Mindef to issue iPad to NSF

I don’t understand something. Mindef decided to make a bold move by issuing iPad to NSF for training purpose. Instead of praising Mindef for taking a big leap in technology, the local twittersphere end up mocking Mindef with the hashtag #ipadsforsaf. Is it really such a bad idea?
If you recall, Mindef has already started issuing laptop to all recruits in BMT since last year. All 4 BMTC schools will be internet ready by this year. This iPad scheme is most likely going to replace the existing laptop scheme.
FYI: These iPad will most likely be like the laptop. They are issued to the recruits during training and they don’t get to keep it after they leave the school.
Moving from laptop to iPad is a natural progression. More and more people are using iPad instead of laptop lately. Take my company for example, I notice that a lot of my colleagues in my company are using iPad during meetings instead of notepad or laptop. Alaska Airlines have replaced their pilot manuals with iPads. United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan have also replaced their heavy stacks of paper charts and grid reference graphics from their cockpits and replaced them with the iPad. The US Army is now looking into implementing the iPad in their daily operations. That means bringing the iPad out to the battlefield.
So I don’t really understand why is everyone making fun of this scheme. We are not the first to do it and we will definitely not be the last.
And of course there are pros and cons to this scheme. This is not a perfect scheme. The iPad isn’t really durable. In fact, issuing iPad to soldiers will increase their chances of signing 1206 (damage or loss of equipment). And personally, I don’t think iPad is suitable for field operation. It’s ok for training purpose. But when it comes to real operations, maybe you won’t have the time to IM your commanders during a battle.
But come on, Mindef is trying out new technology to enhance training. I don’t see what is wrong here. Cut them some slack. Give them time to explore these high tech consumer grade equipment and evaluate to see which is more suitable for our 3G army.
Oh by the way: Does that means that we can bring our own iPad 2 to ICT next time? I really hope can. Pleaseeeee…….

4 comments

  1. To be fair, the report only says they’ll issue touchscreen devices such as the iPad. It doesn’t say they will issue iPads. Let’s see what device they’ll pick first.

  2. Daniel: The Panasonic Toughbook Tablet isn’t released yet. But you are right, a toughbook would be a better choice.
    Kenny: Knowing Mindef, I think they will eventually go for iPad. 🙂

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