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Rugged PC Review Monthly News Archive [ Back to news index]

February 2013

VectraCor teams up with MobileDemand to offer C1200 rugged convertible
MobileDemand, a global provider of rugged tablet PC systems, and VectraCor, an emerging medical device company for cardiovascular solutions, have partnered to provide a turnkey solution to the healthcare industry for patients presenting with chest pain to detect real-time ECG changes suggestive of a heart attack. VectraCor has chosen the xTablet C1200 rugged convertible to use as their mobile, rugged version of the VectraplexECG System. -- Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013

N-trig launches DuoSense Pen2, swipes at Wacom
N-trig announced the release of its second generation DuoSense Pen family. Available in models of 9.5mm, 8.0mm and 5.5mm diameter, the active pen solution employs high pressure sensitivity, hover and function buttons with advanced palm rejection, pursuing a natural writing experience for screen ink input in both rechargeable and battery-operated pen models. The N-trig press release quotes David Daoud, IDC's Research Director for Personal Computing as saying, "Up to now, the use of digital pens in personal computing has been irrelevant. The quality of such input devices and lack of applications made the digital pen experience rather painful." -- Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MultiTouch Ltd introduces MultiTaction Codice
MultiTouch Ltd introduced MultiTaction Codice, a technology where interactive digital displays can read a person's 2D barcode and send content directly to the person's email address. Codice markers are managed by the content owner that can integrate the Codice information into any CRM or loyalty program they are using. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fujitsu announces enterprise-class, dust- and waterproof 10.1-inch Windows tablet
Fujitsu announced its new Arrows Tab Q852/F tablet for enterprise customers. The device is based on Intel's new "Clover Trail" Atom Z2760 processor, measures 10.4 x 6.7 x 0.4 inches, weighs 1.3 pounds, has a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 pixel screen, integrated LTE mobile broadband, runs Windows 8, runs 10 hours on a charge, and comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of SSD. Most interestingly for enterprise customers who seek something more durable than your standard media tablet, the Arrows Tab tablets will carry IP58 sealing, meaning they're totally dust and waterproof. [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Juniper Systems Aspect field mapping solution
There's a large demand for the creation of as-built documentation of irrigation systems, infrastructures, buildings, and numerous other assets. Traditional GIS and triangulation surveying are too often expensive for this type of work that does not always need sub-meter accuracy. We're looking at Juniper Systems' Aspect field mapping solution, an easy-to-use system with desktop and mobile components, designed for generating informative, attractive as-built documentation. [See description and analysis of the Juniper Systems Aspect field mapping solution] -- Posted Monday, February 25, 2013

4K video soon available in smartphones and tablets
Aptina announced new 12- and 13-megapixel mobile image sensors for high end smartphones. The new sensors deliver superior low light performance and still and high speed video high dynamic range (HDR) allowing exceptional pictures and video with incredibly fine detail regardless of lighting conditions. The new AR1230 can capture 4K video at 30fps as well as 1080P video up to 96fps. The AR1330 adds enhanced image stabilization. Both sensors support super slow motion video, computational array imaging and 3D image capture and come in standard 8.5 x 8.5mm modules with low Z-heights to leading OEMs and camera module integrators. -- Posted Monday, February 25, 2013

Samwell Ruggedbook: Computer use in high-dust environments
While the ability to survive drops and vibration are vital features of rugged tablet computers, sealing against water, dust and solids can be equally or more important in many extreme environments. Metal casting foundries, for example, require the ability to operate in extreme temperatures as well as complete, reliable sealing against dust. In a new feature Taiwanese Samwell discusses the importance of ingress protection in foundries, and the advantage of using rugged tablet computers such as their Ruggedbook SR820 in foundry environments. [See Computer use in high-dust environments] -- Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013

