Apple, 161 other organizations lend aid to Pentagon on flexible electronics

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
Apple has reportedly joined the FlexTech Alliance, a collection of 162 organizations working with the Pentagon on flexible sensor electronics capable of being worn by soldiers, or molded to the outside of vehicles.




Other Alliance partners include major names like Boeing and Harvard, and lesser-known entities like Advantest Akron Polymer Systems and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Reuters said on Friday. U.S. military officials explained that rapid technological advancement has prompted them to turn to the private sector instead of solo development.

The federal government is contributing $75 million to the project over the course of five years, while private companies will add another $90 million under the oversight of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Local governments will pour in still more taxpayer money, bringing the total to $171 million.

An office called the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub is being established San Jose, California, the seventh of nine institutes planned by the Obama administration to spur U.S. manufacturing sectors. Several of them are linked to the military.

Apple's possible role in the project is uncertain, since it could theoretically offer both hardware and software expertise, and has had relatively few dealings with the American military. In 2010, for instance, U.S. Army leaders visited Apple's Cupertino campus to discuss development and deployment opportunities. 2013 saw the Pentagon approve iOS for government networks.

The company could already be developing flexible electronics however, as in January it was awarded a U.S. patent on a bendable device similar to an iPhone. Any real-world product would likely be years away from shipping, but might be helped along by FlexTech research.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    This could be just one reason why Jony Ive moved up to focus on broader designs for Apple. It will be very interesting to see what Apple's designers and the [S]173[/S] 161 other companies develop with the Pentagon.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    That's what the world needs, more focus on killing one another.
  • Reply 3 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member

    ? Armed Forces

     

    Actually, I admit I'm a bit disappointed with their involvement in this. Their focus should remain on the greater public. Getting involved in government contracts is one more step to being politically controlled, infiltrated and manipulated for government purposes. Apple's only involvement in political matters should be a necessary increase in their lobbying to protect them from all of the snakes passing the laws.

  • Reply 4 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    ? Armed Forces

     

    Actually, I admit I'm a bit disappointed with their involvement in this.




    I'm saddened by it. I wrote Tim about it.

  • Reply 5 of 41
    ireland wrote: »
    That's what the world needs, more focus on killing one another.

    Pretending that everyone would live in harmony if we just got rid of the weapons is a fantasy. I'd rather have the defensive capability and not need it.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    Pretending that everyone would live in harmony if we just got rid of the weapons is a fantasy. I'd rather have the defensive capability and not need it.



    I agree that the world today isn't the world of yesterday, however it's not in Apple's mission to be a military supplier. Just a supplier of tools "for the rest of us." The best way to fight threats is by relentlessly innovating to give people the best possible tools to communicate with each other and to protect their individual information.

     

    Our military is a blunt instrument, capable of massive destruction. It does one job and it does it very, very well. The real trick is to not be in a position where its use is necessary. For starters, our involvement in the Middle East to protect oil interests has put the US in more danger than any other conceivable threat, other than the threats from within that have struck directly at the heart of our Constitution in the form of spying on the entire population and treating each of us as a criminal suspect without cause.

  • Reply 7 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    Pretending that everyone would live in harmony if we just got rid of the weapons is a fantasy. I'd rather have the defensive capability and not need it.

     

    Who's pretending anything. We need to grow up as a race and stop killing one another. This isn't about preventing killing, that's impossible. This is about leading by example. We're behaving like humans from any time in history. We need to spiritually evolve and grow out of these caveman like impulses. You're thinking is all wrong and part of the problem.

  • Reply 8 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

     

     

    Who's pretending anything. We need to grow up as a race and stop killing one another. This isn't about preventing killing, that's impossible. This is about leading by example. We're behaving like humans from any time in history. We need to spiritually evolve and grow out of these caveman like impulses. You're thinking is all wrong and part of the problem.




    There will always be excuses for people to kill each other but as I wrote, the US needs to extricate American interests from areas of conflict and defend America instead of waste billions upon billions on war after war over suspect reasons which mainly benefit our war machine.

     

    As Dwight Eisenhower said in 1961:  http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

     

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

     

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

     

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

     

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

     

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.



  • Reply 9 of 41
    sandorsandor Posts: 460member

    I would rather see NASA get the "national defense" portion of the federal budget, and Apple & other companies work with them.

     

    But the reality is the US federal government and the people we elect to represent us would rather spend money on the military. so the military is who has the $$ to provide non-government companies.

     

    And before reacting about Apple specifically, i want to know what their role is. My feelings about non-weapons research are much more muted than my feelings about weapons research.

