proved to be more of a time-consuming task than I wanted it to be.'
Springer said his iPhone app was as accurate a sophisticated GPS systems used by the military.
'I am proud to say that, without a doubt, my app is just as accurate as some of the most expensive military GPS systems that are being issued by our soldiers today,' he said.