Tag Archives: tablet computers

medical tablets and tablet with barcode scanner

3 Usages of Medical Tablets in a Mobile Environment

As the health landscape changes, the technology adapts to fit the needs of the people. Healthcare professionals strive to reach patients that aren’t always able to travel to healthcare centers; that’s one of the reasons why telehealth usage has grown in the past few years. As technologies adapt to smaller forms and communication capability increases, more individuals that can’t frequent hospitals or clinics are seeing the benefit of medical tablets. They’re being used in various ways to improve the lives of patients while removing the pains of commuting and increasing convenience. Here are three usages of these tech-smart devices where older, less mobile technology wouldn’t be viable to use.

Mobile Blood Banks are All the Rage

It’s true there’s a critical blood shortage in the US. The American Red Cross often calls out for blood donors since blood is often in short supply. Complex medical procedures call for large quantities of donated blood, and as these procedures increase in frequency and complexity, donated blood reserves dry up. As recent as September of 2017 it’s reported that The Red Cross is behind by roughly half of the necessary units for daily optimal operations. One of the ways The Red Cross is gathering blood is by organizing and running blood drives.

These blood drives often employ medical practitioners to travel to various sites and use medical tablets to track the blood withdrawn and then have it preserved for use later. It’s convenient for individuals willing to donate since often times mobile blood banks are at traffic-heavy events where anyone can sign up and donate blood to help patients and victims of disasters. With the extensive battery life of a medical tablet, a blood bank can be in service for several hours to collect all the donations needed.

The same technology is heavily used by emergency response teams. Patients in dangerous car wrecks or people that have fallen victim during a natural disaster can be administered blood via a medical tablet. A paramedic can test to see what blood type a patient has, locate and identify a compatible blood reserve using a tablet with barcode scanner, and then use the tablet to track the blood while they’re being prepped for hospital admittance. The time saved matters.

Combating the Opioid Crisis with Medical Tablets

Time reports that in 2016 alone, the ongoing opioid crisis claimed more than 42,000 lives. There’s been a nationwide effort to reduce opioid overdose incidents, but the problem is still prevalent. With this medical crisis on the rise, a lot of less fortunate victims that have strong addictions to painkillers and other drugs may need emergency on-the-site assistance from first responders in the event of a patient collapsing.

An emergency team can use a medical tablet to diagnose and administer proper dosages of medicine to treat drug addicts and save lives. The tablets used could be used to immediately send patient information, vital signs, condition, and other information via the 4G wireless technology in order for medical staff to prep for immediate hospitalization. When it comes to overdoses, seconds can be the difference between life and death. Any advantage that first responders can gain in that race can save lives. 

Medical Tablets Hit the Streets

An opioid addiction isn’t the only reason tablets might be fielded—sufferers of agoraphobia, the disabled, eldery, and homeless patients that need medical help can’t easily help their selves to nearby healthcare outlets.

Medical staff can use a medical tablet to perform telehealth operations and visit those who aren’t able to check in to clinics. Those immobile or bedridden can stay indoors and have a doctor diagnose and treat patients using the built-in wireless technology. Or, a tablet could be paired with a medical device to diagnose or examine health problems. Therapists and psychologists can hold telehealth sessions via medical tablets to consult with their patients. Scheduling, prescribing medication, and transmitting patient information can all be wrapped into a familiar platform for doctors and nurses. Telehealth capability skyrockets with using this new form of sophisticated technology.

 

Medical tablets are the new standard for mobile healthcare, simply put. The boost in communication, capability, versatility, process time reduction, human error reduction, paperwork minimization, and telehealth capability is second to none. The possibilities as this new technology develops more over time are virtually endless. Contact us to learn more.

medical tablet and military grade tablet

3 Ways Mobile Technology Can Help People in Emergencies

Hurricane Sandy was one of the most destructive storms to hit the United States in the past decade. It’s listed as the fourth most costly storm in terms of property damage for the US and is reported to have caused at least 147 deaths. The death toll for every natural disaster is thankfully smaller than the potential count because of excellent emergency response teams. Natural disasters are more challenging events for first responders because they require thorough preparation and risky travel—sometimes directly in the middle of disaster zones. It’s not just skill, speed, and expertise in the mind of a paramedic to save lives, it’s the technology they use too. With the right kind of equipment, first responders can help the lives of those stranded during disastrous emergencies and keep lives afflicted as low as possible.

