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

February 2014

Compact, rugged Trimble Juno T41 R Series adds UHF RFID
Trimble's smartphone-inspired rugged Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 4.1 mobile computer with 4.3-inch projected capacitive multi-touch gets Ultra-High Frequency RFID versions in a remarkably compact form factor. Available with either IP65 or IP68 sealing, the EPCglobal Gen 2 compatible T41 R is location aware for use in different regions across the globe, and is available with full voice/data phone capability as well as enhanced high-accuracy GPS. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Juno T41 RFID] -- Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014

Army issues field manual on cyber war
Interesting reading: the US Army's publication FM 3-38 on Cyber Electromagnetic Activities. It's about electronic warfare, and as such defines and describes electronic warfare, attacks and protection in an increasingly network-based world. Approved for public release, and available here. -- Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014

US Dept. of Transportation to use Mi-Co forms with handwriting recognition for vehicle crash investigations
Mi-Co, which specializes in data capture software forms that include handwriting recognition, announced it was awarded the contract to provide the US Department of Transportation (DoT) with a functional field data collection system with its Mi-Forms mobile forms software. Field staff will conduct multiple interviews on a weekly basis with motor vehicle crash participants. During these interviews, field data collectors will use natural handwriting within the mobile forms to capture data presented in an aural manner in a rapid fashion. [See Mi-Co press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Juniper Systems and partners to attend CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 in Las Vegas
Juniper Systems reports it will be exhibiting its rugged handhelds at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014, held March 4-8 in Las Vegas. A major attraction for companies in nearly every construction industry, CONEXPO-CON/AGG will host 2,400 exhibitors and over 130,000 attendees. Attendees will include contractors, dealers, distributors, service providers, engineers, producers, and municipalities, among others. [Read Juniper blog about CONEXPO] -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5: impressive tech and now even waterproof
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung revealed the Galaxy S5, its new flagship smartphone. While after all those years of ever-smaller and handier phones the wisdom of giant phones is debatable, the specs and capabilities of the new Galaxy S5 are most impressive. Android "KitKat" 4.4.2, 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED screen, dual cameras (16mp camera, 2mp, 4K video), USB 3.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT 4.0, NFC, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 10-12 hours battery life, fingerprint scanner, pulse sensor, 5.6 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches, 5.1 ounces. And it is IP67-sealed. -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oswego Health honored at HIMSS 2014 for excellent use of Motion Computing mobile technology
MotionComputing honored Oswego Health at HIMSS 2014 for excellent use of mobile technology solutions in a healthcare environment. Oswego Health streamlines the patient records management process through a holistic mobile solution specifically designed to meet the demands of a healthcare environment. Running Meditech software and Windows 8, Motion Rugged Tablet PCs provide clinicians reliable access to patient data and easy documentation capabilities. Paired with Motion disinfecting ReadyDocks and mobile docks, Oswego Health clinician efficiency is increased, data accuracy improved and patient care enhanced. [See Motion press release) -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dell delivers superior mobile security with secure mobile access solution
Dell reports that its newest release of Dell SonicWALL secure mobile access solutions enables mobile worker productivity with simple, policy-enforced SSL VPN access to mission-critical applications and data without compromising security. It's a secure mobile access gateway solution to help protect an organization’s data at rest on devices, and provides state-of-the-art, context-aware authentication that grants access only to authorized users and trusted devices. [See Dell press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Intel introduces new handheld/tablet Z34XX/Z35XX Atom chips
Not of primary importance to the rugged devices market, but still relevant and definitely worth keeping an eye on: at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Intel introduced the new dual-core Atom Z34xx processors, codenamed "Merrifield," to be followed later in 2014 with the quad-core Z35xx "Moorefield" processors. These are all based on the "Silvermont" processor architecture, the first major revamp of Intel's Atom cores (see our "Does your Pentium have an Atom engine?" article). "Merrifield" can be viewed as the smartphone/tablet versions of Intel's "Bay Trail" platform introduced a few months ago (those include Intel HD graphics instead of Merrifield's PowerVR). [See Intel's product brief on the Atom Z34XX] -- Posted Monday, February 24, 2014

