GNSS Highly accurate GPS for Tablet PC

GNSS Highly Accurate GPS for Tablet PC

GNSS Highly accurate GPS for Tablet PCGPS has become a common feature in many Android and Windows smart phones and tablets in recent years. The range of uses are vast from apps in social media, confirming delivery locations and as a navigation aid to drivers and walkers.  Generally these devices use commercial off the shelf technology grade GPS receivers accurate to around 5 to 15m.

More professional grade receivers for the handheld and rugged tablet market are a more recent innovation. By its nature the non consumer market focuses largely on geographic information system GIS mapping requirements such as land surveying and construction. In these areas the requirement can often be to achieve a fix accuracy from 1m down to 1cm.

The term GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) is often used in this area to describe receivers using the GPS, and/or GLONASS satellite arrays.

It is estimated that the market GPS/GNSS Tracking Device Market on course to break the $2.89 Billion by 2023 with a growing proportion of that accounted for by larger format devices.

Vast Range of Applications

The free availability and accuracy of GNSS signals for location and timing, combined with reducing cost of the hardware has made GNSS the chosen solution for a very wide and growing range of applications many of which are ideal for use with a tablet PC. These include transport rail, road, aviation, marine, cycling, walking, agriculture, fisheries, law enforcement, highways management, services for vulnerable people, energy production and management, surveying, dredging, health services, financial services, information services, cartography, safety monitoring, scientific and environmental studies, search and rescue, telecommunications, tracking vehicles and valuable or hazardous cargoes.

Which System Best Fits Your Application?

Portable GNSS handheld or tablet pc markets can be split into 4 distinct groups based upon accuracy requirements:

  1. Consumer Grade Systems offering limited accuracy (2-15m), e.g. personal navigation and car satnav systems. Basic GPS offers typically 5 to 15m accuracy, and this is sufficiently accurate for basic navigation, and for low order mapping. Receivers of this class are now low cost and widespread in phones and handheld devices from all major manufacturers.
  2. Professional Grade Systems offering sub-metre level fix accuracy, 0.5m to 1m, are required for supporting the basic fix accuracy requirements of GIS systems and asset mapping, used increasingly by local authorities, utility companies, housing associations and many other user groups.
  3. Professional Grade Systems offering sub-halfmetre fix accuracy, 0.3 to 0.5m, are required for supporting the higher quality fix accuracy requirements of higher level GIS applications and asset mapping, used by local authorities, utility companies, housing associations and many other user groups. These systems again, just use just the L1 frequency output from GNSS satellites.
  4. Professional Grade Systems offering very high fix accuracy (typically 1cm to 2cm). GNSS is used extensively nowadays by construction companies and survey companies worldwide, where positional accuracies of 1cm are often required. This accuracy is also necessary for precision machine guidance systems for the control of major earthmoving equipment for the automated shaping of ground profiles, and agricultural equipment.

Selecting the correct GPS technology depends on the application of use. When required to pinpoint GPS to 1-2cm fixes a professional GNSS solution is likely to be the best option.

 

GNSS Highly accurate GPS for Tablet PC

Our Geopod USB Module plugs into a free USB port on your laptop or any of our rugged Tablet PC range such as the T8650 and T1600 providing you with a complete rugged GNSS surveying platform.

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options

Application designers should always aim to provide field workers with drop down and multiple choice menus for data entry. However where a process requires that a narrative should be added to a record using a keyboard is often unavoidable. As these devices are intended to be used on the move plugging in a desktop keyboard is not always practical. So in cases like this it’s good to know that there are some mobile rugged tablet PC keyboard options.

But first! re-read our blog about screen types.

Built in Numeric and Function Keypad

Users of rugged tablets are often stuck with using the on screen keyboard when the most ergonomic route may well be a numeric keypad, especially in high volume scenarios like surveying van sales and merchandising.

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Built in Keypad with Nav Keys and Scanner Trigger

Both our T7200 and T1200 products feature an integrated numeric backlit and tactile numeric keypad that include programmable keys as well as Enter, up / down / left / right navigation, tab, escape,Security, rotate display, function key barcode scan and suspend/power Full Stop!

Also included is a built in decimal point/full stop key. Very useful where surveying and measurements are being recorded.

Windows 7 on Screen

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Windows 7 On Screen with Stylus

In some situations a process may require an amount of data entry beyond numbers. Where narrative text needs to be inputted into a standard Windows product like Excel or a custom made app it is possible to use the on screen pop up keyboard that is part of Windows 7. Pecking out letters to transcribe lots of text can be a chore, the handwriting recognition software works fine but does take some getting used to. Best approach is to have your app designer adopt drop down value menus.

