I've just been reading a fascinating article about the soldier of the future on how he will be more than just a normal foot soldier but part of a wireless network his clothes, armor and possibly even his gun integrated into a network that provides a wealth of information to him.
The soldier of the future will know as much information as say the military planning room. He will be able to feed into a network to make strategic decisions. His clothing and armor will help keep him cool in hot climates and warm when its cold. He will be able to interface with his units robotic drone that can relay aerial photographs to him or to land based "mules" that carry supply's for more ammunition, water and various other supplies.
What could possibly go wrong?
Now the above vision is probably nothing new to you if you have played games such as Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon and yes wouldn't it be so cool if the soldier of the future had all of these abilities? The thing is it really got me thinking about the issues we have with computers today and lets use Microsoft Windows as an example. No matter how fast your PC is the damn new operating system still takes for ever to load even to recover from standby. Imagine the operating system for the soldier of the future was based on a Windows Vista (scary thought isn't it?). I am not saying it will be I just wanted to give a shock example. The soldier of the future would be in mid conflict when his screen display would malfunction complaining that the USB/FireWire connection with his gun had failed and that advanced aiming systems was down. "Would you like Windows to find an alternative driver for you?". He may also get a message stating that the preferred wireless network "USMILUNIT678" was not available would you like to connect to "ENEMYNET101" instead? Or for some unknown reason his system was unable to get an IP address because it could not find the DHCP server. Or half way through fighting, Windows suddenly rediscovers his gun and tries to reinstall it. Another thing that may happen is Windows for no reason at all starts to use up 100% CPU every time he plugs his gun or camera in. Or half way through making a tactical decision gets a message saying "Windows is low on resources try closing down some programs".
While trying to destroy an enemy target he make get an interruption such as "Windows has noted you are trying to take a sniper shot would you like to make use of the sniper wizard?" When chosen he may get a message "Windows is now installing the software for this operation please have your install CD ready" or "You now need to reboot for these changes to take effect".