Just How Rugged Do You Need Your Tech?

Rugged tech stands up against environments that would easily damage typical commercial devices, making rugged devices ideal for a variety of industries.

Rugged mobile technology provides revolutionary solutions across a variety of industries and verticals. By integrating tech designed to not just withstand, but to thrive in harsh conditions, teams and individuals are realizing just how much can get done when the tech they rely on functions at the highest possible levels. But what makes tech rugged? And how rugged do specific devices need to be in order to work properly in the environments they’re needed most?

Levels of Ruggedization

There are three tiers of ruggedization: semi-rugged, fully-rugged, and ultra-rugged. Those looking to purchase rugged tech should choose the level of ruggedness based on how much exposure that device will encounter. The ability to withstand harsh environments is the pillar of rugged technology. Harsh environments can include exposure to extreme temperatures, vibrations (typically from a moving vehicle), dust, water, and explosions, amongst others.


Semi-rugged technology, commonly referred to as business rugged, is ideal for organizations that aren’t working in extremely harsh environments, but still need devices that are a step up from commercial-level devices. These devices can typically withstand common occurrences like spills and drops due to thicker cases and water-resistant keyboards, and have components that are the closest to non-rugged models.

Industries That Benefit From Semi-Rugged Tech

Fully- and Ultra-Rugged

Fully- and ultra-rugged devices are designed to withstand military-grade testing. Organizations with workers exposed to severe conditions, like extreme temperatures and exposure to dust and storms, need tech that is basically indestructible. While such technology costs more than traditional technology, it also lasts longer and performs significantly better.

Industries That Benefit From Fully- and Ultra-Rugged Tech

Rugged Testing

The U.S. military designed a series of tests to ensure the reliability and quality of equipment before placed in critical situations where commercial computers would easily be destroyed. Now, those tests are leveraged for other industries outside the military, too. Public safety, construction, field services, warehouse management, and distribution logistics are just a few of the industries that have begun to harness the power of rugged tech.

Environmental Testing

Environmental testing ensures rugged devices can withstand severe climatic conditions, such as blowing sand and dust, salt spray, and rain, and also exposure to shocks and vibrations.Tests that validate environmental hardiness include, but aren’t limited too:

  • MIL-STD 810
  • MIL-STD 167
  • MIL-STD 901

Electromagnetic (EMC) Testing

EMC Testing ensures rugged devices can withstand extreme electromagnetic conditions. Tests that validate electromagnetic compatibility include, but aren’t limited too:

  • MIL-STD 461
  • MIL-STD 462
  • MIL-STD 464
  • MIL-STD 704

Ingress Protection Rating

Whereas MIL-STD testing ensures environmental conditions, IP ratings validate a devices’ ability to provide protection against the disruption of objects like a person’s hands, water in electrical enclosures, and dust. IP ratings are followed by two digits which indicate the level of protection. The first digit references protections against solids and the second digit references protection against liquids.

More Than Rugged

The value of rugged mobile tech reaches further than a tough design. Most enterprise-level rugged device outfitters curate various aspects of the devices ordered to best fit the needs of the teams and organizations who will use them. This means workers can benefit from devices providing a range of solutions to the very issues they typically run up again, whether that’s the need for a sunlight-readable display, hot-swappable battery packs for those in the field for long hours, or the capacity to run advanced applications which elevate workers’ and officers’ ability to perform their duties.

Contact us today to learn more about which devices will most benefit your organization.

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