Rugged Laptop or Rugged Tablet — How to Decide on the Right Mobile Computer for Law Enforcement

Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

We all know how unpredictable and fast-moving law enforcement can be. We can all recall the days when officers carried handhelds the size of a brick, cell phones were an expensive status symbol, no inter-connectivity to personnel was available, and long trips back to the station to input the day’s data entry was a tedious and dreaded task. Who could have predicted the law enforcement workflow of the future — reliable and continual communication, instant access to critical records, GPS guidance, e-citations, fingerprint authentication readers, smartcard and magnetic card readers, body-worn cameras, in-vehicle printing, on-scene incident reporting, barcode and RFID readers, automatic license plate readers, and law enforcement oriented apps and software — these advancements have made it possible for officers to have a real-time crime center. Whether you decide to implement a tablet or laptop solution into your department is completely dependent on the necessary requirements to create a real-time situational awareness crime center for every officer.

Within the past five years’ tablets have become an evolving form factor, some pledging the case for tablets becoming the mobile computing tool of the future for law enforcement, gaining momentum into the market so strongly laptops are being thrown into the abyss of the past. However, opinions differ on whether a tablet can outperform the old tried and trusted mobile workstations via a laptop or notebook, as both have their individual advantages. Keep reading on to discover the advantages of both mobile solutions — tablets and laptops for law enforcement.

The Pros of Rugged Tablet Solutions

Why should you choose a rugged tablet solution for your department? The choice between equipping your workforce with laptops or tablets is dependent upon whether officers are in a patrol car, at a desk, on foot, or in the office. Do officers want to take the device outside of the vehicle? Tablets are a highly effective tool for police motorcycles which can be mounted on handle bars or in the saddle bag, as well as patrol cars, SWAT teams and investigators. Detectives can use rugged tablets to take on-scene film footage and images without requiring expensive digital cameras to capture evidence.

Tablets are light weight and small enough for handheld use and take up minimal space inside police vehicles. Specialized uses for tablets include signature captures, barcode scanning for ID verification and VIN number scanning, field interview creation, evidence photography, plus the ability to exit a vehicle while filming real-time video of emergency situations to properly assess the requested resources for dispatch. Officers can take a tablet from the vehicle to the street and back to the office to be docked and used as a desktop PC — this seamless transition is the definition of true mobile computing. In the past, display real estate has been an issue with officers using tablets for their main computing solution but today tablet screen size has become comparable to the laptop or notebook and even offer digitized screens for glove-touch and sunlight viewability. What about data entry? Many rugged tablets have backlit companion keyboards that seamlessly snap-on or bolt-on for quick typing ability. Rugged tablets are a practical solution offering complete mobility allowing for routine work to be more streamlined in the field, an imperative element in creating intelligent, real-time crime centers.

 The Pros of Rugged Laptop Solutions

Not every rugged laptop is created equal and this is especially true when deciding which laptop solution to implement into your department. Many rugged laptops are purpose built for public safety and offer touchscreens for tapping and zooming, stylus pens for signatures and on-screen entry, a thin and light design, and ergonomic features such as swivel screens to be viewed by individuals both on the driver and passenger sides of the car.

What about removing the device from the vehicle? Many officers never remove their device from the police vehicle and when given the choice, would rather not. When a mobile device is removed from the vehicle such as a rugged tablet the chance of the device being broken, driven over, stolen or misplaced is highly likely. When this happens, the device must be replaced which can be very costly over time. An important aspect of a law enforcement laptop or notebook is the proper vehicle mounting solution. The last thing an officer needs is a large bulky computer impeding the process and increasing risk. Vehicle docking stations and consoles keep rugged laptops charged and ready to go while providing shock absorption and stability. Rugged laptops will continue to evolve aiming to make jobs more efficient and productive — we see this today in the adoption of the two-in-one hybrid notebook which can be used as a laptop or tablet. For those who need the stability of a laptop, yet the light weight flexible form factor of a tablet, a two-in-one device may be the right solution for your department.

When the time comes to implement new and advanced technology whether it be a tablet, laptop or a two-in-one device, police computers must be durable, high performing, easy to use with custom features and options, along with a realistic price point — an equation for value and return on investment.

