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

October 2008

LXE/Akerström vehicle mounts now made in the US
LXE reports that the TX700 and TX800 vehicle mount computer, originating from Swedish AkerstrŲms Trux, a company that was acquired by EMS Technologies, Inc. in February of 2008 and made part of EMX subsidiary LXE, is now manufactured in Norcross, GA. -- Posted Thursday, October 30, 2008

Intermec gets U.S. Army contract for CK61G rugged handhelds
Intermec announced that the U.S. Army has selected its CK61G rugged mobile computers with PM4i barcode printers to globally automate the accountability process for the U.S. Army's Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) system, the U.S. Army's Web-based property accountability and tracking system. [see full Intermec press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Liquid submersion sensors reports that Apple's elegant new Macbooks have a liquid submersion indicator that change color to let Apple service technicians see if damage is due to contact with water. The status of a sensor may then determine whether warranty repair claims will be accepted or not. There may be applicability of this technology in the rugged field. -- Posted Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Motorola to offer Windows Mobile 6.1 on its rugged handhelds
Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business from Motorola announced the availability of Windows Mobile 6.1 on its rugged mobile computers and enterprise digital assistants to better manage and deploy devices throughout the enterprise. Initial products to support the new platform will include Motorola's flagship MC9000 rugged mobile computers, the ergonomic MC3000 mobile computers and the size-optimized MC70 and MC75 Enterprise Digital Assistants (EDAs). -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2008

Handheld launches high precision GPS Kenaz
Handheld introduced today the Kenaz GPS receiver designed specifically for the TDS Nomad and Recon handheld computers. The Kenaz GPS receiver offers sub-meter accuracy for high precision mapping applications. It attaches directly to the top of the handheld to preserve the Nomadís and Reconís MIL-STD-810F and IP67 ratings. Kenaz features 12-channel parallel tracking (10-channel when tracking SBAS) and is able to maintain accuracy even during temporary loss of differential signal. -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2008

Intermec introduces PB2 and PB3 Wearable Mobile Receipt Printers
Intermec announced the PB2 and PB3 commercial mobile receipt printers providing low cost, wearable receipt printing solutions for DSD/route accounting, retail queue busting and field service applications. The lightweight two-inch and three-inch printers seamlessly complement the Intermec CN3 series, and new CK3 mobile computers. [read Intermec's press release] -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2008

VDC Research: commoditization in bar code printers brings diversification
VDC Research has taken a detailed look at bar code printing and concluded that decreasing prices and increasing functionality have led to commoditization of the bar code printer market with traditional bar code printer vendors being acquired and low-cost Asian manufacturers making inroads. According to VDC, "bar code printer suppliers are beginning to diversify their product portfolios beyond hardware sales by offering software and supporting services as a way to add more value to their end users while increasing revenue potential." Global bar code printer revenue is projected to from about US$2 billion in 2007 to US$2.85 billion in 2012. -- Posted Saturday, October 25, 2008

Toshiba introduces rugged 80GB SATA disk
Toshiba Storage Device Division (SDD) introduced its first 2.5-inch 80GB SATA automotive-grade HDD, the MK8057GSC, expanding its line of ruggedized and temperature-enhanced storage solutions for in-car navigation and infotainment applications. Toshiba's latest model features an operating altitude specification of 18,000 feet, supports an operating temperature range of -22 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and can withstand operational shock of 300G, providing a rugged and dependable storage solution for automobiles operating through extreme temperatures and terrain. -- Posted Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finmeccanica Completes acquisition of DRS Technologies for US$5.2 billion
Finmeccanica, S.p.A., a world leader in the aerospace, defense and security industry, announced to have successfully completed its acquisition of DRS Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of integrated defense electronics products, services and support. The acquisition received all the required regulatory approvals as well as the approval of DRS shareholders. The enterprise value of the transaction is 5.2 billion U.S. dollars. DRS will be known as DRS Technologies, a Finmeccanica Company. -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mobile noise cancellation
NoiseFree, a company dealing in noise management software, announced that its new "WindShield" software for cancelling wind noise in mobile voice applications is receiving acclaim from early customers. WindShield is a 'software only' solution that enhances mobile voice quality in the presence of annoying wind for substantial improvement in user Quality of Experience. Given the increasing importance of mobile voice applications in rugged computing, this bears watching. [Read white paper on NoiseFree's Noise Management System] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008