Medical Tablet Communication Without WiFi

Communication during medical emergencies in afflicted locations must remain constant for first responders and emergency medical teams. A first responder team will rely heavily on radio communication, but it takes more sophisticated technology to inform a hospital’s ICU that they’ve found a patient amongst the debris of a damaging storm.

First responders can use a medical tablet with 4G wireless technology to take photos, relay vital signs, provide patient information, and give an approximate patient arrival time, then send off the information to a nearby hospital so in-house emergency staff can scramble to prep before the patient arrives. The same medical tablet can be used in-house to track the patient’s progress to full rehabilitation. One tool to do multiple jobs—one based in the field, another based in the hospital.

Delivering Assistance to the Hungry and Homeless

Hurricane Harvey, another more recent storm, is listed as one of the most devastating natural disasters for the US. Several thousand people were rescued from the damaging winds and heavy rainfall. Nearly 50 thousand homes were affected, leaving many people without shelter. FEMA supplied 3 million meals, several thousand blankets, and thousands of hygiene kits for survivors. With such a hefty delivery to disaster areas, how are they able to keep track of such a high count of supplies, and how can they ensure every individual is served and protected?

Such a massive inventory distribution requires sophisticated tracking to ensure all meals—and all survivors—are accounted for. By using a military grade tablet, inventory from emergency supply warehouses to afflicted disaster sites can be scanned, tracked, and then marked as delivered once the meals are on-site. Discrepancies can be located easily on each disaster site as meals are scanned upon delivery into someone’s hands. Plus, the military grade tablets can be used to connect the disabled and hard-of-hearing to sign language interpreters—something that FEMA listed on their site as recent as 2013.

Military Grade Tablets are Best in Disaster Zones

In the aftermath of a hurricane, earthquake, tornado or any other natural disaster, emergency responders can’t rely on flimsy hardware to do their jobs. The tablet market is littered with underpowered, easily breakable tablets with poor viewing angles and speaker holes that are common failure points. Air quality is bad, dust and debris are often swirling, standing water is everywhere and access to survivors in need of attention can often mean crossing rugged and rocky terrain. We’ve heard of stories where water seeps into the crevices of tablets and gets under the screen, damaging the internal components and blurring the resolution. We’re sure paramedics have dropped equipment in the past, too; you can often see the result of a dropped touchscreen device in the hands of someone unlucky. A paramedic shouldn’t need to decipher what’s on a tablet screen through a series of deep cracks in the glass.

Drops and ingress are bound to happen in disaster areas. That’s why emergency responders need military grade tablets that can resist drops, accidental damage, and water ingress; the proper type of tablet has an ingress rating of IP65 to resist direct water sprays, splashes, and to ensure dirt and dust don’t seep into the tablet innards. Settling for anything less in an emergency can cost time—and more.

 

If you’re searching for the best tablet for emergency situations, don’t settle for models on the consumer market; the right tablet for the job can withstand the perils of emergency disaster zones and help those afflicted like none other. Features such as 4G wireless connectivity, barcode scanners, and ingress protection ensure the tablet has full capability so you can get the job done. Contact us today to find out more.

industrial tablets and medical tablets

Understanding Tablet Battery Life: Not All Solutions are Created Equally

Mobility in the workplace is crucial to boosting productivity. Ask any construction worker or physician using a tablet how their operations have improved and they’ll easily give a laundry list of benefits—time is money in the workplace, and saving one saves the other. However, changing to a mobile workstation can also present a new set of problems that can be pain points for professionals on the go. Battery life is probably one of the most common complaints with any mobile device, whether that be for personal or commercial use. But simply choosing a commercial grade tablet that boasts the longest battery life can end up causing a host of new problems that end up costing you more in the long run. A recent report by VDC Research shows that 18 percent of consumer-grade tablets fail every year when used in the workplace—that’s just one metric a business faces when insufficient tablets are used on the job. Here are a few more pain points to consider.

Understanding your Processing Needs

Scour the market to locate the best rugged tablet and you’ll find a vast majority use low-powered, compact processors. They’re great for running a quick app to check sports scores and what new 5-star restaurants are in the area, but those processors aren’t built for running sophisticated business software meant to track metrics, project progress, or other important business-related numbers. The wrong tablet in the hands of a professional can be frustrating—unresponsive applications, hefty load times, the works. We hate loading bars just as much as you do.

