Battlefield Intelligence Terminal ("BIT")
A comprehensive upgrade to the PDAs and datapads, the BIT is a dedicated communications and computing platform with numerous integrated features in a small package and provides the user a reliable means to access data and information and remain coordinated with others in his or her squad.
This project will focus primarily on a military designed and applied BIT however civilian models can be easily created by this project by simply removing some of the features and tech (as well as any sophisticated military software) which will also help reduce its cost for the civilian market.
Designed to be rugged and capable of withstanding the worst of whatever is thrown at it, the BIT is sturdy, using shockproofing components including solid-state storage media with all the components well insulated to protect against anything short of a blaster bolt.
Airtight design enables the BIT to remain functional in any environment be it underwater or in the cold hard vacuum of space.
A built in communicator utilizes both voice and data sharing, a dual-band broadcasting allows for dedicated long and short range communication simultaneously, allowing the user to communicate to orbiting ships while also remaining in contact with his squad.
2 months design, 2 weeks prototyping. Intend to display a stage model at the 1st Annual New Imperial Federation Military Trade Show. Production model slated to begin after testing, roughly 2 months after trade show.
First and foremost, the design of this device was with ruggedness in mind as the battlefield is an often unforgiving place, having electronics break down because a speck of dust got into the vent is simply unacceptable. To this end, the BIT features shock resistant design, an airtight frame, scratch resistant clear view screen and water-tight port seals to cover the charging port and the other interface ports (OOC: like the SW equivalent of USB, Firewire, Ethernet, HDMI etc. etc.) As well, the device is built to resist ionic radiation, EMPs and other electronic interference through the use of a level 2 grade EMP shielding construction method.
A cover protects the main screen from scratches and debris and on the inside lid of the cover is a second, touch-capable screen that provides extra viewing real-estate as well as 2 small 50GP holocameras on both sides of the lid for visual communication (the inside camera usually focused on the viewer while the outside one can be used to show the person on the other side what the viewer sees). Also included is a speaker and microphone for communication.
Connectivity includes a wireless universal computer interface that can connect the BIT to other computer systems, either for syncing data or hacking into other terminals. A small, retractable antenna provides the BIT with the means to connect with the HoloNet or other wireless communication (in the event HoloNet access is restricted) for up to 100 km. Short range connectivity can also allow the BIT to be synced with a HUD unit in a suit of armour, displaying useful tactical data in front of the users eyes at all times rather than having to look down at his arm. This feature can be turned on or off with a simple stroke of the applicable switch.
The Operating System, codenamed AstroMech, offers a very simple, intuitive and easy to navigate interface, the touch screen controls allowing the operator to navigate the BIT and operate the suite of programs accurately and efficiently. The advantage of using defined hardware means the software and operating system can be purposely tailored to be compatible and minimize conflicts with the numerous drivers, protocols and subroutines that may conflict.
Typical applications (apps) include (but aren't limited to) basic word processing, image capturing, communications, HoloNet browser, etc. Internal sensors and an electroscanner allows the BIT to function as a simple scanning device as well, able to detect microbugs and also provide useful telemetry, geographic and geophysical data to the operator. All these are accessible through the various pre-installed applications. These sensors can also be used to create a electronic distortion signal, allowing the BIT to serve as a short range jamming device, useful for severing wireless communications in a small area (like a small building). This mode is not active by default. Furthermore, it's use will inhibit friendly scans (though not necessarily communication as BITs can communicate with each other through the waves of signal interference used) but the enemy will detect the jamming signal with just about any hand-held or vehicle based scanning device.
One useful app includes the means to sync up with the IDS Owl-series droids. Because this device is designed by the same company, extra features can be included such as extra encryption protocols to prevent hackers from trying to either tap into the signal to see what the droid sees or, worse, completely override and take control of the droid itself.
This device also has the ability to display the local time on any world, moon or astral body in the galaxy as well as the galactic standard time.
The device easily fits onto all SIN armoured suits via a one-click clipping system that fixes the device securely to the forearm without fears of it falling off or producing a magnetic field that could be picked up via induced current sensors (like what stores have to deter shoplifters). For non-standard suits, either an adapter or standalone gauntlet can be used.
The device is powered by a rechargable power cell that gives it a 48 hour operational life with a back-up cell to keep settings stored and the internal clock running for up to 10 years in the event the main powercell runs dry.
Cost: Military model as shown - 4,500 credits
Civilian model - 2,600 credits
The civilian model isn't built to be nearly as rugged and trades the scratch resistant glass for standard datapad quality glass. Furthermore, the processing power, memory, GPU and SSD have all been decreased in capacity (however these can be upgraded for a reasonable increase in cost). Many of the military apps have been removed in favor of more typical civilian apps such as the standard word processor, HoloNet browser, communications suites, etc. etc. As well, the scanners have been toned down, the jamming feature completely removed and the EMP shielding removed.
Short of installing computers into the brains of users, the information displayed still has to be viewed (or in some cases, listened to) which, in the middle of a fight, could prove distracting. Solution/Off-set: A customizable sleep mode will allow the user to only be alerted to important messages (such as last minute change of orders from high command).
Susceptible to jamming. Like any communications device, the BIT can be jammed when trying to communicate, transmit or receive information. Solution/Off-set: This device will not be a substitute for dedicated communicators, hand signals or other archaic methods of communication. As well, the device retains all other functionality in jamming fields.
Signals can be intercepted. Again, like other forms of communication, signals and messages sent from the BIT can be intercepted. Solution/Off-set: The BIT uses its own encryption and while hardly as sophisticated as what is employed on capital ships and government installations, this encryption will be enough to deny would-be hackers/slicers in the short term (usually the timeframe needed for most squad based operations).
Not easily customizable/upgradable. Because of the method used for construction and to maintain the watertightness and shock resistence, the BIT is not designed to be opened up by anyone other than trained technicians. Doing so will void the warranty for the device and new devices, when produced, will have to be bought. Solution/Off-set: Newer models will only be released if they offer significant upgrades to previous generation models. Software upgrades are available for download and installation via the holonet. Additional software could be made available off a HoloNet based store for digital downloads.
Small screen means figures in large, bulky suits of armour mean they will have a harder time touching small icons with large armoured fingers. Solution: A built in stylus can be pulled out and used for finer control. This stylus is attached to the device and is fixed by a small, retractable nylon cord to prevent it from disappearing/getting lost.
- Incorporate newer and ever improving technology as it becomes available such as more efficient or powerful processors, increased memory etc.
- Find ways to reduce price per individual unit.
- Begin campaign to provide app support by finding novel and useful applications from third-parties intersted in developing software for the BIT.
- If contract secured with the New Imperial Federation, create a NIF version, developed in close conjunction with their military to fully suit their list of desires and needs for a simple mobile computing unit.
1) The BIT doesn't include a "Cutting laser diode."
2) The second is that this device, I imagine, is a fair bit larger than the Smart Chrono, and can therefore afford to use larger electronic components for the same capacity and output (ie, I can use, say, a 20 nm processor versus a 1 nm processor that the SmartChrono might use. That was just an example mind to try and illustrate my point...)
I'm open to comments and discussion on how to improve the device too but I'm pretty much designing this to be a much more elaborate (and therefore expensive) PAC20 Comlink which can be bought for 1,200 credits (which makes my second point of cost comparison).