Army apps competition sparks soldiers' ingenuity
Internal contest yields 53 new applications in 75 days
- By Amber Corrin
- May 25, 2010
Less than three months ago, the Army challenged its military and civilian personnel to create mobile and Web applications that benefit soldiers. As of May 15, 53 applications proposals had been submitted through the Army’s Forge.mil collaborative environment, Army officials said.
Some 141 participants registered for Apps for Army as teams or individuals for the application development contest, part of a governmentwide effort to engage broader audiences in the contribution of new ideas.
Army refines program to spur app development
The Apps for Army program, which is the Army’s first internal application development challenge and one of the first for the federal government, aims to foster agile development and rapid deployment of technologies for soldiers in combat.
Among the submitted ideas: apps that support data collection in disaster relief situations, analyze threats in an area of operations, inventory property and provide Mess Hall options, the Army said in a May 24 release. The submissions were for various platforms, including 17 for Android, 16 for iPhone, 10 for ASP.NET, seven for the LAMP open software stack, two for Blackberry and 1 for the Army Knowledge Online portal.
With the submission portion of the challenge closed, the apps now will undergo security certification, and then will be judged on six criteria by a panel of judges from across the Army in eight categories. Winners will be announced at the Army LandWarNet conference in Tampa, Fla., in August; selected submissions will receive employee cash awards from a total cash pool of $30,000.
“Soldiers and Army civilians are creating new mobile and web applications of value for their peers—tools that enhance warfighting effectiveness and business productivity today,” Lt. Gen. Jeff Sorenson, Army chief information officer/G-6, said in a written statement. “And, we’re rewarding their innovation with recognition and cash.”
Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.