The mobile solutions experts at Group Mobile work with police departments nationwide and can assist you in determining the best equipment for your application and budget.

How to Guarantee Your Agency Will Have In-Vehicle Connectivity and Ensure Success for Mission Critical Applications

A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety.

Technology in the squad car is advancing every day which means staying on top of the best IT advances can be a huge challenge for any department.  Video surveillance, license plate recognition (ALPR), electronic ticketing systems and the latest vehicle dispatching and tracking technologies enable officers to safely cover more area, and coordinate with other officers and agencies. Today’s police officers, paramedics, firefighters, utility workers, transit operators, and other public safety workers rely on advanced mobile applications, such as automatic vehicle location, traffic signal prioritization, computer aided dispatch, route and schedule management, and fare payment systems that increase productivity and improve safety.

The main point of access for these applications is often from the vehicle, because it’s equipped with onboard wireless connectivity and transmits and receives data on a nearly continual basis. In-vehicle connectivity has become customary, with first responders and field service personnel driving cars, vans, and trucks equipped with a network connection that provides convenient access to voice, text, and video data.  However, if the vehicle has only one onboard connection, the setup involves a certain amount of risk. Any issues with network coverage, bandwidth, or usage can mean delayed communications or, worse yet, no communications at all. Losing the onboard connection can have extreme consequences, and can even mean the difference between life and death. How do you reduce this risk?  By adding at least one more onboard network connection you can greatly reduce this risk. An alternative connection – to a secondary cellular network or some other format, such as Wi-Fi or satellite – creates a layer of insurance. When the primary connection isn’t up to the task, the alternate connection can be brought online to keep communications intact. Having two or more available connections onboard the vehicle, or “multi-networking”, protects against worst-case scenarios, and increases resilience for emergency response and other in-field services.

So, what is involved in a multi-network concept? A multi-network concept refers to any setup that provides the vehicle with more than one network connection, meaning, there can be a mix of technologies onboard ranging from cellular and Wi-Fi to LMR, satellite, or new formats as they come online, such as the FirstNet network for public safety. A multi-network router installed in the vehicle is used to manage the switches from network to network. So, when are these typical network changeovers? Changeovers usually happen at three points of operation: When leaving the depot and transitioning from Wi-Fi to cellular, when returning to the depot and transitioning back from cellular to Wi-Fi, and while the vehicle is in motion, with the router switching from one network to another to optimize in-field connectivity.

With the right multi-network solution in place, changeovers from one network to another can happen automatically without any kind of manual intervention, and the necessary security protocols are maintained without interrupting the flow of work, even when there’s a VPN (Virtual Private Network) involved. Furthermore, the selection criteria for each network connection can be customized, based on things such as vehicle location, vehicle speed, or the type of data being transmitted. The overall result is more efficient network usage, more effective field services and lower operating costs. Law enforcement and other organizations are now using more video, and at a higher resolution. The video is typically stored in the vehicle and then transmitted to the backend system at periodic intervals. The mobile router can be configured to use a dedicated link to send video, so the data-intensive video transmissions don’t disrupt or slow down the other services in use. Alternatively, the router can be configured to send video transmissions when the vehicle returns to its home base, using the depot’s faster, more secure Wi-Fi connection to transfer video. Now, how to choose the right mobile router for your workforce to ensure connectivity in the field.

The operating costs and in-field effectiveness of a multi-network platform are heavily influenced by the ability of the router to manage seamless network changeovers and protect data. The router’s switching speed, security features, and programmability all affect how well the solution performs, and how much it costs to manage. It’s important to consider all these factors when evaluating the various options available for mobile multi-networking.

Transitioning to a multi-network environment is a serious undertaking. To maximize your return on investment and fully realize the benefit to your organization we recommend three things to look for in a multi-network mobile router:

  1. Switching speeds that are fast enough to support seamless connectivity.
  2. The ability to provide continuous security without impacting performance.
  3. A policy engine that can be configured for intelligent switching and customized operation.

Choosing a mobile router that meets all three criteria lets you create a multi-networking environment that not only enhances efficiency but also adds value. Group Mobile works closely with Sierra Wireless to offer the world a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, and services for connected devices and machine-to-machine communications. Together, Group Mobile and Sierra Wireless provide innovative, reliable and high performing solutions.