Address that problem early. Find a rugged tablet with an i5 or i7 processor. Your complex software will operate a lot faster than any tablet with the consumer-grade processor. While a more powerful processor can drain a battery faster, hot swap technology means you can just swap depleted batteries for charged ones without having to turn off the unit. Plus, any future upgrades to your software won’t mean you’ll need a new tablet upgrade for at least a few years.

Your Environment Impacts Readability

If you’ve held a mobile device recently (and you likely have), you probably recall squinting or moving to shadowy areas just to properly read what’s on the screen. We’re sure some professionals in the past have shielded the sun or find a darker area of their working environment—a heavy annoyance if you’re working on a construction site during mid-day or you manage a mobile medical unit trying to process patients. The reason for this is that a lot of commercial grade tablets choose to sacrifice screen resolution and brightness to preserve battery life.

The best rugged tablets have a high resolution of 1920 x 1200 and a “nits” emittance of 400 brightness—one of the highest brighest ratings for tablets available today. Brighter screens and higher resolutions are much easier on the eyes. You’ll likely experience fewer headaches and fewer frustrations.

Commercial Tablets Can Get Bulky, Quickly

If a physician is using a medical tablet, they’re a step ahead in maximum efficiency. Same can be said of a warehouse worker using an industrial tablet. However, their evolving task lists might require the use of different peripherals like barcode scanners, RFID readers, biometric security devices, and other equipment to do their job efficiently. External peripherals like an RFID scanner can increase the bulk of a medical tablet. Commercial grade tablets have limited ports, which in and of itself can make it difficult to connect peripherals like barcode and RFID scanners. And if you do manage to connect all of your devices, the tablet itself becomes bulky, and you know have two or three extra devices that you have to purchase and properly maintain.

Skip the tool belt approach by finding a tablet that has all the peripherals included in the design! All three components can be wrapped into the design for a rugged tablet so you don’t need to carry around devices to plug in or store away, risking time drain or possible peripheral loss. Not to mention that plugging in external devices to a tablet is going to contribute to battery drain anyway.

Solving the Battery Issue Without Sacrificing Functionality

After working ten hours with two hours to go on an exhausting shift, flashing battery lights and notifications that your tablet needs an immediate recharge are not welcome. Work has to be postponed to restore the tablet to a full charge. We’re sure there are cases where the internal battery for an industrial tablet malfunctions, the power shuts off, work is lost, and the battery is sealed inside, impossible to remove without voiding the warranty or cracking open components. If the tablet is out of warranty (or voided), it’s usually a costly repair. Once more, time and money are lost and your business suffers.

Resolve that potential roadblock by using a tablet with swappable batteries. There’s virtually no downtime when there’s an extra set of charging batteries that can replace one at the first sign of battery drain. Extra batteries can be charged at a central location and be quickly swapped out for a drained battery in seconds without having to power off the unit. This eliminates both downtime and the need to worry about battery life completely. In theory, a tablet with hot swap batteries can run 24/7 so long as you keep the extra batteries charged and ready.

The bottom line is time and money are at risk if you only consider one thing when purchasing a tablet for your business. Think about what the needs of your business are and what the potential pitfalls might be if you settle on a budget tablet. Cybernet features both a medical grade and an industrial grade tablet that are ruggedized and have a robust component integration, powerful internal processors that beat out consumer choices, swappable batteries to increase uptime, and high-resolution screens with above average brightness. Contact us to learn how we can customize our solutions to meet your unique needs.

 

 

industrial tablet

Common Problems in the Warehouse Solvable by Industrial Tablets

Your warehouse isn’t just a place to store inventory—it’s a central hub for your product, and if it isn’t managed properly that could sacrifice time, money, customer retention, and ultimately your business. Here are a lot of common problems you might face in your warehouse that can be resolved by utilizing the best in technology.

Strategize Your Warehouse with an Industrial Tablet

Efficiency and lean processes are common buzz words used in manufacturing and distribution. Every process you can make more efficient means an increase to the bottom line. But too often businesses aren’t applying these strategies to how their warehouse is laid out. Having strong knowledge of how your inventory is organized in your warehouse can save man hours over time. x holding an exhaust pipe. Using an industrial tablet coupled with RFID technology can allow you to track how workers move through the warehouse. You can scan bin locations as product is moved to the production line or picked for order shipping. When this data is fed to an ERP system, it can quickly help a warehouse manager diagnose which items are used the most or how workers move through the facility to create a more efficient inventory locations. Warehouse layouts can be updated based on the most efficient traffic flows. Creating an efficient inventory workflow will ultimately lead to increased profits.