NVIDIA bakes high-end computational photography architecture into Tegra 4 processors
Of note: with high quality still and video imaging the norm for consumer smartphones and tablets, it only makes sense to integrate advanced imaging capabilities into the processor itself. That's what NVIDIA did with its newly announced Chimera Computational Photography Architecture. Available in its Tegra 4 processor family, Chimera includes such high-end features as always-on high-dynamic range photos and videos, HDR panorama, and persistent tap-to-track. In essence, this means capabilities that are not possible with glass alone and require intense post-processing. Two of the major players in imaging sensors, Sony and Aptina, are already supporting Chimera. [See NVIDIA press release] -- Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mobile pioneers: where are they now? BSQUARE
Bsquare was one of the first software companies when mobile computing emerged from predominantly proprietary platforms in the mid 1990s. Initially specializing on Windows CE, Bsquare expanded its operations into all sorts of embedded and mobile solutions. Where does Bsquare stand today? The company just reported fiscal year 2012 revenues of US$71.1 million, with a small profit of about a million. That's up from US$62.7 million for 2011, with a half million loss. What does Bsquare do these days? They are selling Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile as a Microsoft Value-Added Provider, board support packages for various mobile processor platforms, and various testing and certification tools. Bsquare's engineering services also include Linux, Android and QNX, and the company has launched a Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 porting service for Android, iOS and legacy Windows applications. -- Posted Friday, February 22, 2013

Fairchild Semiconductor offers haptic driver circuit for enhanced touch screen user feedback
Touch screen technology is a staple in many of today's electronics, but the haptic technology that drives touch screens suffers from slow response times and large battery drains. Fairchild Semiconductor developed the FAH4830 haptic driver to help designers overcome these challenges and enhance the end-user experience through excellent recognition and a user-friendly interface. Available in a 10L MLP, 3X3 X 0.8mm package, FAH4830 haptic driver is priced at $1.10 (in quantity 1,000). [See press release and driver fact sheet (PDF)] -- Posted Friday, February 22, 2013

Intermec and Ruckus team for optimal wireless erformance in distribution centers
Ruckus Wireless announced a partnership with Intermec to deliver new wireless distribution systems that bring together wireless scanning and Ruckus Smart WiFi technologies to improve performance and streamline workflow within distribution center and manufacturing operations. Ruckus says their ZoneFlex access points using its BeamFlex technology deliver reliable WiFi performance in warehouse deployments where floor to ceiling steel racks and changing inventory levels often cause RF dead spots or poor signal coverage. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Motorola Solutions establishes Americas sales HQ in Chicago
Motorola Solutions announced that it has established the sales headquarters for its Americas region -- comprising North, Central and South America and the Caribbean -- in the company’s new offices at 224 S. Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago. The new Americas sales headquarters will also include a customer-focused innovation center highlighting to visitors the company’s communications solutions. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013

DAP releases compact 7-inch M7000 rugged enterprise tablet with projected capacitive multi-touch
DAP Technologies added to its roster of rugged handhelds and tablets with the new DAP M7000. It's an enterprise-oriented rugged Windows 7 tablet with a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel wide-format screen with capacitive multi-touch. Powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600, the 1.7-pound tablet can accommodate SSDs up to 128GB, has IP65 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, and comes with an impressive array of features. [See description, analysis and specs of the DAP Technologies M7000] -- Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Posted in MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog
Over the past few weeks, MobileDemand has posted a number of informative entries into its Ruggedized Computing Blog. There's How Can Tablet PCs Help Prepare for Natural Disasters?, Advantages of Tablet PCs in the Warehouse and on Forklifts, How Ports Are More Secure with Rugged Tablet PCs, Rugged Tablet PCs and In-Transit Visibility in NATO Environment, and Cost of Rugged vs. Non-Rugged Tablet Computers. -- Posted Friday, February 15, 2013

Intermec starts proxy mailings for acquisition by Honeywell
Intermec announced it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission definitive proxy materials in connection with the Company’s pending merger agreement with Honeywell International and is beginning mailing of the proxy materials to stockholders. On December 10, 2012, Intermec had entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Honeywell will acquire Intermec in an all cash transaction for $10.00 per share. [See Intermec press release]
-- Posted Friday, February 15, 2013

