We’re shallow on articles right now largely due to the fact it is manic here at Rugged and Mobile and we have been hit by this dreaded chesty cough bug too!!….Double whammy and even us rugged folk are staying in bed to try to get better again!!!  I can only apologise and say that we’ll be back on from as soon as we’re all back on form!!!

Anyway lets end the week with a thought article and one that follows on form the last article we did about How rugged PDA’s have changed.  Today I thought we could take a look at why the Rugged PDA has changed specific to the roles it taking today, compared to yesterday.

The Rugged PDA of yesterday.

Think back if you can?  The lowly beginnings of the PDA saw early adopters, all yielding stylus’ wanting a Windows experience on a PDA.  I know, I was one of them!  A techie who thought nothing of spending hours of my life trying to get email to work over WiFi and syncing to work over RS-232.  If you;re under the age of 25 then you have no idea how easy things are now!!!

But at the same time there was a merry Windows CE and Palm thing going on too which brought rise to mobile “devices” too but from the more rugged, factory side of things.  We started to see warehouses adopting bar codes and mobile devices and we saw EPOS starting to move into the mobile arena too.  You see this a lot with the older manufacturers coming from one of these backgrounds.

The Rugged PDA of today

However today we see the role changing hugely and the PDA has partly driven this but has also been dragged along by other needs too.  Firstly the ever improving features of a rugged PDA have meant it can be used in so many more scenarios.  Battery technology has allowed them to be smaller and lighter so we’re seeing a push into Field mobile and even into business and sales automation areas too where people demand a functioning and smaller device.

RFID, Bar coding and data capture have seen the role in the supply chain change.  Not only have the early warehouse adopters extended their use of devices but also other markets and businesses saw the potential too.  We saw couriers, ticketing people, security, inspection and a whole host of new customers adopt a mobile device and then try to take advantage of all its features as much as they could.

The Rugged PDA of tomorrow

So whats happening in the future?  Firstly devices are still getting smaller, batteries are getting better and the features are getting better and more reliable too.  I think 4G will see a real huge trust of mobile working grow and as we take being connected 100% of the time for granted, a whole new generation of kids will grow up with this mentality, rather than the one I have where I never ever assume you can get a GPRS signal!

Rugged PDA manufacturers are also responding to this changing scenario with more and more niche devices being created and as such more and more manufacturers from the east bringing new and exciting kit we’re going to see resellers taking different approaches to what and how they sell and support kit.  Can we remain totally impartial when there are 1000 devices, not 100….who knows, we’ll sure as hell try but I think, like we’ve seen in the car industry, there will be an explosion of devices for all occasions as the need for a PDA expand in the market place.

Along with this maybe we’ll start to see different form factors, wearable devices, devices not from an Android or Windows background but more simple M2M PIC or Arduino type things that will leave us humans out of the communication?  All I know is these are exciting times!

Right where did I put my cough mixture….

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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