Other Award Nominees:

Defense Update News:

'Most Innovative Defense Technology' 2008 Award Nominee

V-Communicator

V-COM

language translation system promising to improve communications between troops and the local population. The solar-powered iPod-based V-Communicator has been designed to help Soldiers communicate with locals in Iraq and Afghanistan, giving Soldiers access to more than 400 phrases in five different languages to include Pashto, Iraqi Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic. Currently in use by approximately 700 military service members in Iraq and Afghanistan, the one-way translation device also provides video cues describing cultural gestures in the form of hand signals that may be common to a specific region, allowing for cultural awareness.

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Soldiers can also learn local language phrases and gestures from the device or they can use it to communicate for them through the tool's speaker. According to Ernie Bright, operations manager at VCOM, and the developer of the V-communicator, it is very useful in situations where there are no interpreters supporting the soldiers, or where you may have only one to two interpreters supporting many patrols on the ground .

Reasons for recommendation

OK, we could just say that V-Communicator is an operational excuse to carry an I-Pod on a mission. But seriously, this is not just a cool gadget, but something that could become a life saver when your patrol is messing with civilians that shout and wave hands at you in apparently threatening moves… Before you fire a warning shot, try sending a peaceful sign through the machine and try communicating with these people. Soon enough you realize that all they want to tell you is that their water tank was stolen ...

Yes, I want to vote now!