SOTI MobiControl Android+ technology enables more than 35 OEMs to overcome Android in the enterprise hurdle
SOTI, the major provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy management, announced that it has significantly expanded its Android OEM partnerships to encompass more than 35 of the leading Android device manufacturers globally. [See SOTI press release] -- Posted Monday, February 24, 2014

CipherLab at 2014 AWMA Expo in Las Vegas
CipherLab invites to visit them at the 2014 AWMA Expo at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Booth#1042, Las Vegas, NV, February 25-27, 2014. CipherLab will have the 8600 series Dedicated Operating System Mobile Computer on display as well as the CP60/9200 series Windows Mobile Computer. -- Posted Monday, February 24, 2014

News from American Industrial Systems (AIS)
The folks at rugged and embedded systems design and manufacturer AIS (American Industrial Systems) issue weekly press releases that are not always about new products, but often about some of their technologies and methodologies. Most recently, they reported on their human-machine interface panels for use in building automation systems, their accelerated stress testing technology, and their HMI systems for automotive, agricultural and forestry machinery applications. Worthwhile reading, informative reading. -- Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014

X-ES launches another flight-qualified, SWaP-optimized Intel Core i7-based rugged multi-processor system
Extreme Engineering Solutions announced the rugged, SWaP-optimized XPand4208 Intel Core i7-based multiprocessor system, qualified to comply with MIL-STD-810F and DO-160F for temperature, altitude, vibration, shock, humidity, sand and dust, waterproofness, magnetic effects, explosive atmosphere, fluid susceptibility, fungus resistance, and salt fog. It was also qualified for EMI compliance according to MIL-STD-461F for conducted, as well as radiated, emissions and susceptibility. [See X-ES press release and product page] -- Posted Thursday, February 20, 2014

ADLINK offers Haswell-powered rugged processor blades
ADLINK Technology, which provides embedded building blocks and application-ready intelligent platforms, announced the cPCI-6530. It's a 6U CompactPCI processor blade based on a quad-core 22nm 4th generation Intel Core processor. Rugged and designed to pass MIL-STD-810G testing, the cPCI-6530 is targeted at mission-critical defense, aviation, railway and other transportation applications. [See ADLINK cPCI-6350 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014

N-trig's DuoSense multi-touch & active pen solution selected by Intel for its Education Tablet
As most pen enthusiasts know, Wacom has historically been considered the leading active pen technology vendor, but now N-trig claims that the latest build of their pen actually surpasses Wacom in terms of accuracy, pressure sensitivity, continuity, linearity and overall user experience. We haven't checked N-trig's solutions lately, but they did just claim a big win when Intel implemented the N-trig DuoSense controller chipset into its Intel Education Tablet. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Handheld Group introduces Nautiz X4 rugged mobile computer
Handheld Group introduced the rugged Nautiz X4, a multi-purpose data collection mobile computer with integrated keypad and industrial-grade scanner options. The IP65-sealed Nautiz X4 has a 3.5-inch 640 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen, runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 for easy integration into existing enterprise infrastructures, weighs under 12 ounces, and includes GPS, WWAN, camera and a microSD card slot. [See description, analysis, and specs of the Handheld Group Nautiz X4] -- Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Case study: noax rugged touch computers used at Layne Christensen extreme drilling projects
noax Technologies published a case study outlining how their rugged industrial panel PCs help Layne Christensen Company in their various global water management and drilling projects. The study illustrates how super-rugged noax touch computers, which are often mounted directly onto derricks, provide the pin-point accuracy and comprehensive real-time data required in modern drilling projects. [Read noax case study] -- Posted Monday, February 17, 2014

Winmate launches Bay Trail-based compact Box PC
Winmate's IB32SB7-101 is a compact industrial Box PC designed for a wide variety of industrial automation or machine-to-machine applications. The device measures just 6.7 x 6.3 inches and stands 1.3 inches tall. That's smaller than the original Apple TV. Yet, this versatile little box is a tough, full-function industrial Windows computer, and one of the first devices we've come across that uses Intel's Bay Trail processor platform. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate IB32SB7-101 slim Box PC] -- Posted Friday, February 14, 2014

