DARPA's private internet and cloud for soldiers shows promise in the field

Sure, we hear about DARPA's robots all the time, but they're not the only things keeping the agency busy. Take CBMEN, for example -- a DARPA project that's goal is to create a private ad-hoc data network for the military, and it's recently completed initial field testing. CBMEN, or Content-Based Mobile Edge Networking, allows soldiers to share images and other info without a traditional mobile internet connection. Each device loaded with the CBMEN software will automatically blast data to other hardware within reach via WiFi, cellular and radio frequencies -- no intermediate infrastructure required. Early trials of the tech using Android smartphones and Army Rifleman Radios were deemed successful. We don't know if CBMEN will ever be available to civilians, but seeing as DARPA mentioned its potential use in disaster response operations, it's not entirely impossible. Before anyone else can test drive the nebulous network, though, it first has to ace the second phase of field testing that aims to make it more efficient and secure.