On Base and Beyond – Rugged Tablets Facilitate Military Mobility


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.

Access and Authorization – the Benefits of Security Card Clearance Methods


Every organization has levels of “need to know” when it comes to data and information. Being able to work with systems that correctly recognize and categorize access levels, supplying or withholding entry based on a set list of verification or authentication steps, helps keep data protected.

Stationary Access

Single points of contact for the inclusion or exclusion of multiple persons are common.

  • A POS register that allows only employees to access customer payment information

  • A hospital with key-carded doors that restrict access only to certain personnel – especially areas like the pharmacy or NICU

  • A hotel with carded rooms that are coded to let only occupants, maid service, or security in

  • A closed network that requires two-step verification to allow new users to log on

  • A government building designed to allow members of the public and staffers to move through authorized areas without permitting access to sensitive areas.

All of these situations require a device or devices – usually stationary – to have some form of security system that must be “passed” correctly by the person seeking entry.  In addition to gateways into physical spaces from a static location, comes the security of shared mobile devices such as rugged tablets or laptops in closed networks.

Mobile Access

Security cards can be used to set levels of clearance, and are commonly used in large companies and government / military facilities. With each individual’s card specifically coded with their security clearance level, a simple swipe of the card in the device followed by a user passcode opens the device but restricts access to anything above the security clearance level of the current user.

This can be invaluable when devices are being handed off from one individual to another, whether in the office or out in the field. As the device is passed off, the user logs out and the new user swipes their own card to access the data they require.

This extra layer of security makes it easier to protect sensitive data, but keeps it available to users with a high security clearance level who need access while working with subordinates or those with lower clearance. They can simply access data temporarily on the available rugged tablet or other mobile device, and when finished the data is still protected from restricted users.

Card readers are becoming more and more useful, facilitating flexible security access on shared devices. Security remains a priority as mobile becomes more prevalent, making authentication a rapidly growing and adaptive field.

Broadband vs. Wi-Fi – What They Mean for Mobility

From the days of the earliest “mobile” phone, through the golden age of cellular, into a world where Wi-Fi is everywhere and VoIP is the standard, how do the Internet options on the board match up when it comes to true mobility? Whether you are using a smartphone, a netbook, a laptop, or a rugged tablet, every portable Internet enabled device that is capable of supporting 3G / 4G broadband connections and Wi-Fi now has three different methods of accessing the Internet.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

A true Wi-Fi scenario requires a physical cable from the ISP to be attached to a wireless router. The router broadcasts the signal to any Wi-Fi enabled device in its proximity. A secured Wi-Fi connection in a building or surrounding area requires a password, and there is a secured, firewalled environment in the area of the signal.

A public “hotspot”, on the other hand, while still a wireless signal coming from a wired Internet connection, generally requires no password or the password is readily available (such as at restaurants that provide the password on a sign or receipt to customers). Obviously there is much less security involved at these hotspots than a secure location, meaning there is added vulnerability, compounded by the security of the device.

Broadband Connectivity

Smartphones or rugged tablets can also be equipped to connect across a data bandwidth supplied by the cellular company. This type of connection is generally slower than Wi-Fi, but is more secure than using a hotspot, if not as secure as using the firewalled office environment. 3G and 4G networks allow the range of the device to be expanded, no longer dependent on the relatively small range of a wireless signal coming from a wired connection, it maintains a connecting anywhere the device’s provider has a signal. Alternately, the signal can be acquired via satellite instead of a tower.

Hybrid Connectivity

More and more devices (especially lightweight, highly portable devices such as smartphones or rugged tablets) now feature the ability to switch seamlessly back and forth between broadband and Wi-Fi signals, thanks to inbuilt tech. A device with 3G / 4G capability as well as its own Wi-Fi generator can take the tower signal and broadcast it as Wi-Fi, allowing other devices in the area to log on. The connection appears the same as a wireless router, but is more secure than a public hotspot (if, again, not quite as secure as a firewalled office environment).

Devices that allow high security when on the move and networks that support security as well as a range of access make mobility freer than ever. However, the security loop is only as strong as its weakest link, so ensure that both the network and the device you are using are as secure as possible and require multi-layered authentication to get in.

