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The Future of IoT Military Applications

Key Takeaways

  • Learn what the Internet of Military Things is 

  • The list of important IoT military applications 

  • A discussion of why IoT is essential for the future of military operations

Soldier with VR headset and other IoMT peripherals

IoMT and IoBT are essential technologies for the future of military applications

We have already embraced IoT devices to simplify, improve, and automate a variety of processes in the consumer world. Expanding into the military world,  IoT military applications involve a large variety of different elements that improve defense and battlefield capabilities. The future of military and defense is high-tech, as engineers develop new IoT military applications that expand our capabilities further. 

What Is the Internet of Military Things (IoMT) 

The Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) are networks of sensors, wearables, and IoT devices that use cloud and edge computing to increase military capabilities and safety. IoMT and IoBT incorporate strong edge architecture that uses biometrics, environmental sensors, and other connected devices to communicate data quickly, allowing military personnel to respond and perform better on the battlefield.

The network of interconnected entities or “things” in the military domain constantly communicate, coordinate, learn, and interact with the physical environment, increasing intelligence and allowing for more informed decision-making.

There is a general thought process that future battles and military operations will be dominated by technology and machine intelligence, and that warfare will take place in urban environments. For this reason, having as much intelligence and data as possible is key for making informed decisions that will save lives and maximize safety.

 IoT military application graphic

IoT military applications improve security by offering better intelligence and better equipment monitoring

IoT Military Applications

IoT military applications include connected ships, tanks, planes, drones, soldiers, and operating bases that all work together in a cohesive network to increase situational awareness, risks assessment, and response time.

As military operations become more unpredictable and complex, utilizing IoT technology can help personnel make more informed decisions and take more calculated actions. Here are a few of the most transformative IoT military applications:

  • Collecting Battlefield Intelligence: IoT enables soldiers to survey the battlefield through unmanned aerial drones utilizing cameras and sensors. Soldiers are able to capture images, trace the landscape, locate enemies, and send real-time data to a command center–all in an effort to keep an eye on the battlefield and make more strategic judgments. 
  • Base Security: Drones can be used for border patrols to alert military staff in the event of an intruder. If there is a violation or threat, utilizing unmanned devices prevents personnel losses, as they can be operated over a distance. 
  • Monitoring Soldier Health:  Through the use of sensors in military uniforms, a soldier’s heart rate, body temperature, and thermal distribution can be monitored. The collected data about a soldier’s physical and mental health can then be shared with doctors in real-time, allowing for the arrangement of any necessary aid in advance on a per-soldier basis. Additionally, biometrics as well as behavior elements such as speech patterns, body dynamic patterns, and more can be used to create a model of a soldier’s current condition, which is essential in the case of a critical intervention. 
  • Equipment and Fleet Management: Regularly maintaining vehicles and efficient transportation is essential in successful military operations. Utilizing the data collected by IoT devices can help track supplies out on the battlefield. Elements like position, fuel efficiency, engineer status, damage level, and other parameters enable the quick identification of inconsistencies and solutions. This ultimately enables lower transportation costs as well as less need for human intervention, and creates more reliable fleets. Furthermore, with the integration of sensors onto weapons and unmanned equipment, soldiers can know when to reload and surveillance on enemy grounds can be more safely conducted. 
  • Smart Bases: Enemies may attempt at accessing military bases through stolen badges or appearing as civilians. Using IoT fingerprinting and other biometric data, a person’s true identity can be found. Other IoT sensors can be incorporated into military bases to increase performance, efficiency, and convenience of services on an isolated military base. Automated screening of resources, in addition to the smart management of water and electricity, can all help optimize operations. 
  • More Advanced Training: Utilizing IoT devices, military personnel can be more prepared for the real battlefield. Through movement sensors, acoustic sensors, and other methods, personnel can be screened during preparation and send data to coaches who can better train them. Elements such as AR remote training to create more realistic battlefield simulation with VR-fitted equipment can really transform the training environment for a soldier and allow for better evaluation. 

With military operations becoming increasingly complex, the use of IoT in military and defense applications has become a necessity to ensure the utmost safety is maintained. Integrating IoT devices into preexisting military infrastructures can increase efficiency, reduce losses, and prevent equipment malfunctioning. 

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