As the lines blur between rugged and standardized gadgets, talk turns to whether us tech enthusiasts will ever choose a tougher product to cater to our everyday technology needs. We’re always looking for the latest and greatest advancements but as individuals, rugged devices seem to be off the menu… but why? And how could the advanced features of rugged tech benefit consumers everywhere?
Is tougher tech all its cracked up to be?
The latest semi and fully rugged devices can withstand the harshest conditions from rising and plummeting temperatures to excess vibration and water damage, but the last thing we’d want to do with our iPhone or tablet is submerge it into the sea or kitchen sink! Whilst delicate consumer devices fall flat in certain environments, rugged tech thrives in difficult and hostile conditions.
Despite its enhanced features, the technology giants manufacturing rugged gear are still not targeting consumers in the search for sales and increased profit. Instead the military, emergency services, oil, gas and utility markets are grabbing ruggedized devices to increase productivity and lower inventory costs.
The evolution of rugged devices
Whilst the use of rugged technologies isn’t making a huge impact on the consumer market, the progression of leading manufacturers may just be changing how we view these products as individuals. For a number of years, rugged devices have been criticized for their robust design, and in response to this more and more devices are been inspired by the consumer world, especially the handheld designs, which are particularly popular industry-wide.
Rugged devices are fast becoming wearable and aesthetically pleasing as manufacturers invest in the design-side of product development. In addition to its design overhaul, rugged tech is also being transformed when it comes to functionality, which has often left the most experienced users stumped. Will this be the cocktail that manufacturers are looking for to make rugged devices suitable for private sectors and consumers?
More consumer inspired adaptations
It’s not just design and functionality where rugged devices are becoming more commercialized. The chip architecture of the rugged processor is also being transformed to provide a more specialized performance. The introduction of microprocessors is nothing new in consumer product development, however, for rugged tech this enhancement enables better use of the chip’s capabilities, high performance and increased battery efficiency.
Teamed with new operating systems, applications, chipsets and hardware become much more user-friendly and stable, offering consistency for industries looking for a dynamic mobile solution.
What’s stopping rugged tech being fully available to consumers?
One huge issue when it comes to rugged tech is its price. Due to its advanced and hardened features rugged tech has been deemed an impossible purchase for the average consumer. However, with several manufacturers recently opening their doors to individuals looking to go rugged, tech experts hope a price drop won’t be too far in the future.
Rugged tech benefits at a glance
Whilst rugged technology may not be fully adapted for everyday use just yet, despite the harsh conditions you and your gadgets have to face on that morning commute, tougher devices are becoming an increasingly popular purchase for adventure lovers and thrill seekers across the globe. But what benefits can you look forward to if you prefer a trek through the jungle rather than a relaxing beach holiday?
Here are five reasons why going rugged on your next adventure holiday may be a good idea…
1. Enhanced battery life: The majority of rugged tablets and handheld devices have unrivalled battery life in comparison to standard gadgets, which means you can enjoy extended battery life even if a power point isn’t in sight for up to 13 hours.
2. Lightweight models available: Whilst many rugged devices are known for their bulky appearance, there are a number of lightweight and slim-line models that make perfect travel companions.
3. More user-friendly: Tech enthusiasts may think the enhanced features mean complicated user interfaces, however, devices are becoming increasingly user-friendly with the addition of familiar operating systems.
4. Withstand high altitude conditions: Standard devices simply would not last in extreme conditions but rugged tech is designed to withstand humidity, vibration and extreme highs and lows in temperature.
5. Unbeatable shock absorption: Accidentally dropping your device from a height is a gadget lover’s worst nightmare, especially if you are away from home and the technology is more difficult to replace. But rugged tech can withstand extreme drops with its shock resistant components.
Brittany Thorley is a consultant for Rugged Systems. She is passionate about technology and loves to share her expertise on the rugged device market.