By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
An all-in-one device strategy can simplify support and reduce costs, but some applications require more than one mobile form factor.
Mobile device manufacturers over the past few years have taken a decidedly “Swiss Army Knife” approach to device design, creating devices that do nearly anything with the right mix of embedded functionality or addon modules: bar code scanning, RFID scanning, voice/video communication, payment processing. You can make a phone call on a rugged laptop or accept credit card payments with a smartphone.
The concept of the all-in-one device has been enabled by consumer and enterprise technology advances in microprocessors, sensors, touch screen technology, and location-based technologies. Small devices can support relatively larger screen sizes, making it easier to access more complex applications on devices like smartphones. Mobile computing horsepower and wireless broadband access have grown to the point that it’s possible to accomplish nearly any task from the field.