Mobile computing has been around
since the 1980s. Since then, mobile computers have taken over the wireless
industry. Today, they are all around us in the world, enabling access to digital
content anytime, anyplace, anywhere. A mobile computer is a computing device that
is physically not constrained in its location to a desktop or data centre and
allows users to access data and information from wherever they are. This means
they allow transmission of data, voice and video via a computer or any other
wireless enabled device without having to be connected to a fixed physical
place. These devices are designed to be extremely portable and they are small
enough to fit in your hand. They are powerful enough to do many things you can
do with your computer or laptop and many of the mobile computers have barcode scanning
functionality to for users to instantly capture the barcode and view or edit
information as required.
Mobile solutions play an
important role towards the growth of today’s business and connectivity has
never been so easy. Many vendors have pre-packaged mobile apps to enable users
to quickly access the information and make decisions no matter where they are.
Such as to view upcoming tasks, get alerts on specific events, view and
complete approval requests, access real time operational reports, monitor
inventory levels etc.
Mobile computers can also be used for a
variety of applications such as;
- Inventory management
- Monitor deliveries
- Asset tracking
- Field services
- Inventory counting
- Attendance tracking
- Healthcare and much more
Getting the right type of mobile
computer that best suits your needs can improve the workplace productivity by drastically
increasing the speed, accuracy and number of tasks mobile workers can complete
on a day. With so many different types of mobile computers available today, it
is a challenging task to find the mobile computer that is a perfect fit for
Following are some factors to
consider before buying a mobile computer.
- What business processes or employee functions
will benefit from mobile computers?
- What applications are needed to support the
business process or the employees using it?
- Does it need to have the barcode scanning
- Will it be exposed to harsh environment, dust,
moisture, drops etc.?
- What connectivity options are needed?
- What’s the desired operating system?
Depending on user needs they are
different types of mobile computers in the market. Some of them are gun grip,
phone-size, full size, wearable, vehicle mount, RFID which will be further
explained in a separate post.
Similar to how a computer
operates, mobile computers run on familiar interfaces such as windows, android,
iOS, Linux etc. depending on the operating system the functionality and
applications will vary. Even though mobile computers can store data in their
memory, users can also make use of their wireless connectivity and collect,
review and update information as they wish. There are a few ways mobile
computers can communicate wirelessly.
- Securely access programs or databases stored in
the cloud or your office using the latest Wi-Fi technologies such as 802.11
- Take advantage of high-speed WLAN or WWAN
networks, such as the 4G HSPA+ worldwide network or the 3.5G EVDO/CDMA network
- Accurately pinpoint the locations of employees,
assets, and businesses with optional GPS capabilities
- Easily sync with modems, printers, and headsets
using Bluetooth wireless connectivity
- Always stay connected via phone using integrated
- Add additional memory using expandable card
Some of the main advantages of
mobile computing are;
Location flexibility - Users can work from anywhere and doesn’t
limit them to a fixed position as long as the connection has been
Saves time - Because of the location
flexibility, the time wasted while travelling from different locations has been
decreased. It has also reduced unnecessary incurred expenses.
Enhanced productivity - Users can work
efficiently and effectively from any location reducing time and cost which
enhances their productivity. Also by providing easy access to real time data,
executives can make more informed decisions in a shorter period of time.
Ease of research - Normally users would
have to go to the field and search for data and information and feed it back
into system. With mobile computers research can collect data and feed it to the
system real time without having to make trips back and forth from the field to
Streamline of business processes –
Adequate measures have been put in place to ensure authentication and authorization
of the user accessing the services.
Business functions can be run over secure links and sharing of
information between business partners can also take place.
In summary, people can work from
the comfort of any location as long as the connection is a secure connection. With more mobile computers and more
applications coming into the market, mobile computers will keep growing and
will be a key role in a business. Mobile computers allow you to capture and
exchange business critical information according to your specific enterprise
demands. It is important to understand the basic features of a mobile computer
to find the best suitable mobile computer to fulfil your requirements. Choosing
the right mobile computer can improve workplace efficiency and productivity
immensely. They will help improve
workplace speed and accuracy drastically and also a lot of tasks can be done
during the day. If you take a sensible business-improvement based approach, you
will quickly be riding the mobile-computing wave and enjoying the benefits of
mobile technology in your business.