GD-Itronix case studies: rugged GoBooks operate under extreme conditions
General Dynamics Itronix issued two case studies covering the use of its rugged notebooks in extreme conditions. One describes how the rugged ultra-mobile GoBook MR-1 was used on the summit of Mount Everest under extreme temperatures and at over 29,000 feet of altitude. Connecting to a satellite phone, a GoBook MR-1 even sent an email from the top of Mt. Everest! The other covers the use of rugged GoBook XR-1 notebooks in a six-country mission in Africa designed to reduce malaria deaths. Here, the General Dynamics Itronix XR-1 held up under extreme tropical river conditions for over two months on inflatable boats. [Read Everest case study and Zambesi case study] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winmate joins as premier sponsor
Winmate has joined the ranks of RuggedPCReview premier sponsors, thus helping to make possible rugged computing news, information and detailed product reviews. Winmate Communication INC specializes in industrial display technologies and solutions including rugged tablet PCs, panel PCs, marine grade displays and computers, as well as rugged M-2-M solutions. Also check Winmate's homepage on RuggedPCReview and their video zone. -- Posted Monday, October 20, 2008

DSE's ultra-rugged waterproof displays
There are situations where you need an ultra-rugged waterproof and sunlight-viewable display. That's where Digital Systems Engineering of Scottsdale, Arizona, comes into play. Their lightweight lines of ultra-rugged and totally sealed (IP67) monitors come in all sizes, have antireflective and antiglare treatments, have backlights as bright as 1,400 nits (versus under 200 in a consumer notebook), and are MIL-STD-810F tested. [Read more about DSE's ultra-rugged sunlight-viewable displays] -- Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mercury Computer's PowerBlock 50 reaches 172 GFLOPS
Mercury Computer Systems' rugged PowerBlock 50 real-time computing system measures 4 x 5 x 6 inches and weighs less than 7 pounds, yet a maximum performance configuration achieves 172 GFLOPS from its processors. The PowerBlock 50 is designed to put processing power next to the sensor in space-constrained platforms such as unmanned vehicles. Rugged features include o-ring sealing for pressure, humidity, and EMI isolation; high-reliability connectors; extended temperature ranges; and locking modules for shock and vibration immunity, and the PowerBlock 50 chassis is designed throughout to isolate its internal electronics from all external environmental and physical conditions. [See Mercury's PowerBlock 50 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Toshiba unveils new Portege M750 Tablet PC convertible
Toshiba is showing a new version of Toshiba's Tablet PC convertible. It is essentially the Portege M700 updated to Centrino 2 technology and configured for a wide-format display. The M750 uses a powerful 2.5GHz P8600 processor, a 7200rpm disk, up to 8GB of RAM, and it has a 12.1-inch wide-format 1280-x800 pixel display. As in the M700, you get both touch and an active digitizer and, unlike, the new Lenovo X200t, the M750 has an optical drive built in. [Read description and specs of the Toshiba Portege M750] -- Posted Friday, October 10, 2008

Sonim XP1 - yes, they make rugged phones
If you're tired of wimpy little plastic cellphones and need something more substantial to go with your rugged gear, check out the Sonim XP1. It's a rugged Tri-Band GSM cellphone. We're not talking advanced smartphone here, but the XP1 carries a genuine IP54 rating and supposedly has been tested according to MIL-STD-810F standards. [Read description and specs of the Sonim XP1 rugged GSM phone] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Full review:Xplore iX104C4 rugged Tablet PC
Xplore Technologies, one of the pioneers in rugged mobile computing, released its heavily updated iX104C4 ultra-rugged Tablet PC this summer. Among the areas where the compact 5-pound iX104C4 slate excels are the very bright 10.4-inch XGA (1024 x 768 pixels) sunlight-viewable AllVue Xtreme display and the Dual Mode interface that intelligently combines both an active digitizer and a touch screen without the need for manual switching. [Read the full review of the Xplore iX104C4] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Seattle PD selects Intermec CN3 for parking enforcement
Intermec announced that the Seattle Police Department has selected the Intermec CN3 mobile computer deployed with Advanced Public Safety (APS) PocketParking software as its official parking enforcement solution. The CN3 enhances parking citation issuance efficiency for approximately 80 Seattle parking enforcement officers by expanding data collection and tracking abilities, automating daily work logs and providing photographic capabilities for court evidence. [See press Intermec release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Park Place Automotive gets 80 Motion LE1700 Tablet PCs
Motion Computing announced that Park Place Automotive, the operator of nine luxury automotive dealerships in Texas and California, selected MOC1 Wireless Service Advisor on Motion LE1700 Tablet PCs to improve the quality of customer service and efficiency of service representatives. [read full Motion press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

