November 14, 2011: The U.S. Army is developing a tablet computer for battlefield use. Because the iPad is too large to be used on the battlefield, a smaller (18cm/7 inch versus 26cm/10.1 inch) Android model is the favorite. The current plan is to add several layers of security (require fingerprint or face/voice recognition) to the existing password requirement. Battlefield tablets and cell phones also need hardware and/or software to handle the additional wireless security required. This is not a big problem, but developing and testing a system that works well enough to be useful in combat takes time.
Another problem is that troops are often wearing gloves on the battlefield. But in many cases fingerless gloves get the job done, and allow touch sensitive tablets to be used. Field tests have already found that the devices (tablets and cell phones) are quite rugged, especially if covered by the inexpensive (under $10) protective "skins" you can buy anywhere. The troops are big users of tablets, and often create job-specific software for them.