White paper: Dedicated Operating System for AIDC?
While evaluating CipherLab's latest AIDC handheld (the 8600 Series), we commented on its use of a dedicated, proprietary OS. CipherLab followed up by sending us a white paper that makes the case for a proprietary OS in AIDC (and presumably other highly vertical) markets: Lower cost via task-oriented hardware and software, stability and ruggedness, higher level of security, superior longevity, and less costly custom application development. [Read "Dedicated Operating System for AIDC?] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014

Moto Solutions invests in Revionics
Motorola Solutions, through its strategic investment arm Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, has invested in Revionics, which helps retailers transform from product-centricity to shopper-centricity via data-driven merchandise planning through predictive analytics and demand-based optimization solutions. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014

GammaTech’s latest durable computer solutions for the healthcare industry to be on display at HIMSS14
GammaTech Computer Corp., announced that it will display its latest solutions for the healthcare industry at HIMSS14 Annual Conference and Exhibition. The company will showcase its line of All‐In‐One products as well as many of its rugged and semi‐rugged models that are designed to stand up to the daily rigors of the medical industry. GammaTech will be in booth 3612 during exhibit hours February 24‐26. OHIMSS14 will take place at the Orange County Convention Center (West Building) in Orlando, Florida February 23 – 27. [See GammaTech press release] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014

BlueStar and Motorola SOlutions expand North American relationship
BlueStar, a global distributor of ADC, Mobility, Point-of-Sale, RFID, Digital Signage, and Security technology solutions, and Motorola Solutions, a leading global provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers, will join in a new distribution relationship for Motorola's industrial mobile computing portfolio in the United States and Canada. BlueStar will expand its offering of Motorola rugged handheld devices, vehicle-mount computers and connectivity solutions, including the former Psion portfolio, across North America. [See BlueStar press release] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014

CipherLab introduces the ARM-powered 8600 Series mobile data collection computer with their own proprietary OS
Not all industrial data collection handhelds run Windows Mobile or Android. They don't need to. Sometimes a proprietary OS gets the job done with less overhead and at lower cost. That's why CipherLab introduced their 8600 Series of 8.5-ounce rugged and highly configurable data collection handhelds that are powered by an ARM Cortex-M3 processor and their own CipherLab OS.. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab 8600 Series] -- Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Xplore Technologies reports record revenue and revenue growth of 136% for fiscal 2014 third quarter
For Q4 of 2013 (which is actually Q3 of its fiscal year 2014), Xplore Technologies reported record revenue of US$13.98 million, compared to US$5.93 million for the same quarter a year ago. For the nine months ended December 31, 2013, revenue was US$27.24 million, compared to the nine months ended December 31, 2012 revenue of $23.35 million, an increase of 17%. Xplore reported net income for the quarter of $890,000 compared to a net loss of $626,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2012, and a net loss for the nine months ended December 31, 2013 of $360,000 compared to net income of $470,000 for the nine months ended December 31, 2012. Sales of Xplore’s new RangerX rugged Android tablet accounted for approximately 50 percent of the increase in revenue over the prior year. [See Xplore financials] -- Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Swedish biathlon team uses Handheld Group's ultra-rugged XRW notebook computer
With the Winter Olympics in Sochi underway, it's interesting to know that the Swedish national biathlon team used Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algix XRW notebooks for timing and other services to the athletes. The compact 3.3-pound notebook with its wide operating temperature range and nearly indestructible design is well suited for operation under the most extreme conditions. [Read Handheld's "Hitting the Mark with Mobile Technology" case study] -- Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Xplore Technologies blog: Total Cost of Ownership calculator shows true long-term savings of rugged tablets
Xplore Technologies' latest blog entry discusses total cost of ownership. While the benefits and advantages of emerging mobile technologies have certainly caught the eye of businesses everywhere and companies know they must implement and invest in these solutions, they do come at a price. Xplore now provides a total cost of ownership calculator that will shows the big picture long-term costs. [See Xplore TCO calculator entry] -- Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2014

