Rugged Tablets for Field Staff

DT380CR_IMG_APPSW_1906334Field staff need tools, software, and rugged mobility meeting requirements not only for job tasks but also for rigorous environments. Rugged tablets are ideal for utility management, city fleet vehicle maintenance, parks management, and other government management applications.

State, city and county services as well as public works, utilities, and transportation all can benefit from rugged tablets that deliver an optimal mobile experience with powerful computing and communications, ongoing operation, easy to read screens, and accessories that allow them to go from office to vehicle to onsite locations easily and functionally.

It’s time to embrace everything that mobile tech offers to field operations, and the public sector can benefit in many ways by getting on board sooner rather than later.

Rugged tablets deliver a fundamental, adaptive, and obsolescence-resistant mobile computing platform. They provide a long-term investment protection for government agency initiatives, with a lower CAPEX and higher ROI than any other mobile computing solution, as well as long term use and easy integration with existing systems.

Field staff can access what they need in any location, collecting data and collating reports for a fast, cost effective way to manage projects. This can minimize costs and losses associated with false starts, lapses in oversight, cost overruns, repeated delays, or any of the many obstacles which can be posed by aging infrastructure. They can also help build out city projects, allowing “smart” functionality to be built in from day one.

With a rugged tablet, you get multiple functionality in one device. Instead of field workers being forced to carry a separate camera, barcode scanner, GPS device, mag stripe reader, and monitor, you have an all-in-one tablet built-to-order for specific needs. Additional options like vehicle mounts, battery charging stations for hot swappable batteries, keyboards, and digital pens make these tablets even more mobile and adaptable.

The latest in compatible software is implemented and each tablet built with an eye to reduce replacement costs. This built in longevity and durability lowers the total cost of ownership.

Security is also at a premium with these purpose built tablets. Sensitive data is safe in a closed network with wireless encryption that cannot be hacked through traditional wired access points. All of these features are reasons why federal, state, and municipal organizations should be outfitting their field teams with mobile, secure, and flexible rugged tablets.

Advantages of Rugged Tablets for City-Wide Utilities

Benefits-of-rugged-tablets-for-fast-response-utility-crews-during-outage...As we move into an era where both communities and cities are embracing the Iot system, public resources is one of the key areas where the focus should be to ensure efficiency.  Every expert that works within this sector should understand where and how endpoints around different communities in the city can be accessed.

Various plans and updates for a city’s infrastructure can benefit from rugged tablet technology:

  • New city plans with new utility networks
  • Expansion of networks in upcoming city centers
  • Reconstruction of an existing infrastructure so it can be up to standard

Whether the goal is to improve code compliance, the introduction of a new project in a new area, or updating to hook into the IoT, purpose-built rugged tablets can facilitate long-term utilities safety for all the plans that are underway.

Surveying

It is important to know the condition of an area before setting up new infrastructure or improving on already existing infrastructure to avoid cutting lines or interfering with already reserved routes. With the help of a rugged tablet which is GNSS enabled, city planners and engineers will be able to acquire data pertaining to the area, from digital maps and blueprints to different stages of building information management (BMI) for works in progress.

Inspections

Annually, inspection professionals in any given city can have issues being able to survey their communities’ utility properties including pipelines and cables. This is typically due to budgetary restrictions and availability of trained professionals.  With IoT connected utilities, more information can be gathered within a shorter time with the help of rugged tablets.

Repairs

Utility workers are at their most efficient when they have advanced tools and up to date technology in their area of work. What is most convenient about rugged tablets is the fact that they are portable, easy to use, powerful enough to run needed programs, and it is possible to mount them on vehicles as well as utility cranes.  

Supervision

Supervision and collecting of data from IoT sensors and smart meters is simplified through the use of purpose-built rugged tablets. The data is immediately collected, analyzed, and relayed to the relevant personnel, allowing informed decision-making and swift action in times of crisis.

In order for utilities in a city to be efficiently managed, purpose-built devices must be conceptualized and deployed. Rugged tablets are on the leading edge of utilities installation and management, and the IoT is driving innovation for the smart cities of the future.   

 

City Planning and Maintenance with Rugged Tablets

5-Ways-Rugged-Tablets-Benefit-City-PlannersIf there is one tool that has become important to city planners and managers, it is rugged tablets. Urban planners utilize rugged tablets to achieve the desired results when it comes to city planning, including the creation and management of coordinated utilities construction and maintenance, and the development of IoT technologies.

Multiple challenges present themselves in regard to city planning and management. Purpose-built rugged tablets offer urban planners a fresh perspective on how to manage and plan for their city’s future, both practically and financially:

Coordination. Keeping an entire team on track during the planning phases is crucial to planning a city that will be easily maintained and overseen, but when file sharing is clumsy, coordination suffers. Rugged tablets help by facilitating sharing and getting feedback within the team. Files can be updated across all devices simultaneously and blueprints or CAD records shared and  transmitted on demand.

Communication. Lack of real-time transmissions means utilities managers and construction site managers cannot seamlessly communicate with planners and architects during build phases, leading to confusion and downtime. Rugged tablets help by connecting command centers with in-the-field teams and third parties.

