New Verizon Casio Android Smartphone Ruggedized for Hospital Use

Casio and Verizon Wireless have announced the G'zOne Commando rugged Android 2.2 smartphone primed to withstand working environments such as hospitals, construction sites and factory floors.

Casio and Verizon Wireless have introduced a rugged Android 2.2 touch-screen smartphone suitable for harsh working environments in verticals such as health care, construction, retail, manufacturing and transportation.

The G'zOne Commando conforms to the rugged MIL-STD-810G military standard for durability.

Its 1mm-thick tough glass and bumper edges allow the unit to withstand some drops, and the unit can survive temperature extremes ranging from 185 degrees to -13 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 96 hours.

The device can also handle environmental conditions such as heavy dust, salt fog, solar radiation, shock, humidity, vibrations and liquid immersion.

Security features provided through Microsoft's EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) allow users to encrypt data in transit, remotely wipe information, enable device inactivity timeout and set password complexity.

The G'zOne performs enterprise tasks such as downloading blueprints, files and pictures and managing a field force. It also allows workers to access inventories and capture signatures.

The device runs the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system and operates on Verizon's 3G/EV-DO network. In addition, it serves as a WiFi hotspot for other devices. The unit doesn't support 4G connectivity, however.

It operates in eight modes, including Earth Compass and Walking Counter, which tracks steps, distance and energy consumption.

Trip Memory allows users to keep track of outdoor activities and share the information with contacts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Other modes allow users to run a variety of virtual components, such as tracking a tide's ebb and flow, displaying thermometer readings in Celsius and Fahrenheit for multiple locations, as well as tracking the location of the sun, moon, stars and constellations using GPS.

The unit weighs 5.4 ounces, measures 5.1 by 2.6 by 0.6 inches and features a 3.6-inch WVGA display. It also features XT9 and T9 trace input for efficient typing.

In addition, G'zGear software allows users to navigate outdoor environments, while using Triple Sensor technology to keep track of direction, acceleration and temperature.

The G'zOne also incorporates a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, LED flash and video capture. Plus, it comes with 1GB of flash memory and 512MB of RAM.

Verizon will offer the G'zOne starting April 28 for $199.99 with a two-year customer mobile service agreement. The carrier's unlimited data plans start at $29.99 per month.

Other leaders in rugged mobile devices for harsh environments include Motorola, Motion Computing and Samsung.

In January, Motion Computing announced its rugged CL900 tablet for verticals such as health care and retail, and T-Mobile carries the rugged Motorola Defy Android smartphone on its network. The Defy's 3.7-inch touch screen is resistant to water and scratches.

Meanwhile, Samsung's line of rugged Rugby phones on AT&T are also marketed to verticals in tough working environments. The Rugby II is a 3G two-way push-to-talk device suitable for extreme temperatures, shock and vibration.