Two Technologies, headquartered in Horsham, PA, has been designing and manufacturing customizable, rugged handheld computer and terminal products for industrial and commercial applications for over 20 years. With over 400 GEM partners, 4,000 customers and over a million products in the field, their computers and terminals can be found in a multitude of different applications and fields.
The Hydrus Luna, unveiled in May of 2009, is a special version of, and follow-up to, the original Hydrus Luna that was introduced in August of 2008 when Two Technologies introduced the ultra-rugged Hydrus handheld computer designed to provide maximum battery life in the harshest environments. Dual rechargeable Li-Ion packs with a combined capacity of 37 watt-hours—probably more than any other handheld—are good for over 40 hours, supporting a wide variety of field applications through several shifts. Its case is made of Xenoy, a resin developed by General Electric to provide chemical resistance, superior impact resistance even at low temperatures, and heat resistance under the worst of conditions.
The Hydrus, which weighs about 2.4 pounds with batteries installed, carries outstanding IP67/IP68 sealing, where the "6" stands for total protection against dust penetration, and the "8" for total protection against immersion in water (we don't know how deep, exactly). Add to that a 4-foot drop spec and an extremely wide operating temperature range from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and you have a machine that can operate practically anywhere.
Like the company's JETT.eye, the Hydrus has a 5.17-megapixel (4-megapixel processed) CMOS color imager with auto focus and LED illuminators that can take pictures or read bar codes (Code 128, Code 39, Code 2 of 5, EAN-13, PDF417, UPC and several more). Special development and application software is available for the camera.
A special addition to the Luna version is a true Xenon photo tube with software-controllable variable intensity adjustment. 2T emphasizes that this flash is designed to do real work with a dispersed optical flash lens design that will generate an optimal light pattern over the image area. The flash can be used in conjunction with the onboard LED illuminators, which can come in handy when setting up a shot in low-light conditions.
The pictures above show an example of what having a flash means in the real world and on the job. Without flash, the inspection label of this fire extinguisher cannot be read. With the flash, you get a crystal-clear picture (click here or on the picture to see the full-size version) of the label for the record. This sort of capability can greatly enhance the utility of a handheld computer.
The Hydrus uses one of the fastest currently available PXA processor (the 624MHz "Bulverde" PXA270) with easily configurable and customizable current and legacy components. It runs Microsoft Windows CE 5.0, includes Bluetooth and 802.11b WiFi, has 256MB of RAM plus 2GB to 32GB of Flash storage. The display is a landscape-mode 320 x 240 pixel outdoor viewable color LCD measuring 3.5 inches diagonally (full VGA 640 x 480 would be nice in a device with a high-res camera). There is a 55-key alphanumeric keypad that is fully customizable. Keys are shear-proof and can be operated with gloves and provide a keyboard-like feel.
The Hydrus can be equipped with RFID reader, laser scanner, imagers, cameras and even custom peripherals via the company's JETT*PACK expansion module technology. The Luna, additionally, can be ordered with integrated GPS with 8-foot horizontal positioning accuracy with very fast time-to-first-fix.
With its ultra-rugged design, very long battery life, customized keyboard, and camera with Xenon flash, the Hydrus Luna is perfectly suited for all sorts of outdoor applications in vertical markets where durability, operational longevity as well as image capturing and flexible operations are mandatory. Examples are law enforcement (meter reading/traffic), agriculture, environmental (water testing), security (crowd control), fleet management and even the hospitality sectors.