Datalogic CEO resigns
In a surprise move, Datalogic CEO Mauro Sacchetto resigned, and Chairman Romano Volta will lead the company until a new CEO is appointed. Datalogic just recently unveiled an attractive new website and posted an impressive 8.5% sales increase for 2012 in preliminary reporting. -- Posted Friday, February 15, 2013

Video: Graphium Health streamlines EMR implementation with Motion Tablet PCs

Motion uploaded a new video to YouTube that highlights the use of Graphium Health's Anesthesia EMR, a cloud based, Tablet PC driven system that strikes a smart balance between handwritten and electronic data entry. Using Motion C5 and J3500 tablets, Graphium's goal was to capitalize on the tablet PCs' unique stylus capabilities, replacing paper records with an electronic solution that enhances efficiency, reliability and accuracy. The video shows how the system is being used in hospitals. [See Graphium Health Streamlines EMR Implementation with Motion Tablet PCs video]
-- Posted Friday, February 15, 2013

Chassis Plans attains Intel Technology Provider Platinum Partner status
Chassis Plans, a provider of rugged computer systems and rugged LCD monitors and keyboard video monitors for military, industrial, and commercial applications, announces that it has attained Intel Technology Provider Platinum Partner Status. Chassis Plans, located in San Diego, uses COTS components to provide rugged solutions for systems that will operate in a variety of harsh conditions. -- Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013

TouchStar releases electronic run ticketing system for crude oil and water hauling
Vertical market software and solutions provider TouchStar announced their new new XPRESS BUNDLED electronic run ticketing system specifically designed for crude oil and water hauling where efficient fleet automation, logistics and automated ticketing are crucial to success. The bundle is based on TouchStar's CrudePac, eNABLE and HyperDocs as well as Intermec's CN50 rugged handheld and PB-51 4" mobile printer. [See TouchStar release (PDF)] -- Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013

Technology for Technicians: 2013 Trends
The multi-functional capability of newer mobile devices, including ruggedized smartphones, presents field workers with a whole toolbox of computing and communications tools that never before were available in a single device. Handheld US president Dale Kyle discusses 2013 trends, opportunities, challenges, and how to bring it all together. [Read Technology for Technicians: 2013 Trends] -- Posted Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Xplore reports financials
After reporting record-busting revenues of US$8.9 million for calendar Q4 of 2011 (up from US$4.3 million for Q4 of 2010), Q4 of 2012 (which is actually Q3 of its fiscal year 2013), Xplore Technologies' revenues came in at US$5.9 million. For the nine months ended December 31, 2012, however, revenue was US$23.35 million compared to the nine months ended December 31, 2011 revenue of $16.7 million, an increase of 40%. Xplore reported a net loss for the quarter of $626,000 compared to a net income of $284,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2011, and net income for the nine months ended December 31, 2012 of $470,000 compared to a net loss of $1,848,000 for the nine months ended December 31, 2011. [See Xplore financials (PDF)] -- Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Motorola solutions introduces AME 2000 Secure Mobile Solution
Motorola Solutions launched the AME 2000 Secure Mobile Solution where AME stands for "Assured Mobile Environment." The idea here is that all those new smartphones and tablets offer the feds great opportunity to use inexpensive state-of-the-art technology, but those consumer devices don't come close to meeting Federal government minimum security requirements. Moto's AME consists of a) hardened commercial devices, b) data, key and credential protection in the device and over the network, and c) device and security policy control. A sample release includes a commercial security-enhanced Android smartphone with using a Virtual Private Network, encrypted communication via a microSD-based CRYPTR card, and Fixmo’s Sentinel Mobile Device Management. [See Moto's Assured Mobile environment brief (PDF)] -- Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Advantech posts Ubiquitous Touch Computer Applications video
Advantech published a new video demonstrating the many uses of its line of rugged UTCs (Ubiquitous Touch Computers). UTCs are essentially industrial-grade all-in-one panel computers in a vast range of sizes (4.3 all the way to 55 inches) that can be used for applications ranging from home automation to kiosks, interactive signage to self-service terminals. [See UTC video and Advantech's UTC page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Professional Golfers' Association of America to use Intermec rugged handhelds for data collection
Intermec announced that the PGA of America, an organization of 27,000 professional golfers, has selected the Intermec CN50 and Intermec CK71 rugged handheld mobile computers for data collection at its signature tournaments. The PGA teamed with Florida-based barcode and RFID technology specialists Scan Read Technologies and Intermec to deploy the new system. Previously renting equipment for each tournament, the PGA estimates it will save upwards of $3 million by 2016 by using in its own technology solution. [See Intermec press release and YouTube video on the PGA deployment] -- Posted Monday, February 11, 2013

