What is Rugged Technology?

Rugged technology is technology that is built to withstand extreme conditions and it is used across many industries to streamline efficiencies and reduce costs in the field.

Rugged technology is technology that is built to withstand extreme conditions and environments. There are two main levels of rugged technology: semi-rugged and fully-rugged. Each level is determined by the technology’s ability to survive drops, dust, vibration and extreme conditions. The rugged design is not limited to the external housing but includes the internal components and cooling functions as well. Typically, you will find rugged computers, tablets, handhelds and other devices being used in the fields of public safety, field service, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, construction and other equally harsh environments.


Semi-rugged technology are devices that are incredibly tough and can withstand environments that traditional technology would fail in. However, semi-rugged tech is more susceptible to decreased performance in extreme temps, like frozen screens in freezing temperatures than a fully-rugged or ultra-rugged piece of technology would be. A semi-rugged laptop should be thought of as a conventional laptop that has been “ruggedized”. Expect semi-rugged technology to be able to withstand drops and spills that traditional technology couldn’t.


A fully-rugged piece of technology is one that has been built from the inside out to be impervious to being dropped, waterproof, dustproof, resistant of shocks and vibrations. Essentially this type of technology is developed to work in any condition. These laptops, tablets or handhelds are perfect for those working outside all day in the elements. Fully-rugged laptops pass all 28 different tests for durability that the Military Specification Testing (MIL-STD-810) sets out.

Industry Use

Public Safety

Personnel in the public safety industry must be able to provide safe and effective service while they are in the field, to protect the lives of others and themselves. To do so, the technology these teams use must be flexible and reliable in these rapidly changing environments so that the personnel stay always-connected to critical information.


Telecom and utility companies have traditionally relied heavily on paper recordkeeping to keep track of their organization. However, the recent adoption of rugged technology has allowed workers to become more mobile in the field. Workers can independently and electronically submit records that eliminates the need for tedious data entry at the end of the day.


The warehousing industry uses rugged technology in a variety of ways. Long range rugged barcode scanners allow for warehouse workers to quickly scan, record and report on inventory. While rugged forklift mounts provide easy use of technology for forklift operators when moving, tracking or shipping products within a warehouse.


Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals can use rugged technology that is resistant to any kind of bodily fluid, medicine, or other spills and accurately store and track medical records. Rugged technology can also be used in hospitals to track inventory of valuable commodities like medicine and blood. Software systems installed on the rugged computers can help prevent serious shortages and potentially save lives.


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