Ensure Accurate Inventory Counts with a Barcode Scanner

If there’s a manual count of six boxes of head gaskets and your inventory system shows seven, it’s time to find what’s causing the discrepancy. You’ll have to pull away several workers, sacrifice time and money, and do a product hunt for one box that might be lost in the myriad of products—or perhaps it doesn’t exist. Good luck. Inventory counts are a fact of life, and are extremely labor intensive and subject to a high degree of human error. If you’re out of a product, but your inventory management software says its in stock, that creates a customer service nightmare and could even result in losing that business for good. That’s where a rugged tablet with a barcode scanner comes into play. As inventory comes in from third part vendors, it can be scanned into your ERP system. Then as materials are moved out to the manufacturing floor or as product is bought and shipped, each individual unit can be scanned, creating highly accurate inventory counts. Over time, this saves time and money and help to provide a better customer experience as well.

Streamline Manual Picking Processes

If your warehouse isn’t fully automated—and most aren’t—there’s the struggle to know where all products in the warehouse are located. Pickers might receive an order list from a customer and be tasked with wandering around the warehouse to find the corresponding products to prepare them for shipping. This can be a time consuming task and can also result in the wrong orders being sent to customers. If a picker is using an industrial tablet, it can provide the location for each item available in a warehouse for each order and the fastest path to each item in an order based on the traffic flow and inventory layout of your warehouse that we discussed above. Each item picked can be scanned by the tablet, achieving two outcomes. First, by scanning the items, order accuracy is guaranteed. Secondly, inventory levels are updated into your ERP system in real time. Both improving the overall customer experience.

Higher Levels of Worker Management

Running a warehouse on paper will eventually lead to errors. This applies to employee time management as well. While most businesses today utilize some sort of software based time clock management system, there are some still using manual punch cards. In either case, using industrial tablets in the warehouse can help streamline this process. While tablets are primarily used to manage other processes, you can also install your time clock software onto them. Instead of employees having to line up at the one or two stationary computers to clock in and out, tablets can be positioned throughout the warehouse, making the process smoother, and keeping more accurate labor records than manual punch cards.

 

These are only a few challenges that an industrial tablet can help you overcome in a warehouse environment. Helping you identify those challenges and discover ways to overcome those challenges through technology is what we do at Cybernet. See how an industrial tablet can improve your warehouse operations by calling us today or seeing our inventory.

 

 

tough tablets

Industrial Tablets vs Off-the-Shelf in the Field

Since 2010, Apple has seen tremendous success after the corporation released it’s first iPad tablet, launching a new market and being the trendsetter in a new line of mobile technology products. As recent as 2016, Apple’s global market share has reached 25 percent for tablets, leading Samsung by approximately 10 percent. It’s clear that this market has seen tremendous growth and application in the past 7 years—Apple sold more than 40 million iPads alone in 2016. However, what we’re looking at is largely representative of the consumer market for tablets and not the industrial market. It’s likely the case that an industrial company settled on Apple products for mobile productivity in the past, but there’s an important financial factor that’s hard to see on a day-to-day basis; the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is an estimation of expenses related with buying, deploying, using, and then retiring of a piece of equipment or product. Industrial companies focus a lot on TCO, but consumer grade tablets aren’t best in the long run for industrial companies. Generally the TCO for a tough tablet is lower (better) since they last longer. Here’s an in-depth look at why.

