SAF Soldiers to Get iPad for Learning Purpose

Updated: 28th June: After reading the full article on Straits Times, I need to correct this post to represent the correct information. Sorry if I have mislead anyone.

Singapore Armed Force (SAF) is equipping soldiers not only with laptops, but now, with Apple iPad. It was reported in Straits Times. I figure that they are referring to iPad and not the latest iPad 2 (that has camera). The SAF will be utilizing the camera and video function in the field to update information.

According to the report, it states: –

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the Defence Ministry said the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) plans to issue about 8,000 sets, including to every recruit in the BMT Centre and those in other institutes such as the Officer Cadet School and the Specialist Cadet School, as well as to servicemen in the air force and naval training schools.

Maybe they will need this to protect their iPad.

Additional Info: Apart from learning purpose, trainers will be the first to get hold of the iPad. Come next year, operational ready units might be issued with these devices too.

According to the news, trainees in the field can use the built in camera to take photos and videos, tag them and make notes during training.

These information can then be uploaded to SAF online platform, LEARNet, so that troops can evaluate their performance.

They will also be using the the iPad to direct questions to their commanders using a live messaging system. Discussion is in Chat format.

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Actually, all these are nothing new as they were already implemented when laptops were introduced last year. The only difference is the device (iPad) that is accessing these information.

SAF is also working with private contractors to develop apps.

It is interesting that many people are condemning SAF for bringing in the iPad. My opinion is that there are already so much usage of laptops in the field already, why not an iPad?

The iPad can boot up fast, light and has flash-based storage (which means no hard disk failure issue). Laptop needs more maintenance and longer boot up time. I guess SAF will use the iPad effectively and logically.

Many comments were made that how can they bring iPad to the field. But if you look at recent wars, so many army units are bringing rugged laptops to the field.

Of course, some concerns are validate. For example, everything must go through iTunes to install. Apps must be approved by Apple. I am sure that SAF or any army units have evaluated these concerns when they think of bringing the iPad to the forces.

It is too early to say that iPad is effective in the field. Lets wait until they are fully deployed before we conclude. Peace.