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In the Navy

March 29th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Technology · No Comments · Technology

Earlier on this evening I was reading about the Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers on Wikipedia.

Alongside all the military jargon about the stealth-like features, radars and missile systems is the information that these are the first class of warship to include e-mail and entertainment systems, including iPod charging points.

Obviously my first reaction is to protest about yet another example of iPod bias – what about us poor iRiver users, or owners of Creative or Sony mp3 players?

But after thinking about it I do wonder how useful these facilities will be in a few years. I’m sure the boffins who design warships really know their stuff, but are they really expecting consumer electronics to stand still and not change the physical format of things like charging cables?

The first Type 45 (HMS Daring) was launched in 2006 and is expected to be commissioned in 2009. Another couple are coming online in 2010 and the last one (HMS Duncan) has only just had its first steel cut so probably will not be in commission until 2013.

The way things are going, in 2013 the iPod will be regarded the same way we currently regard 8-track players or the Sega Megadrive. Imagine a ship coming into service now boasting built-in minidisc players and PS1 consoles, thats what it could be like. I think the time-lag between design and build on big bits of military kit is on a totally different scale to consumer electronics.

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