President Obama makes Smartphone Genius
Posted in the Gadgets Forum
#1 Feb 19, 2009
A texting president puts a twist on things. Not sure why the most powerful man in the free world wouldn’t be expected to understand a QWERTY keyboard, but it’s definitely a change. However, when in Washington there are many considerations. Imagining the President mistakenly hitting the “send” button on a classified message is an ulcer-creating scenario for white house counsel. The answer? Smartphone’s just got genius.
Internet rumors and tech bloggers report President Obama has been given an ultra-encrypted, NSA-approved Smartphone with elegant circuitry. Most credible reports name the General Dynamics Sectéra Edge as the modified unit now in use by the 44th President. General Dynamics, a defense contractor not known for cellular phones, has reportedly created an elite unit worthy of the executive branch. How did they do it?
The answer to this question is a mix of facts and innuendo. According to General Dynamics’ Michael Guzelian, the Sectéra was originally designed for NSA/military use. It is not available for consumer purchase. The cost?$3,350. Its abilities are extreme, protecting both voice and data communications. With one touch of a button, the unit switches from “unclassified” to “top-secret” transmission.
The efficiency with which this unit was ready for President Obama has many questioning whether General Dynamics designed this much earlier in the presidential campaign, much like the presumptuous NBA Championship hats that are printed at half-time. While neither General Dynamics or the white house will confirm the exact unit being used, the very existence of such sophisticated features elevates private industry.
Government and private industry have historically shared technologies. General Dynamics reportedly beta tested their unit for 15 months. They would have undoubtedly used complex testing tools like those supplied by X-TEL Communications, a premier wireless testing and optimization corporation. X-TEL, through its subsidiary, recently released a security application called JTrek available to consumers. JTrek has been praised for its crime deterring abilities as it sends secure data, voice, and streaming video from the mobile user to an emergency contact list including friends, family and law enforcement during an emergency.
While President Obama will have personal protection for many years, his very use of a PDA will exponentially increase design and security for the consumer. Imagine a Smartphone with nerve sensors able to call help when its user is in danger. Could the next generation of units pro-actively communicate on behalf of its owner? This may not be far away.
Most agree, Sectéra Edge is the first of a new generation of secure, encrypted communication devices, with many more security features yet to be unveiled. Smartphone’s may have just become genius.
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