Tough Industrial Tablets Utilize a Hot Swappable Battery

If you’ve ever tried to remove the internal battery for a tablet, it was probably a frustrating and educational experience. Most tablets are sealed, so battery removable and replacement either requires someone who has experience getting into the innards of a tablet, a trustworthy individual with a steady set of hands who can learn quickly, or device shipment to the manufacturer who can replace the battery if the tablet is within warranty. If it’s not within warranty, expect to pay around 100 USD for a battery replacement and a turnaround time of 3-5 days with no promise of restoring all the previous data. If you’d prefer to remove and replace the battery yourself, kits often cost around as much as a manufacturer’s price for a battery replacement anyhow. That’s not a strong outlook for a business, especially if the tablets have no backstock, leaving at least one employee with no way to be productive. Or, you could just swap out the removable battery on the tough tablet instead and resume productivity. Not only does this removable battery functionality affect TCO greatly, it prevents production downtime. Plus, if a battery doesn’t hold a charge, others are available to purchase. The hot swappable battery function justifies the cost alone. It can take productivity from a few hours to a full work shift—or more, depending on how many people on different shifts use one tablet. One tough tablet with three batteries can be used continuously over the course of an entire day instead of three separate tablets in use, each potentially lasting the time span of a shift and then stored away to charge. Again, industrial tablets have a lower TCO.

Tough Tablets Need Tough Glass, and More

Some tablets use Corning’s Gorilla Glass, an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet of glass that is highly resistant to scratches, direct damage, and drops. Gorilla Glass has become a staple in tough tablet and smartphone manufacturing, but it’s not indestructible and a lot of videos have surfaced online demonstrating it can shatter if a tablet is dropped in sensitive areas—usually a corner. Industrial tablets are known to use Gorilla Glass and often have housings to protect the corners, which iPads and other consumer-grade tablets lack. Sure, a CFO can get protective cases for tablets too, but a rugged case can hit the wallet at about 80 USD—another cost consideration when going with consumer tablets. Why buy more when an industrial tablet comes with the protection? The last accidental drop a warehouse needs is one that shatters the glass on a tablet, potentially rendering the device useless. Tough tablets are built to withstand shocks and vibrations.

Tablets Tend to Bend

A quick search online reveals that consumer tablets aren’t the most resilient to warping. Some have actually shipped bent in the past, and others warp so much the glass actually shatters. Couple that in an industrial warehouse with temperature changes—not a favorable result. Even aluminum and stainless steel are known to warp a few microns because of temperature changes in machine shops, so we’ve come to expect sheets of silicon, aluminum, and glass to do the same. Industrial tablets are built to withstand temperature changes, vibrations, shocks, and accidental damage, extending their life beyond what a consumer would expect. Built with industrial-grade components, these tough tablets have a Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) timespan of six years. Consider that the original iPad released in 2010—several models of the iPad have been released between then and 2017, suggesting that one industrial tablet will last longer than several iPad generations. Again, lower TCO for the industrial tablet.

Capacitive is Great Technology—but Not For Industrial Tablets

Working in a warehouse often requires gloves—regular gloves, unless you buy capacitive-knit gloves (which are expensive and don’t provide much protection), don’t work on capacitive screens. Capacitive technology uses the electrical charge from our hands to actually register a change in voltage, thus changing the elements on screen. With a gloved hand, the electrical charge doesn’t register. Consumer grade tablets usually use capacitive screens, so a gloved hand won’t work. Industrial tablets use resistive screens so a gloved input can actually register. Sure, employees can take off their gloves and work with a tablet screen, but that’s quite a tedious annoyance.

These reasons clearly outline why tough tablets are the best choice for an industrial setting. Consumer grade tablets warp easier, batteries aren’t easily replaceable, gloved hands can’t interact with their screens, operational life is shorter, and there’s a higher TCO. Consider that the MTBF for an industrial tablet is longer than the lifespan for several generations of iPads and other tablets! You don’t want your employees to suffer productivity downtime over charging batteries or sending a broken tablet off to a manufacturer over one drop—unless you prefer spending more money over time.

 

 

Trimming Construction Time And Costs With Tablets

Tablet computers have made their way into many businesses, but one place where their adoption has been slow is in the construction industry. Some feel that the handheld computers don’t have a place in the middle of the heavy and dirty work that is construction.

In reality though, the new technologies offered by rugged tablets can make construction work safer, help to streamline workflow and increase efficiency in many areas of the business. With more rugged tablets on the market designed specifically for industrial use, any construction business that is not taking advantage of them will soon find themselves falling behind.

Here are just a few of the benefits that tablet computing has to offer…

Weather Tracking

Bad weather is the bane of outdoor construction jobs. Unexpected storms and periods of rain or snow will not only cause delays, but can be dangerous to crews out in the field and cause damage to unfinished work.

