3 Ways Rugged Tablets are Revolutionizing Forensic Mapping

FR1Rugged tablets have become crucial tools in many industries ranging from the military and government work to hospitality, healthcare, and construction.  Purpose-built rugged tablets can save time and money, while driving outcomes that surpass traditional methods and usher in a new era of digitization.

Forensic mapping is being revolutionized by GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) rugged tablets. Non-land surveying work is now possible at a higher level of accuracy, delivering scientific-grade results more quickly and easily than conventional surveying equipment can and at a smaller cost.  First responders to collisions, natural disasters and crime scenes can benefit by this technology, which provides them with additional safety on site while delivering exceptional results.

Law enforcement personnel can now deploy GNSS-RTK rugged tablets with drones to obtain the necessary measurements for crime scene re-creation and deliver pinpoint accuracy that is able to meet legal requirements for evidence. The centimeter-level measurement accuracies of forensic mapping with rugged tablets is aided by the incorporation of aerial photogrammetry software, allowing multiple photos of scenes to be taken and processed to create a point cloud. The data points can then be used to reconstruct a 3D version of the scene.

Rugged tablets contain the storage, computing power, and software to quickly complete these processes, and produce survey grade accuracy for documentation that will stand up in court if required. Comparable methods relying on laser scanners can be exorbitantly expensive but using RTK-GNSS enabled rugged tablets gets the job done at a fifth of the cost.

Likewise, conventional total station equipment can take several hours to complete when relying on GPS systems alone. The same task could be completed in 20-30 minutes by combining GNSS-RTK rugged tablets with drones.

When reconstructing crashes close to major roads or in rugged terrain, drone/tablet pairing allows data to be obtained swiftly so the scene can be cleared and traffic congestion relieved. Many states can qualify for grants for this equipment as it can improve incident management and first responder safety. Secondary crashes occur in one out of five accidents and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, law enforcement officers, EMTs and rescue personnel. Clearing highway crash sites swiftly reduces the risk of such fatalities.

Conducting forensic mapping with GNSS-RTK rugged tablets and drones can improve not only the accuracy of data collected at non-land survey sites, but can mitigate negative downstream effects as well.



Advantages of Rugged Tablet Deployment in the Military

six-things-to-look-for-in-a-military-grade-rugged-tabletRugged tablet deployment in the military is prompted by their durability and operability in harsh environments. Even more than their ruggedness, these mobile devices are capable of driving objectives to a successful conclusion by providing speed, accuracy, and insights at tactical, strategic, and operational levels. Real-time intelligence that becomes accessible when rugged military tablets are properly integrated can be crucial to the success of critical missions.

Communication During Tactical Operations  

On-location deployments require devices capable of delivering the precise directives and situational awareness that are critical to have in the field. Implementing mobile, purpose built devices with native Wi-Fi capabilities allow 4G and 5G connections to be maximized. RFID and Bluetooth capability make it easy to receive and transmit information, and CAC readers provide identification security measures. The main tactical benefit of rugged tablets is ability to communicate real-time data between field operatives and centralized locations to help drive informed decision making.

Strategic Benefits of Intelligence Evaluation 

Effective strategies can only be informed by integrating numerous data points and transmitting real-time field intelligence to centrally located analysts.  Data capture capacities expand rugged tablets’ ability to service these strategic needs, as barcode scanners, smartcard readers, and cameras can rapidly acquire and transmit critical information. Back office officials can then spot patterns and achieve a big picture view of conditions in the field, thanks to data sent in from external environments.

Operational Needs and Resource Allocation 

Operational needs correlate to the proper deployment of resources for fulfilling tasks. The Intelligence obtained from the field and analyzed to inform strategic decisions is acted upon at the operational level. This correlated to resource deployment, as information from active zones can clarify the need to mobilize personnel. By evaluating how events affect multiple remote units, resource apportionment can be conducted in such a way as to provide maximum benefit with minimum risk.

Data Transmission as a Facilitator

Receipt and transmission of low latency data can help provide optimal advantage, meaning rugged tablets can be invaluable as communication tools for implementing supportive action. Real-time data from remote locations with harsh environments can now be consistently sent and received, secure communication that can be invaluable for success at the tactical, strategic, and operational levels. The value of rugged tablets for realizing the military’s organizational objectives cannot be underestimated, and they have become a critical decision-making tool for facilitating communication, strategy, and ultimate actions.



Streamlining Rugged Tablet Maintenance

DT Research rugged tablets

Maintaining mobile devices can add significantly to lifetime cost of ownership. Consumer grade rugged tablets can be easily damaged, overheat, become obsolete or require repeated upgrades to remain useful longer than a year or two.

Purpose built rugged tablets are designed to be useful for years, with planned defenses against obsolescence, operating systems that can be expected to retain support for years to come, and multiple design features intended to lengthen their life and make them operable even in harsh environments.

Sturdy housing with water, dust, and vibration resistance  mean rugged tablets are ideal for use in the field, including in work intensive surroundings with high risk of drops, falls, and impact such as construction, manufacturing, warehouse work, and logistics. Having a rugged tablet that can meet the challenges and stresses of these working environments means less time lost to damaged devices and more time spent on meeting deadlines.

