Future Proof Your Mobile Computers

Often times, companies will deploy rugged mobile computers and prematurely retire them, not because the devices are physically damaged, but because their processors, software and data capture capabilities are thought to be inefficient or obsolete, costing companies unnecessary money. When the life cycle of a device decreases, reducing the ROI and ultimately the total cost of ownership.

However, there are many ways to future proof mobile devices so that they can fulfill their lifecycle, ultimately saving money. While choosing a rugged device is always good for physical longevity, it’s important to take emerging technologies into consideration.

Operating Systems & Software
Most devices use Microsoft-based operating systems, but what really matters are the additional capabilities that the device can also support. This becomes particularly important because most warehouses have homemade applications that were engineered specifically for their older legacy mobile computers, so they do not want to have to rewrite the applications when it comes time to replace devices. If companies choose devices that support terminal emulation (TE), they can bridge the gap between new and old applications. If using a TE application, take into consideration function key capabilities—will the computer have dedicated “hard” function keys, will they be shifted keys, or will they use soft keys on a touch screen display?

Scanning Capability
Barcode scanning capabilities continue to change with the advancement of the various barcode symbologies being used, so it’s important to take them into great consideration when choosing a mobile device. Consider whether or not you forsee your company needing the ability to read 2D barcodes (recommended), or just 1D barcodes, or imaging, or even RFID.

Other factors to consider are:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wireless printing
  • Network compatibility
  • Voice/speech support

While all these factors may seem overwhelming to take into consideration, businesses do not necessarily need to know their exact needs for the future to make good decisions in the present. Just being able to identify the features that determine if their mobile computers are future-friendly or not could make the difference in making it through the life cycle or not. To see a more in-depth look at future-proofing your mobile computers, download the white paper, provided by Intermec Technologies, here.