MobileDemand blog: How are rugged Tablet PCs tested for ruggedness?
This blog entry on MobileDemand's site explains how the rugged tablet industry over time adopted testing standards developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the U.S. military (MIL-STD 810G), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and other organizations. [See MobileDemand blog entry] -- Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DAP trade-up offer for keypad tablet aficionados
For anyone who has (and loves) those old LXE MX3 and MX3X keypad tablets that Honeywell AIDC discontinued, DAP Technologies announced a trade-in offer to their new state-of-the-art M9020 keypad tablet. [See the trade-up offer here] -- Posted Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Motorola Solutions adds Android-based TC55 touch computer
If an Android smartphone went to boot camp and Business School and came back a tough, feature-rich touch computer for enterprise deployment, it'd look just like the new TC55 touch computer from Motorola Solutions. Based on Android 4.1.2, the TC55 has a 4.3-inch WSVGA dual-mode capacitive touch screen, GPS, scanner, IP67 sealing, 4GLTE, and Moto's MX Android security, device management and performance features. [See description, analysis, and specs of the Motorola Solutions TC55 touch computer] -- Posted Monday, February 10, 2014

Juniper Systems at 2014 CONEXPO-CON
Juniper Systems announced it is participating at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014 trade show in Las Vegas from March 4-8. CONEXPO-CON/AGG is a huge show that features new products and technologies from 2,400 exhibitors in every major construction industry. [See CONEXPO-CON page] -- Posted Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sony sells VAIO PC and laptop business, concentrates on smartphones and tablets
Sony is leaving the PC and laptop business in order to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets. The VAIO PC business is transferred to a new company established by Japan Industrial Partners Inc. Sony's decision came upon analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony's overall business strategy, the need for support of Sony's VAIO customers, and some job preservation for VAIO personnel. [See Sony release] -- Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014

Stay-Linked announces partnership with DAP Technologies
Stay-Linked, a provider of terminal emulation and related software, announced a strategic partnership with DAP Technologies. DAP will pre-load Stay-Linked software on select DAP tablets—including models M9010, M9700, and MT1010—offering a robust, out-of-the-box solution for customers who seek the reliability and flexibility of simplified Windows 7 and Windows 8 support, as well as unified client management, negating the need for version control. -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Satya Nadella new Microsoft CEO, John Thompson new Chairman
The media won't have Steve Ballmer to kick around anymore. Microsoft announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella (in picture) as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, previously was Executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. Microsoft also announced that John Thompson will be Chairman of the Board, and that prior Chairman Bill Gates will remain on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getac and Becrypt deploy secure and rugged Android tablet for military trial and accreditation
Getac UK and mobile security solutions provider Becrypt announced an alpha trial to secure accreditation from the UK Ministry of Defence for what the companies' call the world's first secure Android 4.1 tablet solution suitable for defence and government markets. The Getac Z710 7-inch Android tablet, equipped with Becrypt's Titan II software. The device will undergo trials by global security company Northrop Grumman as a Blue Force Tracking (BFT) system designed to link tactical commanders with vehicles and personnel in the field. [See press release and Becrypt Titan II Android security page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Xplore RangerX rugged tablet now available on GovX
Xplore Technologies announced the availability of its 2.2-pound RangerX Android 4.2.2 rugged tablet on GovX, the largest e-commerce website exclusively for military and government members. Through GovX, the RangerX will be sold to retired and active military and government employees for their personal use. [See GovX site and RangerX page on GovX]] -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crystal Group launches rugged extreme-duty storage system
Crystal Group Inc., a manufacturer of rugged commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) custom-developed computers, displays, switches, and storage devices, announced today the introduction of the RSS13S17 JBOD Rugged 1U Storage System. The latest rugged solution is an extreme duty system designed for military operations, commercial industries, and the most demanding mission critical applications. -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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