AHIMA session on Anoto digital pen technology
Anoto announced a session at the prestigious 80th American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention on the role of Digital Pen and Paper technology within health information management systems, as well as its contribution to enhancing usability and efficiency in the design of Electronic Health Records (EHR). The convention expects to draw more than 4,000 between October 11&16 at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle. -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kontron acquires Intel's rackmount business
Embedded systems specialist Kontron will take over Intel's rackmount server business, located in South Carolina and Malaysia and generating about US$40 million in annual revenue. In 2005, Kontron had taken over rugged computer maker Dolch, but in 2007 sold their mobile rugged computer operation to Azonix, a division of Crane Corporation. -- Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rapidly rising Smart Card deployment in Asian markets
According to VDC Research Group, the economies of Asia-Pacific are ripe to support a smartcard revolution. Despite narrow installed bases of related and required host/enabling technology, governments are funding trials and rollouts that put smartcards into the hands of the masses. Large-scale government initiatives such as the National Card Programs in China and Malaysia are underway, and VDC expects such programs to spark demand for the technology across a number of private sector vertical markets. The Asia-Pacific market for contactless smartcards exceeded US$200 million in 2007 and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate in excess of 32% through 2012. -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2008

Motorola releases advanced VC6096 in-vehicle computer
Motorola introduced a very interesting addition to its line of vehicle-based panel computers. The VC6096 combines a robust Windows CE 6.1-based computer with GPS, integrated 3.5G wireless voice and data, engine computer connectivity, as well as digital I/O for communication with various sensors into an all-in-one transportation logistics solution. The VC6096's design combines a 6.5-inch full VGA display with a large backlit keyboard that actually provides an almost full-scale QWERTY layout (96.5%). [Read description and specs of the Motorola VC6096] -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2008

Fujitsu's first wide-format Tablet PC slate
For a pioneer in the pen computing/Tablet PC arena with almost 20 years of experience, Fujitsu has been keeping an exceedingly low profile in the Tablet PC arena as of late. Fujitsu Siemens quietly introduced the new ST6012 slate, the first Stylistic with a wide-format 1280 x 800 pixel display. The new machine sports a businesslike design, ergonomic improvements, and has switched to Intel's latest processor and ancillary circuitry technology without giving up any of its superb battery life. [Read description and specs of the Fujitsu Stylistic ST6012] -- Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008

Full review: Advantech TREK-775 rugged vehicle mount
The Advantech TREK-775 is a computer created to be used in vehicles ranging from forklifts to trucks to tanks. It can be deployed as an embedded device running Windows XP Embedded or Windows CE 5.0 on a solid state disk, or as a full hard disk-based Windows XP machine. The unit does not need a fan, runs silently, and barely warms up. The very high quality aluminum body is sealed to IP65 specifications and can take a lot of abuse. The TREK-775 is a clean machine with excellent connectivity that combines no-nonsense industrial design, superb ruggedness, easy customization and maintenance, and surprisingly quick performance. It can be configured for a large variety of applications in all kinds of vehicular applications. [Read full review of the rugged Advantech TREK-775 vehicle mounted panel computer] -- Posted Friday, October 3, 2008

Motion, Dell and Intel launch Mobile Point of Care (MPOC) Wireless Assessment service
With seamless, reliable access to patient information being critical to safe, quality care in an increasingly complex and mobile health care environment, Dell, Intel and Motion Computing have launched a new Mobile Point of Care (MPOC) Wireless Assessment service to assess, design and validate the quality and coverage of wireless networks as the backbone of health care information flow. -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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