Security. Mobile devices used for communication (such as smartphones) often offer low or no level of encryption, making them a poor choice for handling sensitive information. Higher levels of security are required to provide sufficient defenses against access without proper authorization. Rugged tablets help by ensuring encryption and layers of authentication to provide authorization only to permitted personnel.

Accuracy: Real time data collection and sharing reduces miscommunication and delays due to clerical errors.  Rugged tablets help by allowing all team members to receive simultaneous updates, keeping city managers, utilities workers, construction teams and engineers on the same page.

Purpose built tablets are an ideal resource that city managers and planners, utility installation and maintenance teams, engineers and architects can use to coordinate for the planning and management of cities, especially smart cities and those connected to the IoT. The cities of the future require tech that is up to the task, and rugged tablets present the solution.

How Rugged Tablets and the IoT Can Affect the Future of Utilities in Smart Cities

5-Ways-Rugged-Tablets-Benefit-City-Planners

As cities and communities shift closer and closer to an IoT enabled reality, utilities are one of the main sector poised to streamline their functions and become the most technologically advanced backbone available. Millions of metering and sensing endpoints are ready and waiting to be accessed by project managers, IT specialists, and operations and analytics personnel.

Rugged tablets connected to the IoT can deliver long-term investment protection for city planning initiatives, positioning utilities for success and profitability whether they are introducing new plans for an emerging area, expanding networks for growing city centers, or updating old and aging infrastructure to meet new compliance standards.

Surveying

GNSS enabled tablets can use data collated from maps and blueprints to accurately define the parameters and locations of previously set lines, cables, and pipes. This data can be used to help plan expansions or complete replacements without causing issues due to cut lines or planned routes for new utility related builds.

Inspections

There are not enough inspection professionals in place in most cities to do more than a cursory check years apart on the thousands upon thousands of utility lines. Rugged tablets can help digitize and collaborate information, allowing inspectors to get more value out of their time and increase their productivity and efficiency.

Repairs

Utility workers in the field work faster, better, smarter, and safer when they have reliable, technologically advanced tools at their disposal. Rugged tablets are portable, lightweight, and able to be carried one handed or in a shoulder harness as well as mounted in a vehicle or on a utility crane or lift. Repairs can be completed swiftly even in adverse conditions like a weather event or widespread outage.

Monitoring

Monitoring and managing the real-time and near real-time data from smart meters and IoT sensors now being added to utility communications can be simplified with rugged tablets. Data capture, transfer, and storage is streamlined with data flow prioritized to systems and personnel required to utilize the information.

Smart cities require a public sector equipped with the tools, software, and devices they need to analyze and improve the design and operation of city and county services. The answer is an adaptive, obsolescence-resistant computing platform facilitated by purpose built hardware and software. Together, they can launch the utility industry into a bright new future powered by rugged tablets and the IoT.

 

Rugged Tablets and Drone Technology in Disaster Zones

Fire-and-Ice----How-Rugged-Tablet-Tech-Meets-Extreme-Temperature-Challen...Portable, military grade rugged tablets with scientific-grade GNSS and integrated RTK positioning are changing the way first responders and cleanup crews handle the aftermath of natural disasters. 

Tablets that are created with drone compatibility in mind have dual frequency GNSS modules to utilize real-time reference points from aerial photogrammetry and can swiftly create 3-D recreations of sites with 1-2 centimeter accuracy.

From forensic mapping to site reconstruction, position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems or captured by drones allows sites to be swept and cleared in short time periods and with an eye to the safety of both the public and response teams. Areas can quickly be checked for those stranded or trapped by rising floodwaters, and evaluate the safety of bridges or structures before attempting to send on-the-ground teams in to do recovery or site clearance.

Public safety teams, investigators, adjusters and other key personnel on field teams working the disaster zone can collect accurate data by utilizing tablet / drone technology. Rugged tablets designed for drone utilization are built to the same rugged specifications as tablets used by military and government teams, providing mobility and real time communication in a device that is intended to meet the demands of harsh environments: 

  • Lightweight, portable rugged cases deliver maximum versatility and portability, for office to vehicle to field use.
  • Sunlight readable displays allow viewing to transition seamlessly from indoors to outdoors.
  • Touch screens provide accessibility via stylus or fingertip writing.
  • Detachable keyboards allow fast data entry anywhere at any time.
  • Vehicle mounts deliver stability and the option to charge while on the move, and batteries can be swapped on the fly for maximum operating time.
  • Easily programmed side buttons and a directional pad are compatible with existing survey and GIS software.

These compact devices offer ultra-mobility combined with all the functionality of an RTK tablet. The combination of ruggedness and leading edge technology provides both flexibility and informational access that can be invaluable to law enforcement and first responders who need data they can trust.

City, county, and state governments can benefit from tablet / drone technology for use in times of natural disaster, to increase safety, drive efficiency, and deliver superior results for those seeking to remedy damage done by a storm or flood. Whether the threat is water, fire, or wind, rugged tablets can deliver fast, accurate mapping and make the jobs of those responsible for savings lives and restoring order safer with purpose built equipment.