With tablets on site, managers and crews can keep themselves apprised of weather conditions right up to the minute. Workers can be proactive towards incoming bad weather rather than waiting to be surprised and trying to react when it might already be too late. Unfinished work can be covered and secured with time to spare and crews in dangerous locations can get themselves out of harm’s way.

Distribution of Documents

One of the most costly and time consuming aspects of construction has always been the distribution of the immense amounts of plans and documents needed by virtually every member of the team. Strategic use of tablet computers can not only get things like blueprints, permits and other documents on site and into the right hands faster, it will cut costs associated with paper, printing and distribution through mail or shipping companies.

By combining the mobility of tablet computers with cloud storage options such as Google Docs or DropBox, documents can be stored in one place and made available instantly to everyone who needs them no matter where they are. Teams can even collaborate between office and build site with everyone receiving updates in real time.

Face-to-Face Meetings

Teams can talk to each other face to face even when they are in different locations. By utilizing apps like FaceTime or Google Hangouts, time wasted traveling to make it to a meeting room is completely eliminated. A supervisor on site can update project management about current situations, receive new instructions or updates and communicate them to his team immediately without the need for anyone to leave their location to make a meeting.

Supply Management

Workers on site can update inventory of supplies as they work in real time, with no extra effort. Ordering and shipping can be virtually automated, eliminating extra costs and saving time. Supply levels can be constantly maintained at optimal levels and delays caused by shortages made nonexistent.

Workers will be able to focus on the actual construction work rather than counting supplies and filling out order requests. At the same time, project management will have real time information showing them exactly what is on site at all times, allowing them to make decisions faster and plan more efficiently.

Awareness of Problems or Delays

On site workers can communicate problems or delays to supervisors and project managers instantly, even providing video or photographic information if needed. All parties who need to know can be made aware at the same time without the need for chains of phone calls or tracking down mobile team members.

Imaginative Integration

Tablet computers are still relatively new as far as computing in general is concerned. They are already proving themselves very useful in many current tasks, but will undoubtedly be used in even more ways as the future approaches and technology continues to develop. With a little bit of imagination you will be able to find unique ways that you can use these handheld wonders to improve many facets of your business so that you’re constantly staying one step ahead of your competition.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that in order to take advantage of these types of benefits, you need to be using hardware that’s been specifically designed to handle the rugged nature of the business. Consumer grade tablets aren’t built to withstand dirt and dust, water, extreme hot and cold temperatures, and drops. Rugged tablets, like Cybernet’s Rugged X10 industrial tablet, are built using military grade components and engineered to work in environments where consumer electronics typically fail.

6 Ways Tablet PCs Can Help Your Salesforce

Tablet computers have made their way into just about every facet of business. From stock rooms to boardrooms, these powerful mobile computers are spotted everywhere, filling in the gaps where smartphones are too small and laptops are too cumbersome.

In the area of sales in particular, tablet PCs have changed the way business is being done. With their smaller size, lighter weight and free mobility they are giving sales representatives more information and more tools that allow them to increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

Where tablet PCs were once seen almost as toys or novelties, they have evolved into real and powerful standalone computers that, in some cases, offer better features and reliability than many popular laptop or desktop systems.

The following are just a few ways that equipping your sales team with a tablet PC can increase their productivity and ultimately close more sales.

Digital Catalogs

The need to carry a briefcase filled with bulky papers or heavy books has vanished. The modern sales rep can carry his entire catalog on a tablet PC.

Going beyond just listing items that are available, the tablet PC makes it possible to show pictures and videos that bring products to life, include customer reviews and present other information that just wouldn’t be practical to print in a traditional catalog.

Today’s tablets with high definition screens and powerful processors can display your products in a way that a printed paper catalog could never match.

Best of all, the tablet PC as a catalog is always up to date with the latest products, never wears out from use and doesn’t need to be reprinted or replaced. Not only will tablets make your catalog more attractive and interactive, they can cut the costs of printing and distributing catalogs completely.

Real Time Stock Levels

Your sales team will never have to tell a customer to wait while they make a phone call to check on the availability of products. They can get real time inventory data and tell the customer not only if a product is available, but also when it can be delivered. They’ll never have to say, “Let me get back to you on that” again.

Availability and delivery times can even be integrated into the presentation and pitch process with live, up to the minute data.

Real Time Order Placement

Orders can be placed immediately with little to no paperwork. With just a few taps on the screen, a sales representative can jump from a catalog display to order placement and even allow the customer to fill in his own details and close the deal himself.

