The department awarded a contract to Digital Management, a Maryland-based firm, for an initial amount of $2.9 million to build the “mobile device management system,” according to a release.
Along with apps that would streamline paperwork and the airstrike process, the department is interested in translation software, facial-recognition apps and a more advanced Google Maps, among other tools.
“Across [the Department of Defense] there is a huge demand for applications,” Alana Johnson, a department spokesperson, told Mashable in an email. “Our mission partners are looking for a solution, which closely resembles the experience and user interface that they have grown accustomed to while using their civilian devices.”
Jeff Gilmore, a former active duty Air Force officer who developed an app for military use and helped launched the first Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, said there is a desire to make military life more efficient.
“There’s a niche need for tools, kind of like productivity tools, that help you out,” Gilmore said. “They save you a heck of a lot of time.”
Only devices managed by the Defense Department will have access to the store, minimizing the risk of infiltration, Johnson said. What’s more, a security system will also be enforced to for protection.
The app store is scheduled to be completed in July 2014.