The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Army both kicked off projects to develop applications for mobile gadgets and gismos in March. The House Armed Services Committee strongly favors the Apps for the Army project over DARPA's Transformative Apps program.
The House committee said in its report on the fiscal 2011 Defense Department Appropriations bill that it favored the Apps for the Army competition backed by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, the Army's chief information officer, because he has "day-to-day experience supporting the warfighting community."
The report said this means Sorenson has "a closer understanding of the warfighter's needs and requirements" compared to DARPA. The report also criticized DARPA for not ensuring its program would not conflict with the Army project.
Entries in the Apps for the Army competition, which will award $30,000 in cash prizes, closed May 15. Margaret McBride, Sorenson's spokeswoman, said 141 soldiers and Army civilians registered in teams or as individuals to participate in the application development challenge.
Apps submitted included 17 for Google Android phones, 16 for the Apple iPhone, and seven for the gizmo loved by the military, the Blackberry.
"Soldiers and Army civilians are creating new mobile and web applications of value for their peers -- tools that enhance warfighting effectiveness and business productivity today," Sorenson said. "And we're rewarding their innovation with recognition and cash."