The future of military sensor systems: self-powered, wireless Android boxes

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It may not look like much, but this anonymous-looking plastic box could represent the future of military sensor and surveillance systems. It’s a prototype of a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) design for a modular sensor system for military applications called ADAPT, an acronym DARPA somehow manages to get from Adaptable Sensor System … Read more

Google snags Defense Department Director Regina Dugan for some serious black ops work

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O.K., really that headline is a bit misleading. We have no idea what the now-former DARPA head has been hired to do at Google, and the department would only tell us the scripted:

“Regina is a technical pioneer who brought the future of technology to the military during her time at DARPA. She will be a real asset to Google and we are thrilled she is joining the team.”

Besides pulling off designer jeans, Wired profiled her other qualifications:

Dugan’s emphasis on cybersecurity and next-generation manufacturing earned her strong support from the White House, winning her praise from the President and maintaining the agency’s budget even during a period of relative austerity at the Pentagon. Her push into crowdsourcing and outreach to the hacker community were eye-openers in the often-closed world of military R&D. Dugan also won over some military commanders by diverting some of her research cash from long-term, blue-sky projects to immediate battlefield concerns.

“There is a time and a place for daydreaming. But it is not at Darpa,” she told a congressional panel in March 2011 (.pdf). “Darpa is not the place of dreamlike musings or fantasies, not a place for self-indulging in wishes and hopes. Darpa is a place of doing.” For an agency that spent millions of dollars on shape-shifting robots, Mach 20 missiles, and mind-controlled limbs, it was something of a revolutionary statement.

You will recall that Google’s Driverless cars were born from the DARPA Grand Challenge, so perhaps we will see her join the ranks of Google’s X team. The videos below of Dugan talking feature her deep knowledge on the type of cyber-hacking that Google has accused China of in the past.

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Wearables expert Richard DeVaul jumps ship from Apple to Google

Richard DeVaul, a PhD. scientist from MIT with a focus on building wearable technologies, was snared from Apple this month by Google.  At Apple he was rumored to be working with SVP of Industrial Design, Jonny Ive in Apple’s secret labs building the next big thing.

Besides his having knowledge of the inter-workings of Apple, it is also interesting that DeVaul is a hardware person who has focused on building wearable products for the past decade.  Google has been a software company for all of its existence, but more and more it appears that it will enter the hardware business…but probably in smart accessories rather than phones.

He’ll likely join two former Danger hardware experts in a new Google lab called Google Hardware where his Job Description of “Rapid idea evaluation and prototyping for new projects at Google. ” seems to fit in with Joel Britt and Matt Hershenson are doing.

I wrote about DeVaul’s transition to Apple at Computerworld 18 months ago, excerpted below:

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