On Base and Beyond – Rugged Tablets Facilitate Military Mobility

unnamed-2

On Base and Beyond – Rugged Tablets Facilitate Military Mobility

Rugged tablets opened up an entire new range of possibilities for military implementation – thanks in no small part to their increased mobility and ease of use. As a vehicle for the gathering, storage, transport, and relay of critical data, the rugged tablet is invaluable for information sensitive vertical such as the military.

The use of tablet technology has grown rapidly, as the advent of custom application software, innovative hardware accessories, and rugged durability come together to reimagine what portability looks like.  The tablet is now ranked as one of the most favored devices for mobile workers in and out of service.

  • Take it from sunlight to shadow. The rugged tablet features a sunlight readable screen that is glare resistant and allows for ready viewing in full sun or twilight conditions. The screen can be operated by touch with a fingertip or stylus, or operated with a detachable keyboard.
  • Take it from desk to vehicle to the ground. The rugged tablet is portable, allowing it to work easily on the desk with a big monitor and keyboard and mouse, or to grab on the run to hop on a truck or visit a loading dock. It’s rough, tough, and durable.
  • Take it in and out of range. The tablet works perfectly on wifi on base, and can operate in a closed system with other tablets in the field. Data can be shared in real time and communications improve dramatically.
  • Take it for granted. Rugged tablets are becoming an expected and needed device that provides support in the office and on the field, and the dependability of those built to military standards is impressive.
  • Take it to the next level. A rugged tablet can be so much more than a simple computing device – it can serve to fill the functions of multiple devices, including cameras, GPS, bar code scanners, smart card readers, and more.
  • Take it from base to base. With layers of security and authentication, the rugged tablet can be transferred from hand to hand and location to location with minimal fuss and lots of flexibility

Rugged tablets are arguably the best device available to the military for on and offsite use. They provide a truly mobile experience, and allow for data to be seamlessly available across the board to key personnel, leading to more effectiveness and productivity, and less human error.

Eight Key Features of Military Rugged Tablets

unnamed-1
Eight Key Features of Military Rugged Tablets

Consumer grade tablets have turned the newest generation into the most connected generation, bridging the divide between smartphones and laptops by providing portability with extreme functionality. However, tablets for military use have more demanding standards, affecting a myriad of features – and eventually, it makes more sense to build military grade tablets from the ground up instead of trying to “ruggedize” consumer grade ones.

Rugged Features

A military grade rugged tablet is designed to stand up to extreme environments and harsh conditions and remain effective for mission critical tasks. It can withstand shock impact and vibration; heat and cold; water and dust; and even electromagnetic interference. The tablet and housing are created to function as one.

Computing Features

The latest tablets are designed to run Windows 10, and have the capacity to accept future updates to lengthen the useful lifespan of the tablet. Software designed for specific tasks can be implemented, and capabilities added to make it even more useful.

Security Features

The tablet is ideal for use within closed systems, and can be configured to verify and authenticate users with varying levels of access by using RFID modules or smart card readers that can grant access to needed information. Cryptography and multi-point authentication lets the network remain secure, with only authorized devices and users permitted to access sensitive or secure data from preapproved points of access.

Viewing Features

Screens that are larger than many other options, have touch capability, are outfitted with glare protection and backlights, and which can be manipulated either with a finger, a stylus, or a keyboard make the rugged tablet usable in either bright or dim conditions. Full color allows for better utilization of various features as well.

Accessory Features

The versatility of the rugged tablet and implementable features list means one device can easily do the job of four or five. Cameras, bar code readers, GPS systems, GIS software make the tablet the perfect take-along, while other benefits such as touch screens, stylus options, detachable keyboards and docks, and split screen viewing make using the device simple and fast for even those who are new to the tech.  

Rugged tablets have quickly become the go-to for use in and out of the field, by staff on base as well as soldiers deployed into harsh environments. They can streamline logistics, provide real time data in cases of emergency, and withstand even the roughest handling if necessary.  

Rugged Tablets for the Military Must Meet Exacting Standards

As the U.S. Defense industry seeks better ways to collect transfer, and communicate data in the field, rugged tablets have been developed to meet exacting standards. The most important of these are encompassed in the IP65, MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F, which must be strictly adhered to.

The six main standards rugged tablets for military use must adhere to include:

Dry Threats

Dust, dirt, sand and debris must be kept out of the inner workings of the device, as well as out of ports and off of sensitive screens. Tablets that meet the IP65 standard have safeguards in place to ensure the device doesn’t shut down when in use under rough conditions

Wet Threats

Similarly, rain, sleet, snow, and sweat as well as humidity shouldn’t interfere with the tablet’s operation. IP65 also covers the standards the device should meet under testing conditions that simulate in field use, to provide for the challenges posed by a moist environment.

Impact Threats

The tablet may be dropped, bang into objects, or subjected to vibration depending on when and where it is being used. If the device is MIL-STD-810G certified, it can withstand 26 drops from a height of 4 feet onto plywood over concrete. MIL-STD 810G also covers vibration tests (similar to being transported in a rough riding vehicle over uneven terrain) and altitude testing.

EMI / EMC  

Electromagnetic (EMI) interference can often be an issue with electronic devices, and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) can help dampen down that tendency. MIL-STD-461F provides standards for protection. Low radiated emissions are another point of interest – the ability to dampen or turn off radio signals can be invaluable in the field.

