Spirit Data Capture

Spirit news – October / November 2013

Welcome to the autumn edition of Spirit Data Capture’s Ezine for businesses who are interested in information and news relating to rugged mobile data capture solutions.

In this issue, the articles include:

We hope you enjoy reading this newsletter. If you would like more information on any of the items below, please call us on 01928 718800 or send an email to: helen.jones@spiritdatacapture.co.uk.


Mobile movements

There have been a lot of changes and developments in the world of mobile devices and operating systems recently.

BlackberryBad fruit: Firstly, BlackBerry has fallen rapidly from grace. At one time, the manufacturer (formerly known as Research in Motion) was a force to be reckoned with. Now, however, it is struggling to survive. In September, it was desperately searching for a buyer. Following reports that it might fail to find one, there were rumours that the company could be broken up.

However, in October, there were further reports that BlackBerry’s co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, were interested in regaining control of the company and had hired Goldman Sachs to help them. At the time of writing, the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain!

New entrant: Secondly, Microsoft has decided to buy Nokia’s Devices and Services business (including Nokia’s mapping services). Like BlackBerry, Nokia has also been struggling, with a large drop in sales in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2012. The sale to Microsoft should be finalised early next year.

The deal will give Microsoft a chance to gain a rather belated foothold in the mobile market, an area where it believes it has the potential for new growth. So far, however, there has been a mixed response to the news from investors and the media. However, the deal should enable Microsoft to challenge the dominance of players such as Apple and Google. For mobile users, it means there could be some interesting times ahead, with the potential for further innovation in the smartphone sector.

AndroidHappy Anniversary! Thirdly, there is some brighter news for Android, which is celebrating an important anniversary. It is ten years since the company was first conceived and a mere five years since the arrival of the first Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, along with the Android operating system. The company was bought by Google in 2005 and its rise in the last five years in particular has been meteoric. Its smartphone operating system has become the largest of its kind in the world, being installed in over a billion devices.


Clouds in the corporate sky

Cloud computingThere has been a lot of media attention on the public cloud in the last year or so, but much less about private (also known as internal or corporate) clouds. A private cloud occurs when a company’s internal IT infrastructure is effectively used to provide cloud services for various users, with an extra layer of security being provided by a firewall. This type of cloud delivers computing, storage and software services to different ‘nodes’ within the company.

Private clouds are more secure than a public cloud and allow a company to have more control over its data. They also have the advantage of lower infrastructure costs and hardware requirements. 2014 is likely to see a significant growth in private cloud computing. Some organisations are also exploring the benefits of hybrid models, which combine both public and private clouds.

One likely by-product of the increasing popularity of the different types of cloud computing is that it could sound the death knell for applications such as Microsoft Exchange, which is now relatively old, expensive to maintain and support. The cloud provides more flexibility and is more in line with the evolving needs of today’s generation of mobile and tablet users.


Another bite of the cherry for Apple

iPadThe trend to smaller, more compact and less expensive mobile devices continues, with the recent announcement of the launch of Apple’s new iPad mini2. This, like its predecessor, the iPad mini, should have a 7.9 inch screen (compared with its larger brothers’ 9.7 inch displays). However, at the time of going to press, it is rumoured to be more powerful and is likely to have a new high-resolution, retina display. This should improve the look and readability of any content.

Meanwhile, there have been persistent rumours that a new mini iPhone could be launched next year, forming part of Apple’s response to Samsung’s tightening grip on the smartphone market. The new iPhone is likely to have a 3.5 or 4 inch screen, a curved back, and a five megapixel camera. The mobile wars continue – which will be to the ultimate benefit of users across the globe if they drive down prices whilst bringing exciting new features.


Intermec acquired by Honeywell

IntermecHoneywell has recently finalised the acquisition of Intermec, a leading provider of mobile computing, radio frequency identification (RFID) and associated data collection and printing solutions. Fortunately, the two companies’ range of products are highly complementary, which will help Honeywell in its goal of providing innovative solutions that drive value for its customers.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Intermec will be integrated into Honeywell Scanning & Mobility (HSM), part of the company’s Automation and Control Solutions business. HSM is a leading manufacturer of high-performance image- and laser-based data collection hardware, including rugged mobile computers and bar code scanners. It has one of the broadest product portfolios in the automatic identification and data collection industry.


Pinpoint accuracy with the Getac Z710

GetacGPS has become a standard requirement for most mobile devices. It is particularly important for remote workers. However, in challenging environments, the accuracy and quality of the receivers can be badly affected. This is why Getac decided to incorporate the SiRFstarIV GPS receiver in its Z710 - a fully rugged tablet PC that runs on an Android operating system. The new receiver gives a higher performance than earlier versions and allows wider and deeper searches.

In particular, the SiRFstarIV has an enhanced tracking sensitivity, which provides higher coverage in weak signal environments such as city centres and other difficult environments. It is also optimised for indoor use. The receiver has full support for the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS), including support for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). This helps to ensure true location awareness in a diverse array of environments.


Spirit’s vocal support

BECSpirit has joined forces with BEC Systems Integration to offer customers voice-directed warehouse solutions from Vocollect. BEC has extensive experience of implementing innovative voice technology solutions and is a Total Solutions Provider for the Vocollect range. Its flagship voice-directed warehouse solution is eSmart® Voice.

BEC’s solutions will enable Spirit to offer an even wider choice of high quality products to our customers. Voice solutions can help to increase worker productivity by up to 35%, whilst reducing errors by up to 25%. Voice technology works by converting tasks (sent by the Warehouse Management System to a worker’s mobile computer) into verbal commands. Employees hear the commands on their headsets and their responses are captured by voice recognition software and translated into data that are sent back to the WMS.

The new voice-directed solutions enable warehouse personnel to have two hands free for lifting, carrying and operating equipment. The technology eliminates the time spent using scanners, reading instructions or keying in data. This leads to greater efficiency, higher productivity and ultimately, increased profitability. Voice technology also increases the accuracy of the data but is very easy to use and requires little training.


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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