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

July 2006

Otterbox releases tough notebox case
Transform a standard laptop into a rugged laptop with the OtterBox Rugged Laptop Carrying Case, from Otter Products. Available in three customizable sizes, released throughout the year, this rugged case provides water, dust and drop protection. Case keeps laptops safe in any environment, for work or play. With a virtually indestructible polypropylene shell, the OtterBox Rugged Laptop Carrying Case is ready for any adventure. The first available case, the 7030, accommodates laptops with screens 14”-15.” Later this year OtterBox will release the 7020 for laptop screens 14” and smaller and the 7040 for screens 15” and larger. Cases will also accommodate similar-sized devices including Tablet PCs, Slates and Ultra Mobile PCs. As seen in coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the OtterBox Rugged Laptop Carrying Case withstood a 250lb person jumping on it and a full bottle of water poured over it. [see full release] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2006

SecuriKey offers multi-user USB key-based data protection
Security is bcoming ever more improtant in mobile rugged computing. SecuriKey, a provider of notebook information security solutions for data protection and user authentication, announced the launch of a new Multi-User Edition of its simple, yet effective USB key-based solution that combines a password and an ignition key for the computer. The system requires almost no training, yet provides administrative control without excessive IT complexities. Supported platforms include Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Server and both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Windows Vista support is being developed for 2007. -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Motorola adds contextual search to its MOTOPRO Mobility Suite
Motorola has added contextual search capabilities to its MOTOPRO Mobility Suite to enable secure, mobile access to enterprise information. Contextual search can make results more relevant by automatically refining them based on metadata related to things such as user location and current tasks being performed. The MOTOPRO Mobility Suite is a platform for rapid mobile application design and deployment, coupled with enterprise-class device security and management. Motorola will leverage Google's "OneBox for Enterprise" feature of the Google Search Appliance to maximize usability of the solution on the Motorola Q Smartphone, HC700 rugged handheld series and other enterprise devices. -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Electrovaya Scribbler SC-3100
We've added a full review of the Electrovaya Scribbler SC-3100 Tablet PC slate. Verdict: an elegant, powerful and versatile slate with a wide-viewing angle display and superior battery life thanks to a 75 or 92 watt-hour Electrovaya SuperPolymer powerpack. [see Scribbler SC-3100 review] -- Posted Monday, July 24, 2006

RFID printer/encoders to grow 80% per year
According to a recently released volume of Venture Development Corporation's annual "RFID Business Planning Service," the global market for RFID printer/encoders and applicators reached an estimated $11 million in 2005. Unit shipments approached 4,000 and are expected to exceed 90,000 by 2010. VDC anticipates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 80% through 2010, with revenue shipments projected to exceed $200 million within five years.
-- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006

Jo-Ann Stores picks Symbol's MC3000
Symbol and Creative Concepts Software announced that Jo-Ann Stores deployed Symbol's Mobility Services Platform, mobile computers and Wi-Fi network infrastructure at 278 of its high-volume stores. Symbol's MC3000 mobile computer was selected for its ease of use, small, lightweight form factor and the ability to support the retailer's existing applications. Jo-Ann Stores also chose Symbol's WS2000 wireless switches and AP300 access ports to serve as their business-critical Wi-Fi network infrastructure to provide wireless connectivity for the MC3000 mobile computers. -- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006

Intermec and Symbol resolve all outstanding IP disputes
Intermec and Symbol, both pioneers and leaders in automated identification and data capture technologies, reached an agreement that settles all outstanding intellectual property disputes between the two companies. Under the settlement agreement, Intermec and Symbol have cross-licensed certain patents, have entered into four-year covenants not to sue with respect to remaining patents, and have released patent infringement damage claims that may have existed on the settlement date or may arise before the covenants expire. Our comment: Good job, guys! [see full release] -- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006

DOD selects Psion Teklogix and GlobeRanger for RFID Edgeware deployment
Psion Teklogix, a global provider of solutions for mobile computing, wireless data collection, imaging and RFID and GlobeRanger today announced that the United States Defense Distribution Center (DDC) has awarded Psion Teklogix a contract worth an estimated $1.8 million. Under the agreement, Psion Teklogix will deploy GlobeRanger's iMotion Edgeware throughout DDC facilities by the end of 2007. see full release] -- Posted Monday, July 17, 2006

Miami Herald praises Itronix Hummer
Miamiherald.com, in a brief article on cool gear, allerted Hummer owners who want to reflect the Hummer lifestyle -- whatever that is -- about the ultimate computing accessory: A Hummer-themed laptop. "No, it doesn't get 10 miles per megabyte or cut off other computers on the information superhighway," goes the rport, "but its case reflects the tough-guy styling of its automotive counterpart." The attention-getting semi-rugged Itronix Hummer comes with a 1.86 GHz Pentium M Centrino processor with 512MB of RAM. It has been drop-tested from a height of 30 inches and is available with GPS capability. You can buy it at www.hummerstuff.com for $2,095. [see our summary review on the Itronix Hummer] -- Posted Monday, July 17, 2006

