Australian geospatial startup targets US military sector

Australian geospatial startup targets US military sector

Perth-based geospatial technology provider Takor Group is stepping up its play for a share of the US military technology market with its range of mobile mapping capabilities.

Takor Group managing director Amir Farhand said the firm’s key offering was a product dubbed Mappt, "which is actually a consumer-based mapping application: we call it Google Earth on steroids".

"It works on android mobile phones and tablets," he told Defence Connect. "The reason why we decided to go for Android – just want to get that out of the way – is because of security considerations on Android devices versus iOS and ... we wanted a product which would push into the enterprise level very quickly."

Farhand explained that while Takor Group initially had little to no affinity with the defence sector, the startup first ventured into the US defence market a few years ago.

"To be honest with you, we went into this military conference in order to gather intel to see what the industry is about," he said.

"Then one day … this soldier walks past and he sort of looks at our banner and he goes, 'Hey, I've used your product'."

Farhand said the US soldier had downloaded the Takor Group product on his Samsung Android phone, and had added "we were taking photos of suspected IED areas in northern Iraq".

"He introduced us to his Colonel, and from there we started our journey towards the US military," said Farhand. "He was trying to do something which previously was very, very hard to do, or fragmented. He would have needed a separate device to view satellite imagery, for example."

Farhand said that previously the soldier would have had to use another camera to take the photo of the suspected IED area.

"And then he would have needed a separate GPS unit on top of that as well," he said, noting that just by leveraging the power of his mobile phone, he was able do all three.

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