Consumer demand may drive PDA tech, but G.I.’s jumped to the head of the class with their rugged, waterproof, networked units. Will they stay out front?
Your PDA tells you many things—the time of a meeting, the phone number of a colleague. It entertains with games and MP3s. But it does not tell you to step right to avoid a landmine. It does not tell you to pull the trigger. Not unless you are a Marine, that is, and the device is the D-DACT, a PDA the military hopes will do nothing less than take war into the wireless age. Instead of drifting dangerously out of touch, soldiers will be networked through D-DACT modems, which communicate over military radio frequencies.