Innovative ways to apply the Internet of Things really has no bounds. From connected homes to smart cities and private industry to government, the perceived benefits from building and implementing the IoT is driving tremendous activity. Aside from concerns with security risks, clearly IoT opportunities abound for the U.S. military.

Recently it was announced that the U.S. Army has selected a number of top U.S. universities to research and develop ways to better connect physical devices already being used in the battlefield as parts of one seamless network that “intelligently” works to keep soldiers safe.  I could see similar applications for firefighters and other first-responders where connected wearables could “intelligently’ work to reduce, or even, eliminate, life-or-death risks.

The lead university for this innovative U.S. military program is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. According to the lead researcher, Tarek Abdelzaher, at U of I., “Sensors, cameras, weapons, vehicles, collected data and algorithms are all over the place — in armor, in soldiers’ wearables, on the ground and in the sky,” he said. “We want to configure them, to bring them together to create one of millions of possible tools that can best accomplish the right mission.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, who covered the story, “The $25 million from the Army Research Lab covers five years of research. If the initiative shows progress, it can be extended for another five years with more funding, estimated at another $32 million.” Private industries and others will be tuned into the progress of this research and its outcomes. The application of this research could have widespread use across the Nation.

Also published on Medium.

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