  • Reply 10 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

     

    I would rather see NASA get the "national defense" portion of the federal budget, and Apple & other companies work with them.

     

    But the reality is the US federal government and the people we elect to represent us would rather spend money on the military. so the military is who has the $$ to provide non-government companies.

     

    And before reacting about Apple specifically, i want to know what their role is. My feelings about non-weapons research are much more muted than my feelings about weapons research.




    Accepting military money for "research" compromises Apple by making them beholden to politicians who wish to exercise political control over the company. It's an unwise move.

     

    At this rate, everyone in the country will end up working for the government, unless they are on an "enemies" list...and even then, people won't know they're on someone's enemy list!

  • Reply 11 of 41
    sandorsandor Posts: 460member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     



    Accepting military money for "research" compromises Apple by making them beholden to politicians who wish to exercise political control over the company. It's an unwise move.

     

    At this rate, everyone in the country will end up working for the government, unless they are on an "enemies" list.


     

    more beholden than they are to the stock holder who own the company?

     

    i would be worried if Apple didn,t already have a political track record. They aren't kowtowing to anyone.

  • Reply 12 of 41
    thrangthrang Posts: 727member

    Of course no sane person wants wars or conflicts, but if you don't think you want a cutting edge military presence to defend or project when necessary, given the nature of our world, you're dangerously mistaken. And often, technology advances can actually help insulate our military personnel, i.e. let a drone missile blow the dust out of a tent rather than dispatching a squad into enemy territory.

     

    And technology developed at this level often filters down to commercial use in some form or another. I'd much rather Apple be a player than not.

  • Reply 13 of 41
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,094member
    ireland wrote: »

    I'm saddened by it. I wrote Tim about it.

    You think he really cares what you have to say?
    ireland wrote: »
    Who's pretending anything. We need to grow up as a race and stop killing one another. This isn't about preventing killing, that's impossible. This is about leading by example. We're behaving like humans from any time in history. We need to spiritually evolve and grow out of these caveman like impulses. You're thinking is all wrong and part of the problem.

    It'll never happen so stop dreaming about it.
  • Reply 14 of 41

    If they develop technology that keeps our military and civilians safe I am all for it.  It will also push the technology into the public sector eventually and we will all benefit from it.

     

    I am not sure why anyone would be upset that Apple is assisting our nations security.  The military's role is not all about killing other humans...broaden your knowledge before jumping off a cliff...on second thought...

  • Reply 15 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

     

     

    more beholden than they are to the stock holder who own the company?

     

    i would be worried if Apple didn,t already have a political track record. They aren't kowtowing to anyone.


     

    http://smallbusiness.chron.com/become-private-military-contractor-16724.html

  • Reply 16 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post

     

    If they develop technology that keeps our military and civilians safe I am all for it.  It will also push the technology into the public sector eventually and we will all benefit from it.... (snip)


     

    Like face-recognition software, mass data collection, advanced hacking programs and secret courts? Hmm...

     

    If it's of benefit for consumers, there's nothing wrong with the private sector developing something for their customers. Nearly every modern technology has the capability to be altered for a military purpose... and often is.

     

    I'm in favor of a strong military to protect Americans. Not in favor of the uses of our military for secret purposes which are damaging to our country (see drug running in South America, and arms provided to drug cartels for example). 

     

    Our military is among the best in the world, but the people exercising their power over our military are not saints. They're the same people unaccountably undermining our Constitution.

  • Reply 17 of 41
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

    You're thinking is all wrong and part of the problem.

     

    I fail to see how having weapons and not using them is worse than not having weapons and having a genocide committed on you by those who do.

  • Reply 18 of 41
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     



    Accepting military money for "research" compromises Apple by making them beholden to politicians who wish to exercise political control over the company. It's an unwise move.

     

    At this rate, everyone in the country will end up working for the government, unless they are on an "enemies" list...and even then, people won't know they're on someone's enemy list!


    Participating in a project whose total dollars is less than a rounding error in their cash position alone isn't going to have any such affect on Apple. $71 million over FIVE years? Yeah Apple is going to be totally controlled when that sort of cash is on the line (and spread over 161 other companies at that).... My god that probably equates to almost a week of earbud sales! 

  • Reply 19 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    You think he really cares what you have to say?

     

    I wrote him because I care. I don't know him personally.

  • Reply 20 of 41
    irelandireland Posts: 17,386member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    I fail to see how having weapons and not using them is worse than not having weapons and having a genocide committed on you by those who do.


     

    You fail to see often.

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