Xplore adds field microsite
Rugged tablet maker Xplore Technologies seems to have added a second website at www.xplorefieldoptimized.com. The graphically interesting and mostly Flash-based site, described as a "field microsite," seems a subset of Xplore's main site. -- Posted Friday, February 8, 2013

Article: Not your father's Celeron
Frustrated with the often unsatisfactory performance of Intel's Atom chips, but can't justify the cost of a Core i5 or i7? Then consider the Pentium and Celeron versions of those high-end Core processors. Yes, Pentiums and Celerons still exist, but they are not your father's Celeron anymore. Instead, they are slightly detuned Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors that combine performance well above that of any Atom with excellent power management and a surprisingly affordable price. [Read Not your father's Celeron -- Posted Thursday, February 7, 2013

Motorola Solutions adds compact, rugged, economical MC45 mobile computer for field workforce deployment
Motorola Solutions expanded its already broad lineup of rugged enterprise handhelds with the economical and very compact MC45. Weighing less than 9 ounces, the MC45 runs Windows Embedded 6.5.3 Handheld on its 3.2-inch QVGA resistive touch display, includes a laser scanner, 3.5G WWAN, and exemplary ruggedness. [See description, analysis and specs of the Motorola MC45] -- Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Datalogic's new website impresses
Datalogic once again redesigned its corporate website, and they did an excellent job. The new site, which looks like it's done in HTML5, is elegant, content-rich, cohesive, and very fast. For now, Datalogic's new site is pretty much a model of how such websites ought to be. [See Datalogic's new website] -- Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The needless demise of the netbook
Three or so years ago, netbooks sold by the millions. Today, they're gone, replaced by tablets and larger, more powerful notebooks. What happened? I mean, it's not as if tens of millions of people wanted a netbook a few years ago, and today no one wants one. What happened? [read more] -- Posted Monday, February 4, 2013

Major tech update greatly boosts performance of the Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algiz XRW compact notebook
The Handheld Group announced a technology update to their 3.3-pound Algiz XRW ultra-rugged 10.1-inch notebook computer. In essence, Handheld replaced the single-core Intel Atom Z550 with the much newer dual-core Atom N2600, changed the integrated GPS for better field performance, enhanced data security, doubled the size of both RAM and onboard storage, and made Gobi 3000 available. [See description, analysis and specs of the updated Handheld Algiz XRW] -- Posted Monday, February 4, 2013

Added: GammaTech Durabook TA10
The GammaTech Durabook TA10 is an ultra-rugged tablet computer with a 10.4-inch XGA display with resistive multi-touch and optional active pen. Geared towards high-performance applications with available Intel 3rd generation Core processors, the highly customizable 5-pound TA10 can handle 5-foot drops, extreme temperatures and it carries IP65 sealing. There's plenty of onboard connectivity and the starting price is around US$2,300. [See description, analysis and specs of the GammaTech Durabook TA10] -- Posted Monday, February 4, 2013

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