By Brian Albright, Field Technologies magazine
Thanks to the popularity of devices like the Apple iPad, HP TouchPad, and others, tablet computers are a hot topic in the enterprise. While these tablets have caught the fancy of consumers in recent years, companies in the field service space have been using ruggedized tablets for years; now a wider variety of companies are evaluating the tablet form factor for their line-of-business applications.
Enterprise users now have a mix of consumer- grade, semirugged, and highly ruggedized tablets to choose from, and devices like the iPad are influencing the design of the traditional workhorse devices used in field service
applications. For true line-of-business apps, though, companies still require advanced functionality like GPS, remote management and asset tracking, flexible input options (to accommodate bar code and RFID readers), voice recognition, and even built-in keypads.