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Boeing unveils details on new self-destructing smartphone

DefenseUnrest, Conflicts and WarComputer HardwareBoeingArmed Forces

Boeing Co., the aerospace giant that makes fighter jets, airliners and satellites, is now looking at getting into the cell phone business.

The Chicago company said it has developed an ultra-secure smartphone that’s marketed toward U.S. defense and security communities.

Few details have been released. What is known is the Boeing Black smartphone runs off an Android operating system, contains encrypted storage for sensitive data and has a self-destruct mode. If someone tries to pop open the device, it is automatically wiped of its data and made inoperable.

“Designed to meet the evolving security needs of defense and security customers, Boeing has released a modular smartphone to enable secure access and exchange of critical data and communications on a trusted mobile device,” Becky Yeamans, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Smart devices are being tested across all branches of the military. Seeing an opportunity, software companies and defense contractors are developing mobile applications that will enable soldiers and defense officials to pass along intelligence and other sensitive material.

In a promotional video on Boeing’s website, the company said the Black smartphone can communicate via satellite transceivers and “discrete radio channels.” The device also has advanced location tracking and biometric sensors.

Boeing did not say how much it will cost or when it will be available to defense customers.

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