Spirit Data Capture

Spirit News – January 2012

Welcome to the New Year’s edition of our newsletter for customers who are interested in information and news relating to rugged mobile computing solutions.

This issue takes a look at the role of:

  • Geo-fencing in seamless mobility
  • A brief explanation of cloud computing and 4G networks
  • Helpful guides to the latest operating systems and to RFID operating frequencies

We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. If you would like more information on any of the items below, please call us on 01928 717700 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk.

 

Geo FencingGeo-fencing: the next step towards seamless mobility

The next development in the enterprise mobility marketplace will be seamless mobility. This will allow users to work with both data and voice applications without needing to think about how they are connected.

One important aspect of this is geo-fencing. This enables users to seamlessly change the connection on their mobile computing devices using an invisible or virtual ‘geographical fence’.

By using the GPS tracking potential of handheld units, it is possible to switch the connection between WWAN (i.e. 3G or GPRS) and WLAN (WiFi). With the correct configuration of the geo-fence, your device can automatically switch on the WLAN as you enter your depot or offices and then switch back to WWAN when you leave.

The successful implementation of geo-fencing in your organisation will ensure that your mobile devices will use the most effective and cost-efficient connections whilst always maintaining end-to-end security.

 

 

Choosing the right operating system

Until recently, Windows operating systems have dominated the mobile enterprise market. However, the recent boom in consumer-grade smartphones has led to the emergence of other options. So what is the best operating system for you? Here is a summary of the main alternatives:

Windows PDAWindows

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 (formally Windows Mobile). Microsoft recommends this platform for the following requirements:

  • Application compatibility across a wide range of devices
  • Advanced security and device management capabilities
  • Voice telephony
  • Compatibility with existing Windows Mobile 6.x applications

Windows Embedded Compact 7 (formally Windows CE). This is ideal when a high degree of customisation and flexibility is required for the device or when the device is needed for a dedicated task.

Windows Phone 7. This system targets consumer smartphones with a new user interface, tools and application marketplace. However, because it isn’t compatible with Windows Mobile 6.5 applications, it hasn’t been widely adopted.

Linux

Mobile Linux allows the customisation of its coding to meet business needs.  However, many variations exist, which could lead to difficulties if problems occur.

Android

This is Google’s version of Mobile Linux and is used in Motorola’s ET1 Tablet PC and Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-A1. Other manufacturers are likely to follow soon.

Others

There are many other operating systems available, including Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS, Symbian and J2ME but these aren’t currently much in use in rugged devices.

A wise choice

PDASelecting the best operating system for your business is vital for reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your devices. You need to consider what you have, what you need and where you want to go. There is little reason to move to Android if you need to integrate with Windows systems and software but if you are developing new software, the development costs can be greatly reduced by choosing a freeware solution.

Support is a major feature when making your choice. Windows platforms are well established within the enterprise mobility sector, with plentiful devices and software available. Developers, support teams and many users are well-versed in Windows systems, so support and training costs can be greatly reduced.

Please don’t forget that Spirit Data Capture can always offer you advice on which operating system would be best for you - you only need to ask!

 

Have you got your head in the Cloud yet?

Cloud computing is becoming increasingly widespread. It’s very versatile as it enables you to access a wealth of hardware and software capabilities over the Internet – so you don’t have to spend capital on infrastructure. It transforms computing into a service rather than a product. Some of its key features include:

  • Information and applications are usually stored and accessed via the Internet
  • Users don’t know (and don’t need to know) the physical location or configuration of the system that delivers the services
  • HTML5 programming could lead the way in Cloud mobile applications, due to its cross-platform compatibility. All you need is an Internet browser and connection

 

The Generation Game: Here comes 4G!

4G (4th Generation mobile networking) technology is similar to the wireless networks used in an office or home, only on a much larger scale. It will be integrated into mobile devices to provide an `always on` mobile broadband connection.

Here is a brief summary of how this network has evolved:

Here come 4G

 

Handy RFID guide

Here is a quick guide to RFID operating frequencies and their characteristics (Source: JISC Technology and Standards Watch, May 2006.)

Band

LF
Low frequency

HF
High frequency

UHF
Ultra high frequency

Microwave

Frequency

30–300kHz

3–30MHz

300 MHz–3GHz

2–30 GHz

Typical RFID Frequencies

125–134 kHz

13.56 MHz

433 MHz or
865 – 956MHz
2.45 GHz

2.45 GHz

Approximate read range

Less than 0.5 metre

Up to 1.5 metres

433 MHz = up to 100 metres
865-956 MHz = 0.5 to 5 metres

Up to 10m

Typical data transfer rate

Less than 1 kilobit per second (kbit/s)

Approximately 25 kbit/s

433–956 = 30 kbit/s

2.45 =100 kbit/s

Up to 100 kbit/s

Characteristics

Short-range, low data transfer rate, penetrates water but not metal.

Higher ranges, reasonable data rate (similar to GSM phone), penetrates water but not metal.

Long ranges, high data transfer rate,
concurrent read of <100 items, cannot penetrate water or metals

Long range, high data transfer rate, cannot penetrate water or metal

Typical use

Animal ID
Car immobiliser

Smart Labels
Contact-less travel cards
Access & Security

Specialist animal tracking
Logistics

Moving vehicle toll

(Source: JISC Technology and Standards Watch, May 2006.)

Great value packages on offer now

Great value

Our great value packages start from only £29.50 a month and include:

  • PDA    • 3 year support contract    • Data SIM card     • Application software

Please visit our Eshop, or call us for details.

 


Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to your colleagues. If you would like more information on any of the items, please call us on 01928 718800 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk


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