The process of closing the sale instantly becomes more interactive and personal, leading to a greater feeling of customer satisfaction and security.

With ultra-fast processors and multi gigabyte memory capabilities available now, switching between apps and screens is seamless. Sales reps can move from one screen to another to process and close a deal faster than it can be done with pen and paper.

Face-to-Face Communications

A salesperson working on the road can stay in constant communication with colleagues back at the office. There’s no need to travel back to the office to make a meeting, and colleagues can be brought into meetings with clients when needed as well. Sales personnel are able to dedicate more time to clients and growing the business instead of making time to run back to an office to gather updates and new data.

With the available memory and storage on these devices constantly growing, meetings and announcements can also be recorded for later review or playback. Salespeople can even record their meetings with clients to avoid the need to stop and take notes in the middle of conversations when momentum is important.

Quick Access to the Web

In addition to internal documents and data, a tablet PC provides a smooth transition to the web to show off other relevant data that will help close a sale. Clients can be shown how other people or businesses are making use of products and services. Independent data that backs up the salesperson’s claims will also help to instill a feeling of integrity and trust.

Professionalism

Overall, the use of tablet PCs gives clients a sense of preparedness and professionalism when they meet with a member of your sales team. Your sales reps can simply pull out one device and have everything they need in a beautifully presentable form. There is no fumbling with papers or searching through a briefcase to find missing pages. The need to stop in the middle of a conversation and make a phone call is gone. There is less wasted time and more attention paid directly to the client. Customer service is actually improved with less effort and sales numbers naturally rise.

Touch Screens: Essential Technology for PCs Today

Was it a smartphone or the ATM or a retail kiosk where you first used a touch screen? Touch screen devices are ubiquitous today, and people now expect their PCs at work and at home to have touch screen capability also. Why is touch screen technology so popular? It saves a lot of time, and eliminates the possibility of keyboarding errors for those of us who lack proficiency with the keyboard or are just impatient.

In its simplest definition, a touch screen is a type of display screen on a computer or mobile device that is sensitive to the touch of one or more fingers. Touch screen technology evolved from an invention by E.A. Johnson in the UK in the late 1960s, who used it to develop a system for air traffic control. Thereafter in the early 1970s, Sam Hurst further developed the idea into a touch sensor while an instructor at the University of Kentucky. He went on to found a company, Elographics, and patented the first resistive touch screen technology in 1977. That’s still the type of touch screens used in devices today. The first home computer with touch screen was introduced by HP in 1983, setting off several other uses for the technology throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. When Apple introduced the all-touch screen iPhone in 2007, that changed the game. It made the touch screen interface a standard for smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs and increased the demand for touch screen capability from both business users and consumers.

Touch screen technology has become more sophisticated since the 1960, but the basic principle remains the same: touch screens digitize the point of finger contact into an X-Y coordinate. Some touch screens have “multi-touch” capability, whereby you can use 1, 4, or even all 10 fingers. Most of today’s touch screens are passive, and there are three different methods of operation:

–Resistive: these screens are pressure sensitive, and use two active layers – a flexible plastic layer on top of a rigid plastic or glass layer, with insulated space in between. The layers are coated and different voltages are applied, so that when touched the relative voltages enable the controller to determine the X-Y location.

–Capacitive: this method uses one layer consisting of metallic coated glass, and voltage is applied to the corners of the screen. When the finger touches the screen it draws a bit of current that the controller then measures as a change in capacitance and the resulting X-Y location.

–Projected Capacitive: a hybrid method uses a sensor grid sandwiched between two glass layers. When the screen is touched, the controller measures change in capacitance in the grid and then the X-Y location. This grid system enables multi-touch capability, as is common in smartphones and tablet computers today.

Today, touch screen PCs are used in many industries and businesses. Medical staff members use touch screen PCs to quickly enter and update electronic medical records. Manufacturing facilities use touch screen PCs for their operations control systems. Retailers use them for self-service kiosks and POS systems. Hotels and airlines use them for check-in. Banks use them for ATMS but also for self-service stations within bank branches. Government agencies use them in emergency dispatch centers. Universities and schools use touch screen PCs to aid student learning.

What are some of the other uses of touch screens that you’ve seen lately? Where do you think the technology is going next?