The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is wrapping up a three-month pilot program to test mobile technology to give bureau officials more advanced capabilities on their personal digital assistants (PDAs), such as letting officials securely monitor surveillance video for investigations, the bureau’s chief information officer said today. The bureau’s CIO detailed the pilot that involved deploying 150 devices to ATF field divisions around the country to test the ability to manage video on devices such as the HTC Touch Pro. Another pilot using iPhones that’s focused on business intelligence is planned. The pilots are testing capabilities on and for an unclassified network. The pilot demonstrated several usability functions that need to be dealt with in the next phase of testing, the CIO said. Software for the first pilot cost a few hundred thousand dollars, he said, but a cost comparison the bureau did showed that over time costs for the pilot technology would be about the same as what ATF spends on BlackBerrys. Other agencies weren’t formally involved in the pilot, but ATF officials have talked with the bureau’s parent agency, the Justice Department, about the test. ATF is also comparing notes with the FBI (another Justice bureau) about such capabilities.