Visibility Issues

Sunlight-readable screens with an anti-reflective surface work with brightness controls to create the perfect contrast for reading in outdoor light or dim indoor settings. Even night use will probably be required, so any tablet for military grade usage has to be compatible with lighting in any setting.

Temperature Extremes

The rugged tablet should also have the ability to withstand extreme temperatures between -4 F to 140 F. A device that freezes up or overheats is as helpful as a brick in the field, so devices have to be built with field conditions in mind.

In conclusion, a rugged tablet intended for military field use must be critically designed to offer the best in rugged computing, with a sturdy enclosure, fully integrated data capture options, ease-of-use accessories, but most importantly operability no matter the environment.

Tablets and Your Salesforce – Five Benefits You Can Count On

tablets-and-your-salesforce-five-benefits-you-can-count-onMobile sales forces and fast paced retail locations are implementing rugged tablets as a durable, mobile option that brings more to the table than just a rugged case and an impact resistant shell. Rugged tablets can improve staff and customer interactions at every step of the sales funnel, increasing the odds of a successful transaction and providing a customer service experience that exceeds expectations.

Five key benefits of rugged tablet implementation for sales teams include:

  • Digital catalogs. These are invaluable for the mobile salesforce, allowing instant visual confirmation of various products and permitting customers to double check on sizes, colors, and styles in real time. Large screens with vivd color resolution and anti-reflection surfaces provide an enhanced experience.
  • Inventory / product detail checks. Remote conformation of stocked products, quick checks for closest sources in the case of an out of stock item, and detail confirmations for customers with questions also benefit the away sales team. On-location retail employees can also use built-in barcode scanners and RFID readers to double check pricing and correctly identify and apply promotions.

  • Real-time ordering. Sales can be made on the spot with the ability to build an order, double check inventory, apply discounts, and arrange shipping if required. Customer side data can be quickly and safely captured and relayed, and receipts generated as needed.
  • Mobile checkout. Payment can be accepted and verified on the spot with an EMV smart card reader and encrypted MSR. Signature capture with a stylus gives the customer a familiar sense of security, and pin input allows for two step verification for an extra layer of security.
  • Face to face communication. The ability to touch base with a manager or technician while on the road or on the sales floor lets spur of the moment questions be answered with apps that allow actual face-to-face “contact” and this further increases customer trust and appreciation of the services provided.

Rugged tablets add professionalism and speed to every transaction, improving efficiency, productivity, and sales numbers. Transactions can be completed anywhere, from the retail floor to the trade show booth to the customer’s location.

Time and money from lost sales can be avoided with tighter, real-time inventory control, reduced out-of-stocks, and customer side issues can be quickly resolved on the spot. Expedited check-outs impress customers; in crowded retail situations, digital payment customers can be pulled out of line and rapidly serviced, reducing wait times.

Adding rugged tablets to on-floor and on-road sales employees’ toolkits is a smart move from any standpoint, from ROI to enhanced customer satisfaction.

How does Patient Side Computing Enhance Healthcare?

how-does-patient-side-computing-enhance-healthcareInfotainment is a rapidly spreading concept across the digital landscape – combining information and attractive content with the goal of providing entertainment handinhand with data that is of value to the viewer.

This idea is evident in the healthcare industry. Waiting rooms play informational content on a loop, hoping patients will absorb data that could help improve their care and their compliance with treatment plans. A new take on this avenue of patient education is patient-side computing, a more personalized way to gain exposure to beneficial knowledge.

Research and experimentation that examines patient-side computing setups in healthcare environments can track levels of positive engagement, and devise new ways to deliver data in a user-friendly format. The gradual shift in focus is away from the typical ceiling mount television and restricted cable network providing a comforting drone of syndicated entertainment and towards a more interactive patient experience with Medical Cart Computers that track patient care, capture data, and can also be used to provide information as well as entertainment to captive audiences.  

This information dissemination pattern has been successfully implemented in other verticals. Hotels and restaurants provide tablet computers in the room or on the table, allowing users to order and pay outstanding bills, and these tablets also often offer the option for more entertaining types of interacting by way of apps or games, either free or paid, allowing users to entertain themselves. In many cases, for example the tourism related businesses, information about local attractions can be fed alongside fun facts about the area, or quizzes can be used to pique interest.

When utilizing digital devices in a healthcare setting, the issue of security and privacy is a priority. Patient-side computing can be regulated by strict accessibility parameters – infotainment options segmented form patient data, and key card access required for sensitive data or tools. This allows for one device to have multiple functions, and reduces the number of computers required for each room.

The benefits of infotainment and patient computing options is proven to enhance patient stays in healthcare facilities, encouraging patient interaction and increasing satisfaction as well as ultimate outcomes. When patients can receive valuable data about their condition, communicate with hospital staff, enjoy various forms of entertainment, and even interact in a limited way with the main system (such as ordering food from the cafeteria), their experience is positively enhanced.

The psychological aspect of recovery is bolstered by allowing the patients to feel like they are in charge of their recovery, and can reduce readmission rates, leading to savings for the facility and higher grades for patient care. Infotainment is shaping up to be the next huge step forward in the realm of patient-side care.