I was in Paris last week for the unveiling of Psion Teklogix's new rugged handheld PDA phone/scanner/gps data collector called the Ikon (sorry Psion I don't know how to make your special font characters). It is one of the few rugged phones with built in industrial strength scanners and batteries for real world working environments like the ones MobileDataforce works in on a daily basis.
Here is the text from Psion Teklogix's press release:
25 October 2007
Paris, France Signifying the dawn of a new era in the PDA marketplace, Psion Teklogix (LSE: PON), a global provider of solutions for mobile computing, wireless data collection, imaging and RFID, announced its return to the market it pioneered over 20 years ago, launching today its newest product, the rugged PDA – iKôn. A sleek, compact and powerful design with robust built-in functionality, iKôn is an ideal mobile computing device, delivering increased productivity and efficiency by enabling advanced mobile applications across the enterprise. "We’re extremely proud to be launching iKôn today, a day when we’re also celebrating our 40th year of existence in a very exciting marketplace," said Psion Teklogix CEO Jacky Lecuivre. "iKôn is the most advanced handheld computer our company has ever brought to market. It is a very synergistic addition to our portfolio as it enables us to truly address the needs of mobile workers, helping them do their jobs with the best possible mobile computing support." He added, "With the launch of this new rugged PDA, the company continues to evolve in the best Psion tradition. We are universally acknowledged with having created the PDA, with the introduction of the original Psion Organiser in 1984, and today we’re proving how our past is indeed the way to our future." Customers and partners worldwide were solicited for input and feedback on the types of capabilities they expect in a rugged PDA. "We listened to our customers, to the point where they became an integral part of the design and features definition process. Consequently, initial market reaction to our prototypes has been immensely positive and we are extremely optimistic about the prospects for iKôn," said Lecuivre. iKôn packs incredible functionality into a compact form factor with class-leading ergonomics, aesthetics, and ease of use. Whether reading barcodes with the integrated imager or scanner, or using the camera to take a colour picture, iKôn is a category-leading data capture device ideal for mobile workers in dynamic applications. With a choice of three operating systems, including Microsoft Windows CE 5.0, Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Classic and Professional, iKôn offers customers an industry standard, yet leading edge platform for their applications. The capability of iKôn to fully integrate voice and data communication options onto a single device eliminates the need for multiple devices - effectively reducing capital expenditures as well as support costs. iKôn delivers true anytime, anywhere, wireless voice and data communications, GPS positioning, with simultaneous WiFi, Cellular (GSM/GPRS/UMTS) and Bluetooth connectivity options. These features enable real-time information management, improved efficiencies and increased asset visibility across a customer’s operations. With a full VGA display, iKôn is more suitable for complex applications with sophisticated graphics than many competing devices with one-quarter VGA displays. Finally, the highest battery capacity of the market ensures full-day productivity for mobile workers. International consulting firm Capgemini is already seeing the benefits of iKôn as the company is planning to work with its client, Hydro One Networks, in Ontario, Canada, to pilot the new device on a large Smart Meter project. Hydro One Networks owns and operates one of the ten largest electricity transmission and distribution systems in North America. iKôn will be used by Hydro One installers, alongside other Psion Teklogix rugged PDAs already being used, to support the smart meter installations – part of the provincial government initiative to have electricity distribution companies install smart meters in all homes and small business by 2010. "We’re excited to be among the early adaptors of this great new device. With its rugged design and multi-mode capabilities, iKôn will help in our efforts to create a culture of energy conservation across the province of Ontario," said Gord Reynolds, the Capgemini Program Manager of Field Services for the Smart Meter Project at Hydro One. Capgemini, one of the world's foremost providers of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services, enables its clients to transform and perform through technologies. iKôn will be available to customers through Psion Teklogix' global sales offices and value-added resellers in December 2007.