Resistive Multi-Touch with on Screen Keyboard Windows 8

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Windows 8 Metro Interface

The “Metro” interface of Windows 8 works best with multi-touch, but the capacitive touch technology used in consumer media tablets does not work with gloves or in the rain. So for the T1200 resistive multi-touch is used which means the device can be used in any operating condition. An on screen soft keyboard is supported and legacy applications with small screen elements and user check boxes can be precisely operated with a stylus. A built in keypad allows for direct entry of numeric data.

 

Snap On QWERTY Keyboard

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
Snap On Backlit QWERTY Keyboard

 

snap on keyboard that attaches to the bottom of a tablet can be a solution where text entry on the move is a major part of a process but using the on screen keyboard is not ergonomic.  The addition is backlit and includes a number of extra ports. The snap on can be used in conjunction with a vehicle dock.

 

 

 In Vehicle Cradle with Full Size PC Keyboard

Rugged Tablet PC Keyboard Options
In Vehicle Cradle with Full Size PC Keyboard

 

Where an employee works out of a vehicle and they return to it to enter data a full size keyboard can be attached to the vehicle cradle. The unit can be adjusted to maximise ease of use for the operator.

 

 

 

 

 

Key Point; which input method will suit the application and the circumstances of the user?

Contact UsTo discuss how a Rugged Tablet PC can help enhance your mobile business processes.

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Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200 2
Picture from ruggedpcreview.com

Rugged PC Review took a look at at the new MobileDemand xTablet T1200 that was offically introduced in October,. The T1200 is a fully Windows 8 rugged Tablet PC packing an Intel Ivy Bridge i5 chipset for professionals that don’t have the luxury of working in cozy office buildings. This tablet means business and packs a several features mobile users will appreciate.

To continue reading the full review and to see some great analysis of the T1200 please visit Rugged PC Review

Back here at MobileWorxs the xTablet T1200 offers a great return on investment ROI 3 year warranty, WWAN great screen and Intel i5 processor. Lease rates will be competitive get in touch for more details. The versatility of MobileDemand xTablet T1200 makes it ideal for users in any environment considering rugged tablet pc deployments including agriculture transport and logistics, field service, facilities management, van sales, retail supply chain management, manufacturing warehousing and the public sector.

Rugged PC Review MobileDemand xTablet T1200 3

New T1200 will be available in early 2013. Please contact us to pre-register your interest and arrange a demonstration.

 

Andrew Cahill

Andrew Cahill MobileWorxs MD has 20 years of experience in the use of enterprise mobility solutions and applications to improve the performance of real life business processes.

Andrew has worked on some of the largest Enterprise Mobility projects in the UK Eastern Europe the Middle East and Africa. He has user and project experience in helping companies think through and develop mobile strategies to get the most out of a deployment. He also likes old cars preferably with lots of chrome!

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MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand Introduces World’s First Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC 5
xTablet T1200 Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC

MobileDemand have announced the launch of the high-performance, all-light readable xTablet T1200 Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC. This best-in-class military grade rugged tablet was developed to bolster productivity for mobile users who work in demanding environments such as utilities, mining, oil and gas exploration, construction, facilities management, field service, mobile supply chain management and public safety.

Windows 8 Rugged Tablet PC get more done, faster !

The xTablet T1200 bolsters productivity for mobile users who work in demanding environments. This fully rugged tablet provides great total cost of ownership and long-term savings over non-rugged devices with near 100% up time in mission critical line of business applications.

xTablet T1200 Features

  • 10.4″ multi-touch resistive 10.4” LCD display.
  • Powered by the latest Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5-3427U processor and either the Windows 8 or Windows 7 Professional operating system.
  • Multi-touch, full drive encryption of Windows Bitlocker, the Windows Defender anti-virus application and VPN with Windows 8.
  • Mobile workers stay connected with the optional 4G LTE or 3G Gobi WWAN radios and wireless networks.
  • IP65, MIL-STD 810G/F certified. That means your information is safe even if dropped shocked or exposed to water and dust.
  • Two 6-cell 116 watt-hour hot swappable batteries last a full shift or longer – up to 10 hours.
  • Supports a 64 GB to 256 GB and beyond mSATA solid state drive with an option to add a second high capacity hard disk drive.
  • Two USB 3.0 ports and an integrated RS-232 serial port, plus 3G, 4G LTE and Bluetooth 4.0 communications.
  • Integrated bar code scanner and RFID reader, built-in numeric keypad.
  • High resolution font facing and 5 MP rear facing camera, integrated GPS, PCMCIA, SDHC and smart card reader.

