The world is going mobile, increasingly moving from laptops and desktop computers to smartphones and tablets. Mobile devices provide undeniable advantages in terms of weight, cost, and adaptability. In addition to these benefits, however, government agencies have extra considerations. From a warfighter sharing location information with a commander to a healthcare organization transferring sensitive patient records to a caregiver, government agencies need mobile technology that's both cost-effective and highly secure.
For several years, MITRE has created cutting-edge mobile solutions that balance capabilities and cost, while protecting the data and the network. Some examples of our work in mobile technologies include:
- Creating an app that helps patients with traumatic brain injuries better manage their daily lives.The BrainKit TaskPlanner supplements the lessons learned in therapy and is available as a free download for smartphones and tablets.
- Releasing open source software for a "virtual smartphone" that provides greater data protection and a secure environment in which to build security applications. This is an area of significant concern for military and homeland security operations.
- Leading the development of the RESTful Health Exchange (RHex). RHex uses Web technologies to create a simple, secure, standards-based health information exchange for mobile devices.
- Inventing a prototype runway-incursion application for mobile devices. The app allows small-aircraft owners to use their smartphones to avoid incidents caused by obstacles on the tarmac. The app is now readily available from a commercial software developer.
- Collaborating on the development of the Nett Warrior Android program. Nett Warrior Android packs a load of communications technology into a smaller, lighter footprint than current soldiers' gear.
Because we're free from commercial conflicts of interest, our researchers can make technical choices and recommendations without any ties to specific mobile platforms. When practical, we make our prototypes available to the government and the public, either by licensing our technology to commercial industry or through open source distribution.
We also serve as a hub for collaboration with the government, industry, other FFRDCs, academia, and the wider research community to accelerate new mobile capabilities across diverse missions. The MITRE-hosted Government Mobile Applications Group (GMAG), for example, is an open community of interest made up of government sponsors, military contractors, commercial industry, and academia interested in mobile technology within military and civilian agencies.
The GMAG holds quarterly workshops that bring in presenters and facilitate panel discussions. Recent speakers have included Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Adobe. Workshop topics range from talks about operational needs, technology trends, and barriers to adoption to sessions about new commercial products and best practices for deploying mobile applications in government.