Tough IP65 display
Sometimes the mobile computer is just one part of a whole. Oy also may need a separate, rugged, well-sealed display. Not too many of those around. Australian APC Technology now offers the CT2050, a rugged 15-inch flat panel display sealed to IP65 specifications. The CT2050 has optioal touchscreen interfaces, one based on Infra-T technology suited for gloved-hand applications, the other resistive. -- Posted Monday, July 17, 2006

Full review of TDS Ranger
We've added a full review of the TDS Ranger 500X, a Windows Mobile 5.0-based flashlight-style handheld computer using a 520MHz Intel PXA270 processor, and one of the most rugged handhelds available today. [see full review of TDS Ranger] -- Posted Friday, July 14, 2006

Marnlen to use IBM invention for privacy-enabled product tracking
IBM and Marnlen RFiD announced a new collaboration on the next critical step of enabling consumer privacy protection for RFID tags -- the potential production of smart radio frequency identification (RFID) labels using IBM Research's Clipped Tag privacy technology and Marnlen's state-of-the-art label manufacturing facilities. [see full release] -- Posted Thursday, July 13, 2006

Symbol and Hypercom partner in secure payment solutions
Symbol and high security electronic transaction solutions provider Hypercom Corporation announced a strategic relationship designed to address the multi-lane payment terminal needs of retailers. Symbol will initially resell Hypercom's Optimum series of multi-lane payment terminals in North America. Under the agreement, Hypercom will manufacture Symbol branded secure electronic payment devices for resale by Symbol to meet the needs of its customers. Symbol will continue to support customers who have already deployed its PD8500 and PD4500 payment devices. Hypercom's Optimum L4100, L4105, L4200 and L4250 multi-lane payment terminals will be the first products resold by Symbol as the Symbol PD8700, PD8705 (in Canada only), PD4700 and PD4750 payment terminals, respectively. -- Posted Thursday, July 13, 2006

Zebra announces RoHS compliance
Zebra Technologies Corporation, a global leader in on-demand printing solutions for business improvement, announced that as part of its commitment to the global environment, Zebra thermal printers are in compliance with the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Our take: Applause for Zebra and everyone else who offers RoHS compliance. Doing so often requires total re-engineering of a product, at significant cost, but it's doing the right thing. -- Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Symbol deploys wireless systems in French clinic
Symbol and Ekahau, a suppliers of Wi-Fi positioning solutions, announced that the La Châtaigneraie private clinic implemented the Ekahau Real Time Location System (RTLS) solution. The wireless solution incorporates two Symbol WS5100 wireless switches and 30 AP300 access ports, and is used to improve communications in and between its 16 operating rooms. The solution will enable staff to locate patients in real-time, help optimise patient flow, reduce waiting times, and manage the patient care process more efficiently. -- Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Symbol chosen to support government RFID contract win
Symbol announced that it has been selected by ODIN technologies, a leader in the physics of RFID testing, software and deployment, to support its recent contract win with the United States Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the United States Department of Defense's (DoD) logistics combat support agency that provides supplies and services to America's military forces worldwide. [ see full release]
-- Posted Monday, July 10, 2006

Fujitsu makes available second gen biometric authentication
Fujitsu announced the North American distribution of its new compact and higher performance PalmSecure biometric authentication device. Leveraging the dynamic capabilities of palm vein based authentication, the second gen product is nearly 75% smaller than the original, and features increased authentication speed for implementation in a range of applications including room access security systems, PC/network login systems and other ID management applications. Fujitsu is leveraging existing relationships with partners and service providers such as Avnet Applied Computing Solutions to deploy PalmSecure in the healthcare, financial and government markets, as well as to general enterprises. Internal research by Fujitsu resulted in a false acceptance rate of less than 0.00007% and a false rejection rate of only 0.00004%. [ see full release] -- Posted Monday, July 10, 2006

Xplore beefs up security in new iX104C3 rugged slate
Xplore Technologies introduced the iX104C3 Tablet PC with durable finger print reader and user accessible hard drive and PC card bay. Xplore, which has a long history of innovation to the rugged pen tablet industry, is the first to introduce biometrics for access of data on a rugged pen tablet computer. The durable finger print scanner allows users the added security authentication benefit, and the user-accessible hard drive and PC card bay allow management and better control of sensitive materials. "We understand that data security has become an integral issue in today's mobile computing environment. Based on input from our customers and the needs of target markets, we developed a product that addresses this issue, yet still maintains our best-in-class rugged characteristics that have become well-known in the industry," states Mark Holleran, President and COO of Xplore Technologies. "We believe that the iX104C3 tablet is the only rugged computer in today's market that possesses this vital security/loss prevention feature. This product is another welcome addition to Xplore's rugged mobile computing family and will bring enhanced, refined benefits to our end-users." -- Posted Monday, July 10, 2006