Read the full launch press release on xTablet T1200

T1200 will come with the usual huge range of accessories that make a rugged tablet PC easier to use in the field.

How can a NEW xTablet T1200 rugged tablet PC help in your Enterprise Mobility deployment ? – T1200 will be available in January 2013 sign up to  try one FREE for 10 days.

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Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing

In motor sport series around the world teams suppliers and organisers are turning to the T7000 rugged tablet PC to help speed up decision making.

Rugged Tablet PC Improves Decision Making in Motor Racing 7Racing strategy is based on data and all data in motor racing is time critical. Monitoring car performance can mean the difference between a podium finish or catching a potential race ending issue early enough to do something about it.

 

Our rugged tablet PC products are being used to to collect and distribute critical car performance and equipment data in real-time to speed decision making at the track. Instead of pen and paper or a whiteboard timing and scoring data direct from the tablet provides the pit lane spotter with information to assist the driver throughout practices and on race day. Fuel consumption information allows the team to provide data to the race engineer in real time. Integrated bar code scanners can assist the tyre specialist in organizing race tyres through practice and the weekend.

NASCAR Racing Red Bull Racing Team specialist Mike Motil says, “During one race the tyre wear information literally made the weekend. We pitted after 79 laps. The right front tyre was completely gone. The wear was that extreme. In this instance the T7000 rugged tablet PC provided real-time data that kept the car on the track as long as possible without risking injury to the driver or damage to the vehicle. Watch the Video.

The T7000 offers your motor sport race crew an opportunity to automate data collection before and during a race thus speeding up the sharing of information for quicker decision making. Rugged construction PC grade processing power and ease of use all combine to help save that most precious racing commodity – time!

Read the Red Bull Racing Case Study

The T7000 is a tough Ip65 rugged tablet PC built to withstand use outside. It comes with the Intel Atom chipset and Windows 7 operating system as well as Wi-Fi Bluetooth GPS and 3G WWAN and a whole range of accessories to make the it easier to use in the field. Teams can utilise their own desktop/browser apps or choose to use our mobile platform to build a host of applications from inventory control to data input and analysis.

The key point is that great decision making often comes from the availability of swift data and in this respect Motor Sport is no different to any other business. The ability to process data in a manner that does not add time and complexity to the process can give you the edge increase productivity and save money. Try one Free for 10 days and find out how one could help you.

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management

 

Successful crop management is a complex blend of the right horticultural expertise soil conditions fertilizers and irrigation methods. The use of mobile data solutions in agriculture is increasing. As mAgriculture grows farmers and agricultural specialists rely more on mobile devices to calculate and store information required in the office and in the field. When equipped with the proper features rugged tablet computers can make the job of crop management easier and more cost-effective and ultimately help farmers maximize their yield. A situation true in every farming region.

Typical uses:

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop ManagementSoil Sampling: Soil samples determine the density of nutrients the presence of harmful toxins and the ability of water and soil to permeate to the roots of crops. Farmers and field personnel can gather soil samples and log pertinent information into rugged tablet PCs on the spot without having to scribble handwritten notes for later data entry. Results can be integrated with existing databases allowing for a complete compilation of soil information throughout an entire region.

Diseases: The spread of disease can devastate an entire crop. Rugged PC data systems allow for rapid analyses of past disease outcroppings, while revealing how much of a given field was impacted by a current blight.

Mapping: Mapping a given stretch of land identifies countless issues important to crop management such as:

  • Prevalence of weeds in specific areas
  • Patterns of runoff and water pooling
  • Effects of weather on the crop yield.

Rugged tablet PCs allow for easy on-site data entry permitting quick creation of viable maps and instant map sharing with relevant team members.

Harvest Data: A rugged computer system can quickly integrate important data from a harvest such as yield of hybrid crops versus earlier strains the effectiveness of new fertilizers and the ability of fallow soil to support crops. After assisting with data analysis a rugged tablet PC will allow multiple people to collaborate on data without losing track of critical information.

Equipment used in the field on a daily basis must be tough and come with accessories that make the device easy to use. Crop management may involve taking soil samples in the winter, when temperatures plunge well below zero or checking water filtration data in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. Mobile devices are often dropped and may be subject to a range of vibrations and unexpected impacts. A high-performance tablet PC need to endure each of these rigors while functioning for hours ensuring that users have access to them at all times.

The two key points for using a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture is Durability and the ability to process data in a manner that does not add time and complexity to the process. Try one Free for 10 days and find out how one could help you.

