Showing posts from February, 2007

Handheld Computers Everywhere

What do these folks all have in common - the water delivery guy, the parking meter attendant, the surveyor on the sidewalk, the UPS delivery guy, pig farmers, building inspectors and nearly every business person in the airplane? The answer....they all are using handheld computers. So why then is Dell Computer announcing they are going to stop manufacturing PDAs? The answer is that handheld computers are becoming much more than the simple PDAs (personal digital assistants) that Dell has traditionally sold. The new convergent PDA phones should really be renamed to EDAs (enterprise digital assistants) and they are now being sold primarily through the wireless phone carriers rather than electronic stores or direct computer manufacturers as in the past. EDAs require the combination of a mobile phone and a full functional computer. They integrate processing power, memory, Windows Mobile operating systems, wifi, bluetooth, internet, music/video, digital cameras, and sometimes GPS, bar code,

Ruggedized Cases for PDAs

In our office here at MobileDataforce in Boise, Idaho we have several tables covered with ruggedized handheld computers and ruggedized cases for PDAs on display in our executive briefing area. Recently we received a new box full of ruggedized PDA cases from a company called Otterbox . I must say there are some very impressive and appealing cases for PDAs and PDA phones. These cases can keep the majority of water and dust off your devices and can provide you with a much greater level of protection from common bumps and drops. They don't offer industrial grade protection, but they do offer a much higher level of protection than a standard exposed phone or PDA . My sales team is now using the Otterbox for the Palm Treos they carry. The above picture shows how they look. The keys on the Otterbox case work surprisingly well, and a lens on the back allows you to take digital photos without taking the phone out of the case. Good job Otterbox ! I drop my PDA phone abo

Clinical Research & Mobile Handheld PDA Solutions

MobileDataforce was fortunate enough to have been selected to provide mobile software and consulting services for a very interesting clinical research project that utilized handheld PDAs and synchronization technology recently. This project involves 6 hospitals that are participating in a data collection and research project on treatments of spinal injuries. The hospitals using our mobile data collection software are: Craig Hospital Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington DC Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, North Carolina This research projects involves 250 Clinicians in 6 different disciplines including: Social Workers Physical Therapists Speech Therapists Occupational Therapists Psychologists Recreational Therapists This study is designed for "Improving Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Outcomes" by: Identifying individual patient characteristics,

Mobile Handheld PDAs - You Don't Want to Sit Next to Me on a Plane

If you are unfortunate enough to be seated next to me on a plane, then I hope you like talking about mobile handheld PDAs and other kinds of mobile computers and mobile software solutions. Last night on the flight home from San Jose, CA a lucky food broker was throughly indoctrinated into the world of mobility. This tired traveler did not understand the full degree of his luck. Seems his company is currently testing a mobile software application now and they hate it. If he was hoping for some sleep on the flight, he should never have told me that. It just so happens that MobileDataforce has a lot of experince working with CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies and helping them mobilize their in store promotion and product delivery processes. He was one of the luckiest guys on the entire plane, although he should get some more rest.

Ryzex Visit in Bellingham, Washington and a Look at Mobile Handheld PDAs

Last week I had the opportunity of visiting Ryzex in beautiful Bellingham , WA. Ryzex is a very interesting company that sells new, used and refurbished handheld computers and mobile handheld PDAs. Their business model supports the purchase of old and used handheld computers from their clients, and upgrading them with new hardware. They also have a rental program for companies needing short-term data collection devices. As I walked through their facilities I saw workstations where engineers were repairing devices, disassembling devices and cleaning used devices. I saw a warehouse full of handheld computer parts and add-on components. It was a very interesting tour and I left impressed with the scope of their services and offerings. They sell and service a wide range of handheld computers including Psion Teklogix, Symbol, Intermec and others. My interest in all of these handheld devices of course is that they require software in order to be of any use. MobileDataforce develops all ki

Route Accounting and Proof of Delivery on Mobile Handheld PDAs

I have been programmed, by my work with mobile software solutions for handheld PDAs, to see opportunities everywhere. I drive my wife crazy... One of the reasons is my habit of constantly calling out phone numbers while driving down the street. Why?...I can't stand seeing people delivering packages and cargo while not wearing a handheld computer on their belt. I feel an intense sense of responsibility to make their life and work better. We all have a purpose in life and this is mine. Here are a few ways that a mobile software application for a handheld PDA can make the life of a delivery man better: Electronic proof of delivery form - sign the screen here, capture the digital signature and synchronize with the office...this enables the company to prove delivery at a designated location and time and show this on a website instantly. Allows the delivery man (or woman) to look up past deliveries at this location, or instantly track the status of other in-process deliveries. This prov

Asset Management and Mobile Software for Handheld PDAs

Asset management comes in all different sizes and shapes. Assets are not just property and buildings, desks and computers - the also include things like cows, chickens, human resources, inventory, fences, landscape etc.. My professional services teams often are involved in the development of mobile asset management and inspection software solutions. These projects usually involve ruggedized handheld PDAs, a mobile software platform with wireless synchronization and are designed to monitor and track assets on remote job sites. We are currently working on a project that includes the delivery of fences and environmental barriers. These barriers are delivered to construction sites to prevent water runoff and erosion issues. Sometimes these barriers are temporary and are rented by the construction company. The company providing these "assets" must deliver them, monitor them, track their location, record how long they have been in place, and inspect them for damage once they are

Handheld PDAs and RFID in the Hospital

Last week my VP of Product Management, Dave Wasden , was playing a high tech version of an Easter egg hunt in the office. He would distribute RFID tags in various locations around the office and walk through with a Symbol 9000 (industrial grade handheld computer) with an RFID antenna attached. The antenna would pick-up the RFID tags and list them on the screen of the handheld device. Dave was testing this RFID software solution developed, using the PointSync Mobility Platform , on behalf of a company that monitors hospital equipment. Seems often it is hard to find various high priced pieces of equipment when it is needed in the hospital. This can cause delays in treating or diagnosing patients - this is not a good thing. The solution being tested would allow a technician to monitor and track the locations of a large variety of hospital equipment. We have already been involved in a similar project to track expensive tools on construction sites in a similar manner. In a blog artic

Inspection Software for Handheld PDAs and the City of Los Angeles

My team has been supporting a mobile inspection software project with the City of Los Angeles' Building Maintenance Division. They had a need to collect conditional assessment data and inspection data from equipment and buildings at over 900 locations using handheld PDAs. These buildings include: Police Stations Fire Stations Libraries Waste water operations Communication Centers Municipal Buildings of all kinds etc. Their 6 inspectors collect data and complete inspections for their CMMS application (computer managed maintenance system). These 6 inspectors are experts in the following areas: Carpentry HVAC Roofing Elevators Plumbing Electrical The Building Maintenance Division selected MobileDataforce's Mobile Inspection Software for handheld PDAs and Symbol MC 9000k handheld devices. The inspectors collect the data and complete the inspections and synchronize their devices to a central data repository. The Building Maintenance Division selected software from MobileDataforce