Technology powers the work that is done in almost every industry on the planet, including work done in some of the harshest environments on the planet. The problem is, many of these devices aren’t designed to handle such rough conditions.
When you add to that the fact that millions of devices are dropped, submerged, smashed, cracked, or broken every day, it’s no wonder that technology replacement is such a large expense for many businesses.
To combat this, many technology companies have developed rugged tech solutions that are built to withstand everything from extreme heat and cold, to drops, submersions, and other conditions.
What is Rugged Tech?
To put it simply, rugged tech is hardware that is manufactured with the intent to survive extreme environments and wear conditions beyond normal daily use. These types of products are quickly becoming commonplace in many industries where conditions cause frequent breakage of equipment.
In fact, rugged tech is quickly becoming the go-to solution for industries that rely on computers, wearables, and laptops in the field, where conditions are less than ideal for technology.
The manufacturing process for rugged tech is much more robust than traditional commercial hardware. This can include things like sturdier cases, touch screens designed for use with gloved hands, shatterproof screens, even waterproof and submersion-resistant devices. This allows for routine operation with less risk of wear-induced replacement.
While the initial investment is high, many industries are turning to rugged tech to save on long-term replacement costs, the loss of productivity for missing equipment, and wait times on new equipment.
Types of Rugged Tech
The full scope of rugged tech has yet to be realized. However, many types of hardware already exist and are revolutionized in the way work is done in a number of industries. Here are just a few examples.
Tablet Computers and Scanners
Many businesses rely on some form of portable scanner for keeping track of inventory, shipping, and other logistical tasks. This usually comes in the form of a handheld tablet with a barcode scanner.
Commercial tablets typically can’t survive warehouse and industrial environments.
There are now rugged tech options for tablets and portable scanners that have a much better lifespan than anything at your local electronics store. Most of them are built to withstand all sorts of impacts as well as temperature variations and screen damage.
Heart rate monitors, fitness trackers, safety monitors, and other small wrist, leg, or belt wearables are another type of tech which can be exposed to extreme conditions.
Rugged technology solutions are now available with wearables that are humidity and dust-proof to prevent sweat, dirk, and debris from damaging the device. This is in addition to superior construction and temperature resistance. Wearables are becoming commonplace to monitor employee safety in extreme environments like construction sites, oil fields, and electrical work.
In certain fields, a portable computer or tablet isn’t powerful enough. In these cases a laptop is necessary. This can include industries like oceanic research, the aeronautics and space industry, and other areas that rely on research hardware.
Rugged laptops are now available that have superior casings, impact-resistant screens, improved batteries, and other features that make them last longer in the field.
Rugged technology is still being developed but has become a vital part of many businesses. These are just a few of the options currently available for keeping operational in harsh environments.