A PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) is a term used to describe any small mobile hand-held device that provides computing, information storage and retrieval capabilities for personal or business use.
Most rugged PDAs are lightweight, pocket sized devices with a small keyboard. Some PDAs have an electronically sensitive pad on which handwriting can be received.
Typical applications include consumer use, white collar management and field sales for functions such as appointment scheduling, address book storage and retrieval, note-entering, telephones and paging systems.
Traditionally, PDAs have not been rugged devices and hardware failures have been common in demanding environments, but increasingly are being manufactured to more rugged standards such as IP54-rated devices. Find out more about IP Ratings.
PDAs now come with improved functionality including barcode scanning, WLAN and bluetooth communication and GPS.
Applications are normally written for rugged PDAs in Windows Mobile® and Win CE.Net™.