Military work-practice is a difficult area of research where paper-based approaches are still extended. This study proposes a solution which permits the digitization of information at the same time as work practice remains unaltered for soldiers working with maps in the field.
For this purpose, a mobile interactive paper-based platform has been developed which permits the users to maintain their current work-flow. The premise of the solution parts from a system consisting of a prepared paper-map, a cellular phone, a desktop computer, and a digital pen with bluetooth connection. The underlying idea is to permit soldiers to take advantage of the information a computerized system can offer, at the same time as the overhead it incurs is minimized. On one hand this implies that the solution must be light-weight, on the other it must retain current working procedures as far as possible.
The desktop computer is used to develop new paper-driven applications through the application provided in the development framework, thus allowing the tailoring of applications to the changing needs of military operations. One major component in the application suite is a symbol recognizer which is capable of recognizing symbols parting from a template which can be created in one of the applications. This component permits the digitization of information in the battlefield by drawing on the paper-map.
The proposed solution has been found to be viable, but still there is a need for further development. Furthermore, there is a need to adapt the existing hardware to the requirements of the military to make it usable in a real-world situation.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Sylverberg, Tomas