Motorola Solutions has introduced a new Wide Area Network (WAN)-connected MC45 mobile computer to allow workers to track equipment, identify patients in hospitals and trace inventory.
The device is also marketed toward small and midsize businesses, government, transportation and field sales.
At $1,345, the MC45 is a value model for rugged field use, according to Sheldon Safir, director of global solutions marketing for Motorola Solutions.
"It's really meant for folks who have been put off by the higher cost of complex devices to enable them to automate field mobility, including applications like field sales and field services in a compact device," Safir told eWEEK.
Announced on Jan. 29, the MC45 offers 1D and 2D bar-coding to allow health care workers to capture data from bar codes on patient wristbands or health insurance cards. It also allows health care organizations to track medical devices.
"It really provides the full instant capability to work with back-end systems in the field and provide a better health care experience, " Sheldon Safir, director of global solutions marketing for Motorola Solutions, told eWEEK.
The 3.2-megapixel camera could allow clinicians to take a photo of injuries or lesions to send to a physician. Home health care workers could use the MC45 to view patient vital stats, track medication inventory, monitor medical devices and view patient histories, said Safir.
In addition to health care, the MC45 can be used in customer relationship management (CRM), sales order entry, inventory management, proof of delivery and route accounting.
"Having that info electronically on a handheld device not only makes them more productive but reduces errors," said Safir.
The Adaptive Scan engine allows users to alternate between wide and narrow screen angles until the unit detects a bar code. It can capture bar codes as far away as 15 feet, according to Motorola.
The 3.2-inch display, numeric keypad and full-shift battery with power-management capabilities are also intended for field workers.
The unit's touch-screen allows for signature capture for shipping workers and retail.
The bar-coding, point and click and signature capture enable field workers to get more done in a 10-hour shift without a need for multiple devices and paper, said Safir.
The MC45 is the company's first WAN device for field workers, according to Motorola. It runs on 3.5G GSM High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) wireless WAN as well as on WiFi.
The unit's GPS functionality allows it to capture data at locations with dense foliage or inside buildings.
The device supports Motorola's RhoMobile suite, which enables enterprises to develop OS-agnostic applications using an HTML5 platform. By developing applications in RhoMobile, workers will be able to synchronize data and run applications on Windows Embedded Handheld or Android devices.
"It takes the OS complication out of the equation by developing on that HTML5 platform," Safir said.
"Using HTML5 you can develop that application once, and the suite underpinnings allow you to run apps without modification," he said. "It cuts the development time and expense by developing one application on an HTML5-based platform, and it will run on multiple devices."
Workers might use the MC45 to access maintenance history for a repair, reconcile shipments or process returns.
The device complies with the Ingress Protection (IP)-64 standard for surviving splashes and dust intrusion. It also adheres to the MIL-STD 810G military spec and can survive 5-foot drops to concrete when not operating and 3-foot drops when operating.
In addition to the MC45, on Jan. 29 Motorola also announced the U.S. availability of the MC67 rugged EDA and ET1 WAN tablet.
The MC67, which costs $2,795-$3,195 depending on the configuration, is a rugged device that features both a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4430 CPU and Windows Embedded Handheld.
While the MC45 features a 3.2-megapixel camera, the MC67 has an 8-megapixel camera for capturing documents in the field, or an image of patient wounds or skin lesions.
Meanwhile, the ET1 tablet features Texas Instruments' WiLink 7.0 connectivity that combines both WiFi and dual-mode WAN for service in an office building or hospital, and outdoors in the field. The ET1 with WLAN costs $1,535, and with both LAN and WAN, it will sell for $1,935.