Another major issue facing these same industry verticals is the fact that shifts often run around the clock, with no downtime allotted for charging devices. Instead of having to charge the entire device, DT Research rugged tablets allow batteries to be “hot swapped” without losing power or data.

This valuable feature permits batteries to be swapped by each incoming shift member, with the depleted battery being inserted into a multi battery charger and the tablet carried into the next shift. Not having to switch out the entire tablet means less tablets needed per shift, and the batteries can be recharged before reaching a critically low charge, causing disruption to the workflow.

The hot swap feature is also convenient for other verticals when time is of the essence and a simple battery swap can save critical moments. Military personnel in the field can benefit from having extra batteries ready to swap as needed, without having to worry about extra devices.

Likewise, medical staff can easily swap a battery at any station with a charger and continue with their tasks without having to sign into a new device or wait for it to boot-up. Being able to recharge on the go can increase efficiency and productivity and reduce wasted steps or time lost if a battery dies in the middle of a patient case log.

DT Research rugged tablets are designed for ease of use, simplified short and long term maintenance, and support for devices that can provide years of service with minimal requirements to keep them in working order.

Seven Ways Rugged Tablet Mobility and Usefulness is Maximized


Rugged tablet mobility is continually being improved, with features and benefits that make each device more useful and easier to use. These seven things in particular make rugged tablets the device of choice for dozens of verticals that demand the latest and best in mobile technology to increase efficiency, boost productivity, and improve workflows:

  1. Carrying cases that convert into rugged tablet stands offer portability from office to field, convenience with the ability to function on any surface, protection against damage when being transported or used in the field, and an extra layer of security.
  2. Detachable keyboards provide the option for those who prefer a keyboard to work quickly and familiarly with tools they know and prefer. Removing the keyboard turns the device back into a handheld, touchscreen operable device that can be used with fingertip writing or a digital pen with ease.
  3. Fully integrated data capture options include bar code and RFID scanners that can quickly register and record data. CAC scanners, card swipe functionality, QR code readers and signature capture add more options for data capture for multiple uses and from multiple sources.
  4. Multiple battery chargers can allow extra batteries to be kept charged at all times and provide centralized and satellite stations where a fresh battery can always be accessed. Likewise, tablet charging cabinets can also be used if preferred.
  5. Hot swappable batteries allow rugged tablets to be recharged without losing power or data, ideal for intensive work environments from construction, warehouses and logistics to medical, military, and first responder teams.
  6. Vehicle mount cradles and vehicle chargers make mobility simple, allowing rugged tablets to convert from handheld to mounted and charging in seconds then back to handheld when on scene. Connectivity is uninterrupted and data transmission is secure.
  7. Fanless designs remove a common point of failure, preventing problems often seen with fan using devices when the fan fails or cannot prevent overheating, or is damaged when debris is sucked into the fan. Less points of failure means higher reliability on and off the field.

DT Research rugged tablets are designed for functionality, ease of use, durability, security, and reliability. Having extra features makes each tablet fully customizable for the job at hand and increases the usefulness and lifespan of each device.

From Warehouse Floor To Customer Door – Streamlining Logistics with Rugged Tablets

4-Benefits-of-Rugged-Tablets-for-Railway-Freight-Transportation-and-Logi...Managing supply chains in real time depends on having real time access to data. Customer expectations for the logistics industry have changed, with ever tightening delivery commitment windows; demands for full visibility into the progress of manufacturing, packing, and shipment; and minute by minute tracking from warehouse to delivery point. To meet these demands, a higher level of technology is required.

With mere hours or even minutes existing for transfers and documentation, rugged tablets have stepped up to fill the gaps left by older logistics practices. With the ability to enter, match, verify, and update data in real time, the challenges of the supply chain become manageable, speed and efficiency is increased, and human errors are minimized.

In the Warehouse

Picking, packing, and sorting in the warehouse is sped up exponentially by rugged tablets, which can operate as hand held devices, stationed in a wall cradle or forklift mounted for ease of access. Inventory tracking and management is streamlined with instantaneous recording and information transmission, while bar-code scanning for inventory management and tracking is fast and easy with fully integrated 2D scanners which can update records in real time. Restocking and rectification of inventory discrepancies can be managed smoothly, with package damage noted and items reassigned from “new” to “open box” status. Losses can be documented in real time and adjustments made.

In Transit

Shipping and receiving staff armed with tablets can do the work of six or seven using older documentation and record-keeping methods, speeding workflows during seasonal rushes or during high traffic hours. Item, pallet, and container-level tagging and management can completed swiftly, and transfer accomplished without lag using vehicles with mounted rugged tablets. Stop by stop tracking can be enabled, and traffic or delay updates sent in real time.


Payment and signature capture options heighten efficiency at delivery points, allowing instant identity verification and confirmation of receipt. Real-time updating from tablet to HQ or dispatch keep the supply moving forward to the next destination, and helps plan routes for timed shipments for better productivity and higher customer satisfaction at the end of the line.


High end, purpose-built mobile devices with consistent connectivity lead to better outcomes in regard to successful delivery by relieving common pressure points and bottlenecks in the logistics flow. Rugged tablets for the supply chain enable more informed decision-making and improve order processing from the warehouse floor to the customer door.