RFID for your PDA
The devices can operate as a keyboard wedge without any software at all, which could make for very simple data collection using standard apps such as Pocket Excel, or you could develop applications using your favorite development environment such as Visual CE mobile database software.
Many industries are looking very closely at this technology, such as asset tracking, access control, process control, health care, medical, pharmaceutical and of course retail, which has driven many developments such as barcode scanning and wireless networks. Just as in the early days of barcode scanning in supermarkets, large US retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot are starting to insist that suppliers put RFID tags onto pallets and cases of product.
Some people have been stating that we will soon see RFID tags on all our products at the supermarket. I don’t believe this will be the case in a hurry. Passive ID tags are still around 40 US cents each and whilst manufacturers are working to get their prices down, analysts are saying that it will probably take 6-8 years before prices reach 10 US cents per tag. This would be fine for appliances and items with a higher price, but for most grocery items the added costs would be prohibitive. If you are considering applications such as asset tracking, passive RFID tags may well be very cost effective and, with a range of up to 6 metres, could make stock- and asset-taking a much easier and more accurate activity. Remember the last asset stock-take you did on your PCs, monitors, keyboards, etc? Just accessing those barcodes can be a hassle in itself.
Palm apps can run on a Pocket PC
Now StyleTap has come up with the StyleTap Platform for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs. This application allows Palm OS applications to run on a Pocket PC. Many developers have had to rewrite applications so that they can run on both Palm and Pocket PC devices as many IT managers elected to stay in a Microsoft environment. Now it appears that they can have their cake and eat it too. With StyleTap, Palm and Pocket PC applications can co-reside and in some cases it is even possible to cut and paste data from one to the other. StyleTap is currently in beta, but StyleTap is so confident in the success of this solution it is already developing a version for Symbian users. The cost of such a valuable solution? Only US$29.95 with a free upgrade to the finished product when it is available.
VoiceIT for PalmOne
WorldMate for Blackberry
The BlackBerry success story has reached its pinnacle with the official naming of a new OSH condition. Yes, that’s right, BlackBerry Thumb was the subject of a consumer alert by the American Society of Hand Therapists. Tendonitis and carpel tunnel syndrome are becoming commonplace among users of BlackBerry devices. The society recommends that users place a pillow on their laps so that their wrists are in an upright position when they use their BlackBerry devices. Makes you think, doesn’t it? Maybe we need someone to invent a PDA Pocket Pillow.
Palm LifeDrive rumour