Moto releases MIL-SPEC cameraphone
Sprint Nextel and Motorola announced the Motorola i580, a ruggedized, stylish and fully equipped handset and the only iDEN rugged phone in the industry to feature an embedded 1.3 megapixel camera and the first with a clam form factor to include Bluetooth wireless technology. There's a micro SD card slot and the phone comes with a 64MB card. The i580, which supports GPS-based applications, is also the first rugged iDEN clam phone designed to meet military specification 810 F for rain resistance, as well as for dust, shock and vibration. The phone's durable design and easy-grip rubber exterior can withstand even the toughest day on the job or the most demanding outdoor activities for those who enjoy an active lifestyle. -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006

Tripod updates and improves their Recon handhelds
Tripod Data Systems (TDS) announced the next generation of its TDS Recon rugged handheld computer. The new Recon X-Series gives users the option of integrated Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless capabilities, and it comes with Windows Mobile 5.0, the latest version of Microsoft's software for handheld devices. The new Recon handheld computer includes two models, both with more Flash memory than before. The Recon 200X features a 200 MHz Intel XScale processor and 128 MB of Flash memory; the Recon 400X features a 400 MHz processor and 256 MB of Flash memory. Other new features include a built-in microphone, a redesigned keypad and an improved color touchscreen. -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006

Rugged Portable Systems
At RuggedPCReview.com we've covered the rugged computing industry for well over a decade. Yet we keep finding companies that we didn't know of before. One is Rugged Portable Systems, a division of Secure Communication Systems, Inc. Their motto: Secure/Rugged Portable Systems a leading custom solution for your industrial and harsh environment needs. Our rugged computer systems are second to none because we are "The company that listens to War Fighters and delivers! The device shown on the left is the company's Secure RPS Air Warrior handheld computer, a lightweight portable running a 1GHz ultra-low-power processor and using a touch panel as the primary interface on its sunlight-readable 6.4-inch display. An optional keyboard/mouse folds over the display. -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2006

DAP Technologies upgrades to Bulverde, RoHS compliance.
DAP Technologies, a manufacturer providing rugged mobile computing solutions and services, introduced their new series of MICROFLEX units that run on Intel's next generation Xscale PXA270 platform, and meet the new Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive set out by the European Parliament, related to materials used in electronic equipment. The integration of the PXA270 "Bulverde" platform facilitates DAP's strategy to provide customizable end-caps that will allow more functionality and flexibility in the field. The new end-caps enable users to integrate multiple applications to meet individual industry needs. The complete Bulverde series, including the MICROFLEX CE8800B, CE8640B, CE2240X, CE5000B, and CE3240B is RoHS-compliant. DAP's line of rugged MICROFLEX handheld computers are ideal for a variety of mobile computing applications in many field service sectors, including utilities; energy; transportation and logistics; emergency services; law and parking enforcement; civil engineering; and construction. All units are offered as IP67, with the CE3240 offered as IP65 and optional IP67, and are MIL-STD-810F approved. -- Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006

DAP Technologies upgrades to Bulverde, RoHS compliance.
DAP Technologies, a manufacturer providing rugged mobile computing solutions and services, introduced their new series of MICROFLEX units that run on Intel's next generation Xscale PXA270 platform, and meet the new Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive set out by the European Parliament, related to materials used in electronic equipment. The integration of the PXA270 "Bulverde" platform facilitates DAP's strategy to provide customizable end-caps that will allow more functionality and flexibility in the field. The new end-caps enable users to integrate multiple applications to meet individual industry needs. The complete Bulverde series, including the MICROFLEX CE8800B, CE8640B, CE2240X, CE5000B, and CE3240B is RoHS-compliant. DAP's line of rugged MICROFLEX handheld computers are ideal for a variety of mobile computing applications in many field service sectors, including utilities; energy; transportation and logistics; emergency services; law and parking enforcement; civil engineering; and construction. All units are offered as IP67, with the CE3240 offered as IP65 and optional IP67, and are MIL-STD-810F approved. -- Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Virgin Atlantic uses Symbol RFID solution
Symbol was chosen by Virgin Atlantic Airways to supply RFID technology, as part of a pilot project, to track critical, high value aviation assets moving through its logistics supply chain at Heathrow International Airport. Virgin Atlantic deployed Symbol's MC9000-G RFID handheld mobile computers with RFID readers and a Symbol wireless LAN infrastructure, including a WS2000 wireless switch and AP300 access ports. The aim of the pilot is to track and trace high value repairable aircraft parts often at short notice. The installation is based at Virgin Atlantic's logistics facilities at Heathrow Airport with additional facilities at Gatwick Airport. -- Posted Monday, July 3, 2006

Intermec sues Alien Technology over patent infringement
Intermec filed suit against Alien Technology in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for patent infringement. Intermec alleges that Alien's Generation 2 RFID readers and tags infringe 10 Intermec patents. Intermec is seeking an injunction prohibiting Alien from selling the infringing RFID products, as well as monetary damages.
-- Posted Monday, July 3, 2006

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