What are rugged devices?
Rugged devices, also known as ruggedized devices, are electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other equipment designed to operate reliably in harsh and challenging environments. These environments can include extreme temperatures, humidity, dust, water, vibrations, shocks, and even potentially hazardous locations. Rugged devices are commonly used in industries and activities where standard consumer-grade electronics might fail to function properly or become damaged due to these harsh conditions.
There are three categories of rugged devices, including semi-rugged, fully rugged, and ultra-rugged.
Semi-rugged devices can withstand low to moderate environmental hazards. They typically feature the same internal components as commercial hardware but contain slight modifications that make them more durable.
Fully rugged devices are specially designed to handle heavy environmental hazards. They are typically resistant to water, vibrations, shock and dust.
Ultra-rugged devices can handle the most extreme conditions. These devices are typically deployed in military and heavy industrial environments like mines, oil refineries and manufacturing facilities.
Key characteristics of rugged devices include:
Durability: Rugged devices are built with durable materials that can withstand physical stress, such as drops, impacts, and vibrations. They often have reinforced frames, shock-absorbing components, and strong casing to protect against damage.
Environmental Resistance: Rugged devices are designed to handle exposure to elements like water, dust, extreme temperatures, and humidity. They often meet specific industry standards (such as IP ratings for water and dust resistance) to ensure their performance in various conditions.
Enhanced Battery Life: Since these devices are often used in remote or demanding situations where recharging might be challenging, rugged devices tend to have extended battery life to ensure they can last through extended periods of use.
Outdoor Visibility: Many rugged devices feature high-brightness displays that are visible even in direct sunlight, a feature particularly important for outdoor and fieldwork scenarios.
Data Capture: Rugged devices often come with enhanced data capture capabilities, such as barcode scanners, RFID readers, and specialized camera systems, which are useful in industrial and logistical applications.
Connectivity: Rugged devices may include support for various wireless communication technologies like Wi-Fi, cellular networks, and Bluetooth, allowing users to stay connected even in remote locations.
Customization: Rugged devices can be tailored to specific industry needs with specialized hardware features and software applications.
Rugged devices find applications in a variety of industries, including construction, manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, military, law enforcement, healthcare, and field services. Examples of rugged devices include rugged smartphones used by outdoor enthusiasts, tough tablets used in warehouse management, and specialized laptops used in military operations.
Rugged device challenges
It’s important to note that there are varying degrees of ruggedness, with some devices being better suited for certain environments than others. The level of ruggedness required depends on the specific demands of the industry or activity where the device will be used.