The Internet of Things freaks out the military.

In remarks this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Richard Hale, deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Defense Department, discussed the military’s interest in–and concern over–the Internet of Things.

“We in the department really need the advantage we’re going to get from the Internet of Things,” Hale said. “I see great promise in this technology area, and I think we can do it in a way that gives us dependable mission execution, but we’re going to have to do it fairly thoughtfully. We’re going to have to do it together with industry, and with the whole of government, if we’re going to pull it off.”

Hale’s speech coincided with the release of a report by CSIS, “Leveraging the Internet of Things for a More Efficient and Effective Military.”

The military’s deployment of IoT-related technologies has focused on applications for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR), and fire-control systems, according to the report. But the military can do more with IoT, researchers concluded.

“The military continues to lead in the development of some high-end applications of IoT technologies such as surveillance and reconnaissance drones, advanced sensors, and satellite communications systems, but the development and deployment of the vast majority of IoT applications are driven by the commercial sector with the military severely lagging behind,” researchers found.

Technology industry analyst firm Gartner this week published new research concluding that the number of IoT devices will reach 6.4 billion by the end of 2016. That new estimate represents a 30 percent increase over the number of IoT devices today.

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MeriTalk Staff