Mobile Devices and Security – the Advantages of Closed Systems

Using portable, Wi-Fi-connected devices is advantageous across a wide range of verticals – streamlining data sharing, enhancing productivity, and improving mobility. However, in certain fields security stands out as the top issue when switching to mobile devices. This is never more apparent than in the fields of government work and the military, where security is paramount.

Security can be difficult when devices are being used on and off site and on different networks. While this can be mitigated at some levels by intensive security protocols, the best way to completely secure mobile devices is something the military and most government installations are already set up to do.

Closed Networks Allow Security from the Ground Up

A closed network secures the entire system, and if only approved, system controlled devices are utilized within the system, the chances of a security breach drop precipitously. When additional authentication procedures are enabled, the security risk falls even lower. Instead of having to control various device configurations and implement protocols from each device to the connected system, the system implements security and each device connected is within the closed loop.

When the devices are supplied with verification and authentication options, such as smart card readers or RFID modules, each unit also becomes shareable between different personnel with the appropriate level of security recognized and approved for each user. Cryptography and multi-point authentication keeps closed networks secure, allowing only authorized devices and users to access sensitive or secure data. Access is granted to new users or devices only from certain points, keeping the system tightly controlled.

In the Office, On the Field

The advantage of a secure network is that it allows users both on-site and in the field to share data easily, and transfer devices between personnel members as required for smooth workflow. Rugged tablets are becoming the device of choice for government, military, industrial and manufacturing sites, since these devices are more portable than a laptop and more reliable than non-rugged tablets and handhelds.

Rugged Tablet options allows for use in harsh or impact prone conditions – a high quality tablet can be dropped or knocked over; used in sunlight, extreme heat or cold; passed back and forth more readily than a clipboard, and utilize features such as touch screens, stylus options, detachable keyboards and docks, and split screen viewing. Peripherals such as GPS can also be implemented, creating devices that double as realistic tools to complete tasks in the field and provide directional support.

While the shift to secured mobile devices such as rugged tablets may incur extra costs in hardware (since government employees and military personnel as well as others operating in closed systems will be expected to use supplied devices), the huge leap in security and productivity is well worth the up-front expense of outfitting authorized personnel.

DT Research – Pioneering the Tech Engineering Landscape for Over 20 Years

DT ResearchDT Research, Inc. was founded in the cradle of Silicon Valley in 1995 by a group of forward thinking engineers and by 1998, had become the technical pioneer of the decade in mobile systems. Today, with their engineering teams, production sites, technical support systems, and distribution channels across the world, DT Research has expanded its offerings to include information appliances designed for almost every major vertical market.

Our Process

DT Research teams are present in key locations across the globe, working together to create compelling products that stretch the boundaries of innovation. Our software/hardware integration expertise, visionary design team, and practical engineering process allow us to implement technological advances rapidly, taking products from start to finish inside our company then delivering them to the world.

Our engineering teams in California and Asia take each concept and develop it, seeking ways to enhance each product beyond the specifications of the end user. Long life cycles eliminate constant technology refresh and retraining of IT staff. Each product we create is designed to be secure and reliable for long term support.

After parts are manufactured by our in-house team, each product is assembled to order, rigorously tested for capacity and resilience, and customized to meet the end user’s specific needs. Considering customer feedback, our engineers integrate continuous improvements on track with the latest technology advances to create systems that target projects in specific applications.

Our Products and Markets

DT Research offers cost effective, deployment-ready products to a range of vertical markets worldwide, including government and military, healthcare, transportation, logistics, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and finance. By combining fully integrated hardware options with robust software, users can more efficiently store, transfer, and collect data for increased productivity. Additionally, using our intuitive device management software, administrators can maintain and update multiple systems locally or remotely via secure networks.

DT Research is the proven partner for purpose-built computing and digital signage solutions. Whether you need a rugged tablet for extreme conditions or a medical computer solution to streamline patient care, we have the technology and the experience to deliver the ideal product to meet your needs.