Rugged in 2015: Big, bad and Android
Look for bigger, tougher Android devices in 2015, said Jerker Hellström, CEO of rugged computer maker Handheld. The three key trends in mobile computing in 2015 he expects are:
1. Larger displays even for rugged mobile computers. Screen size is the “$64,000 question” in the rugged computer segment, according to Hellström. It is a major consideration for all users but it is also linked to the application and how data and information are presented, both in terms of how it is captured and how it is communicated to the end user. “I foresee a stronger demand for maximum screen real-estate in the smallest, lightest possible form factor,” he said.
2. Higher IP ratings. While mobile computers across all market segments are increasingly being manufactured that are more durable, more rugged and with higher IP (ingress protection) ratings against water and dust, this measurement has also become a marketing gimmick, said Hellström. Look for continued upward “IP rating creep” but also an invigorating discussion about the definition and value of IP ratings and the tests carried out on mobile computers.
3. Increasing interest for Android. Microsoft Windows Mobile or Windows Embedded has for a long time been the operating system of choice for rugged mobile devices, but 2015 will be the year when the industry truly embraces Android.
The growing number of Android consumer phones has spilled over to the industrial sector, and there is more industrial software being developed for Android, boosted by the first-generation industrial Android devices. Also, Android can take advantage of powerful multicore CPUs in a way Windows Embedded Handheld has not been able to.
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