Rugged Tablet PC and Agriculture Crop Management

 

 

Benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

Key benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

Benefits of a Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture 8
Rugged Tablet PC in Agriculture

So what are the key benefits of a rugged tablet pc in agriculture ? Most importantly our products all utilise Windows 7 Professional so can operate your standard desktop apps and web browser sessions outside all day. This enables staff to access and record relevant information in the field eliminating the need for paper based capture of data which then has to be re-keyed into another system.

Our most popular product in the sector is the T7000. This unit is IP65 and built for the harsh environments of the agriculture industry. T7000 is designed for durability comes with an outdoor readable screen Bluetooth GPS Wi-Fi and 3G.  The unit will withstand the harshest environments including dust, water, rain extreme temperatures and repeated drops.

We also have the accessories to make your Rugged Tablet PC even more productive.

  • Snap on QWERTY keyboard.
  • Carry Case.
  • Desk and Vehicle Docks.
  • High Capacity Batteries.

In our experience there are a number of key agriculture operations where a device like this can help:

  • Track animals using RFID and bar code scanning – Watch the Video
  • Monitor veterinary care.
  • Control water irrigation flow.
  • Monitor Seed Trials.
  • Pin-point the application of fertilizer.
  • Manure management.
  • Track growing conditions.
  • GPS tracking of agriculture vehicles.

One dairy in the US was using RFID tags for cattle tracking but the devices were proving less than satisfactory. This is where MobileDemand came in and provided the farm with a unit that had superior power and flexibility. Read the Box Canyon Dairy case study

We can also build an agriculture application for you to go on your rugged tablet pc. Check out these sample thin client Apps that you can view on your web browser on a smart phone tablet or desktop.

Optimising labour and resources is as important as in any other industry. Key point here is that if the device is to be used literally in the field the unit must be optimised for that enviroment.

 

Is the iPad right for Enterprise Mobility

We all love it but is the iPad right for enterprise mobility?

Drop it and weep
Is the Ipad right for enterprise mobility?

The iPad it’s great! Super styling, great app performance, marvellous screen, so simple yet effective. A real icon of industrial design in the 21st century and designed by Brit Jonathan Ive. Apple have shipped 85 million so far.

Beyond social media and games one of the more interesting emerging uses for the iPad is to support  dual screen marketing. “Sixty per cent of people say they watch TV and go online concurrently two or three times a week, while 37% claim to do so every day”. So the iPad is being touted very heavily as a real weapon for consumer products companies.

So what do you do if your business application is leading you to use a mobile device and the venue is not on your sofa?

Received wisdom tells us that it if you describe your business environment in any of the following five ways you are more likely to be a potential user for some sort of rugged mobile device rather than one was not built with business “productivity” in mind.

  • Blue collar
  • Enterprise
  • Mobile Worker
  • Field Service
  • EMS

Why is this?  It comes back to our definition of Enterprise Mobility. There is a world of difference between manager types in an office checking their email vs. a worker on the road performing highly specific tasks. This is reflected in the suitability of a unit to perform a specific task and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) involved with the acquisition and management of a deployment.

  • Different releases of hardware over time. Consumer devices typically change every 6-12 months. This can lead to a mix in the installed base as units are replaced which increases support overhead. Locking down an OS and application suite so it is the same for all users all the time is still a lot simpler in an environment where legacy back end systems and staff are all genetically WinTel.
  • In most cases your Windows based applications will run on a rugged Windows 7 tablet with no modifications.
  • A consumer device like the iPad will typically be replaced 2-3 times in the lifetime of a rugged device. This is mostly due to damage from being dropped but with the big issue may well be theft.
  • A rugged device typically has a 3 year return to base warranty. The cost of technical and break fix support will be significantly higher for an iPad. They are not built for high frequency repairs and phone support may well not be tuned into your idea of response to a mission critical problem.
  • Detailed screen layouts such as picking lists and forms do not so work well with finger touch displays found on devices like the iPad. Pressure triggered stylus technology is far more suited to business applications.
  • Apps to improve the productivity of a manager are generic and readily available for iOS. Building task specific apps for mobile workers can lead to specific mobile application development.
  • An iPad is not optimised for installation in a vehicle and does not have an IP rating that would suit many harsh environments.

So the iPad is bad news – not at all. Although there are some amusing scare stories there may indeed be applications in your business where an iPad is exactly the right tool for the job. This is where people contemplating enterprise mobility projects often get befuddled and wrapped up in what new shiny piece of kick ass technology you can be a hero by deploying.

The key question is: what is the nature of the business process that is causing a problem, how will enterprise mobility help and which tool over the lifetime of the project is the right one for the job?

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