Could we someday see a rugged iPad?
Posted by John McHale
I wondered out loud to a rugged tablet designer at AUSA today about whether we would ever see a rugged iPad used by warfighters in the field.
Julie Briggs, vice president of rugged systems program development at VT Miltope laughed and said she and colleagues were just talking about that. She doesn't think it would really be applicable because the iPad like many consumer devices does not have the backward compatibility with older equipment based on military standards that is necessary for this market.
Just because a military system designer has money for a new computer, doesn't mean he can afford to overhaul the entire system to have the new device be compatible with all his legacy components, Briggs said.
Something tells me that if someone tried to make an iPad rugged, it really wouldn't be an iPad anymore. Its appeal is that it is sexy, lightweight, and flexible. Those are not necessarily adjectives you would apply to a rugged tablet -- at least the sexy and lightweight part.
However, if you drop your rugged tablet, spill coffee on it, or try to blow it up it will still work. Makes up for the lack of sexiness doesn't it?