February 2016

Getac adds 1080p-capable rugged camera to Veretos
Getac announced its new 1080p-capable Veretos Body Worn Camera for law enforcement officers walking the beat or patrolling in their cruisers. The body worn camera joins Getac’s Veretos Video System, which includes an in-car mobile video recording system engineered for use in law enforcement vehicles to capture all activities in and around the vehicle as they happen. When combined with the recently introduced Veretos Cloud secure evidence management and file storage technology, the Veretos system becomes a comprehensive law enforcement solution for mobile, wearable, and building surveillance video and audio capture. [See Getac Veretos system>/a>] -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016 by chb

Cat S60 — IP68-sealed rugged Android smartphone with integrated thermal imaging camera
Caterpillar — yes, Caterpillar — introduced the Cat S60, which the company calls "the world's first thermal imaging smartphone." The Snapdragon 617 octa-core powered Android Marshmallow phone has a bright 540 nits 4.7-inch procap display that can handle wetness and gloves. Ruggedness specs are quite impressive with a 6-foot drop, and what appears to be IP68 sealing. The Cat S60 is said to be waterproof down to 17 feet for an hour, and its 13mp documentation camera can supposedly be used underwater. And it has a built-in FLIR Lepton module. So you get thermal imaging built right into your rugged smartphone. [see Catphones media release and our lengthy assessment at Cat S60 — More than the naked eye can see] -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by chb

Panasonic announces two more fully rugged handheld tablets
Panasonic announced that it is complementing its growing handheld tablet lineup with fully rugged 4.7-inch IP67-sealed handhelds available either with Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise or Android 5.1.1. Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Toughpad FZ-F1 (Windows) and FZ-N1 (Android) offer glove-touch and rain-sensing procap displays with optional active pen, up to 500 nits brightness, integrated ergonomically angled scanner, 5mp/8mp cameras, and a 6-foot drop spec. Pricing starts at US$1,500. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-F1 and Toughbook FZ-N1] -- Posted Monday, February 22, 2016 by chb

Reality check: where does leading edge mobile hardware stand?
When assessing how a particular area or niche of the overall computing market compares to the absolute leading edge, one only has to look at the latest in consumer smartphones. Case in point: Hothardware.com's assessment of the Huawei Mate 8, a 6-inch smartphone with 8mp front and 16mp rear camera with optical image stabilization, eight sensors, and 11.5 hour battery life. Hothardware.com was underwhelmed by its mere "mainstream" 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution but quite intrigued by the device's octal-core 64-bit, 16nm, ARM Cortex A72-based Kirin 950 processor made by Huawei's own semiconductor design house called HiSilicon that beat all competition in most major benchmark scores. [See HotHardWare's review of the Huawei Mate 8] -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by chb

Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8
With the massive global reach of smartphones and tablets, what consumers expect from their personal gear has a direct impact of what they expect from rugged gear. With that in mind, we bought a Dell Venue 8 Series 7000 tablet so we could examine it in detail. What can Dell's 8.4-inch consumer/business Android tablet do? What's the technology inside the US$399 list device? How does it feel and handle? And what can rugged mobile computing manufacturers learn from it? [Read Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8] -- Posted Monday, February 15, 2016 by chb

Xplore reports 64% increase in revenue for their fiscal Q3 2016
For Q4 of 2015 (which is actually Q3 of its fiscal year 2016), Xplore Technologies reported revenue of US$27.02 million, compared to US$16.44 million for the same quarter a year ago. For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, revenue was US$79.92 million, compared to the nine months ended December 31, 2014 revenue of $27.24 million, an increase of 148%. Xplore reported net income for the quarter of $786,000 compared to net income of $2,401,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2014, and a net income for the nine months ended December 31, 2015 of $2,039,000 compared to net income of $683,000 for the nine months ended December 31, 2014. The increase in revenue was due to revenue associated with the product line Xplore acquired in the April 17, 2015 acquisition of certain assets of Motion Computing. [See Xplore financials] -- Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 by chb

Added: Bluebird EF500
Korean rugged handheld manufacturer Bluebird announced the Bluebird EF500 for those who want a modern smartphone-style handheld, but one that's a lot tougher and has industrial-grade scanning capability. The 5-inch EF500 is available in a standard and a rugged version, both IP67-sealed, but the EF500R able to withstand 8-foot drops. The platform comes with either Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1 or Android 5.1 Lollipop. [See description, analysis and specs of the Bluebird EF500] -- Posted Thursday, February 11, 2016 by chb

Full review: MobileDemand's remarkably affordable xTablet T8500 with IP67 sealing and integrated scanner option
Tablets are being used in more and more enterprise, government and industrial applications, but the high price of fully rugged devices often stands in the way. MobileDemand addresses this challenge with the affordably priced (starting at US$845) xTablet T8500, a rugged Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 10 tablet with a 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch capacitive touch display, 8-hour battery life, and full IP67 sealing. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T8500] -- Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016 by chb

ARBOR launches rugged enterprise-grade 5-inch Gladius GT-500 Android handheld
ARBOR announced the GT-500 as an addition to its Gladius Series of rugged handheld devices. The IP67-rated Gladius GT-500 runs Android version 5.1 “Lollipop” on a MediaTek MT6735 64-bit quad-core processor, has a bright, high-res 5-inch display, an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader, dual cameras (2mp and 13mp), and supports voice and multiple data connectivity including NFC, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G LTE. [See ARBOR Gladius GT-500] -- Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 by chb

Xplore secures $1 million contract from global logistics leader
X​plore Technologies announced it has received $1 million in orders from a global leader in logistics. The Motion F5m by Xplore Windows-based tablets will be deployed to crews to verify, certify, and analyze delivery routes. Utilizing the 4G XLTE mobile broadband connectivity and u-blox GPS of the F5m, the logistics customer is able to increase efficiency and productivity of route driver. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 by chb

Xplore blog on why a tablet alone doesn't a solution make
Excellent new article by Bob Ashenbrenner on Xplore Technologies' blog. It discusses how there's still significant room for improvement in mobile technology utilization. That's because while a growing number of enterprises are leveraging mobile devices in some capacity, many are still striving for greater use and acceptance of mobile devices on a daily basis. Ashenbrenner points out that rugged tablets are a “necessary, but not sufficient” component of smart and successful mobility strategies. "Simply having a rugged tablet at their disposal doesn’t mean they have an effective rugged mobile computing solution. At least not at first," Ashenbrenner says. You need not only the right device, but also the right partner and the right solution for your exact job. [See Converting Mobile Workers into Devout Mobile PC Users] -- Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by chb

MobileDemand launches impressive new website
MobileDemand has launched its new website. It's an innovative, mobile-friendly design that features a clean, modern layout with secure, integrated shopping. The site is designed to educate visitors about choosing the right tablet for the job no matter what their industry or application may be, and then allow them to purchase online, through a certified partner or directly from a MobileDemand sales expert. We're impressed. At a time where we're seeing too many sites simply be converted to a limited and often confusing WordPress template, MobileDemand nailed it. The image shows how the site dynamically adjusts to phones (left) or full-size monitors (right). [See the new MobileDemand website] -- Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by chb