Panasonic, known for its rugged electronic devices, took the wraps off a pair of rough and tumble handheld devices at the ongoing Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona.
The Panasonic ToughPad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1, feature barcode scanners, set at 70 degrees and have styluses. While one handheld comes with Windows 10 the other with Android 5.1.1.
Barcode scanners have been around for decades, and in today’s world where everyone has a smartphone, it’s pretty easy to download a barcode scanning app instead. However, those apps just can't cut it when it comes to enterprise uses.
In a smartphone, the scanner is simply in the wrong place. When it’s positioned on the top edge of a device, you have to point the phone down when scan it, which prevents you from seeing the screen and can also cause repetitive stress injuries over time.
And if the scanner is placed on the back of a device, it’s difficult to aim at the barcode and your screen at the same time. Plus, the best scanning apps are painfully slow, fidgety and not very reliable. So, by putting a scanner with a 70-degree field of view on its new Toughpad, Panasonic has solved both these problems.
Unlike older Toughpads, Panasonic’s new handhelds support both passive and active styluses, with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity for the latter. When the tablets are used to record signatures they can match the pressure used against previous records to stop fraud.
Since these devices are meant to be used by in warehouses and outdoors, the Toughpads come with touch recognition for gloves up to 5mm thick, and an IP-67 protection rating which includes water resistance up to 3.3 feet for 30 minutes. When the screen is wet, it’ll still respond to your fingers unlike traditional capacitive touch displays.