Group Mobile’s team of industry experts can assist you in selecting, designing and implementing a multi-network environment for mission-critical fleets, request a free personalized quote.

Getac F110, RX10 and T800 Fully Rugged Tablets — A Review

Getac intently listens to customers and finding new ways to improve product and solve pressing problems many organizations are facing within their own network infrastructure.

Getac has made a big splash in the world of rugged mobile computing. Many law enforcement agencies, state and local government agencies, fire departments, healthcare facilities, utility companies and many more have adopted Getac devices to improve productivity and stay in step with the new technology available today. Getac intently listens to customers and finding new ways to improve product and solve pressing problems many organizations are facing within their own network infrastructure.

Getac rugged tablets and rugged laptops have proven to be an industry leader in rugged mobile computing. Since 1989, Getac has been providing rugged computing solutions for demanding professionals in extreme environments. Getac offers an extensive rugged computing product lineup including convertibles, tablets, laptops and handheld computers.

Getac has made several technological breakthroughs that improve the performance and safety of using computers in dangerous environments including:

  • QuadraClear sunlight readable display screens.
  • Night vision without goggles.
  • Advanced power saving technology.
  • Industry’s first resistive multi-touch display for use with gloves.

Today, we are discussing three Getac fully rugged tablets: Getac F110, RX10 and T800.

Getac F110 Fully Rugged Tablet

The Getac F110 rugged tablet was designed to be about the size of a typical piece of paper. This rugged computing device is a popular choice for in-vehicle deployment, manufacturing, public safety, military, home and building inspection, and many more. The Getac F110 has opened the door for many organizations to solve pressing internal mobile computing problems. With an 11.6-inch display, 6th generation processor, amazing graphics and dual batteries for extremely long days in the field, the Getac F110 tablet is sure to impress any mobile worker. F110_HD_880_373

Getac designed the F110 tablet with a revolutionary LumiBond 2.0 touchscreen display which bonds the display glass with the touch panel and LCD, creating a single pane that is more reliable and exceptionally durable. The F110 rugged tablet features four touch modes: Touch-Rain, Glove or Pen mode, or an optional digitizer mode — included is a hard-tip stylus allowing users to capture signatures, take more precise notes in the field, drawings, form entry and maps. Another incredible feature on the Getac F110 rugged tablet is the battery power — how many field service professionals do you know that lose power in the field which in turn results from lost information, decreased productivity and user frustration. Getac thought of it all when they designed the F110 with two hot-swappable batteries for potentially limitless battery power. This feature allows users to remove one of the two removable batteries and replace it with a fresh battery without shutting down the device.

Getac RX10 Fully Rugged Tablet

The Getac RX10 is a feature-filled rugged tablet with a built-in ergonomic handle designed specifically for field service. The RX10 has multifactor authentication including password protection, radio-frequency identification (RFID), a fingerprint reader and a smartcard reader. Confidential documents will stay safe and secure with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 and Absolute DDS software . RX10_glovetouch

For vehicle deployments, the RX10 can be configured with tri pass-through antenna ports, allowing mobile workers to simultaneously connect high-gain GPS, wireless WAN and wireless LAN roof-mounted antennas for expanded signal range while in the field. A detachable rugged keyboard and kickstand allow users to transform the RX10 to a two-in-one device, a design trend growing in popularity, all working together for accurate data input in the field.  The RX10 rugged keyboard is easy to clean and features a backlight function and IP54 dust and water protection. A wide range of accessories make this rugged RX10 tablet an excellent mobile computing tool for field, sales, service and inventory management.

Getac T800 Rugged Tablet

The Getac T800 fully rugged tablet is designed for comfortable one-handed operation, the T800 features a thin, ergonomic design, a nice sized touchscreen for easy viewing, and best-in-class battery life with an optional hot-swappable SnapBack battery for potentially limitless power in the field. The Getac T800 is an ideal solution for field service workers, technicians, construction workers, officers collecting field data and more. T800

Vehicle mounts from Gamber-Johnson and Havis allow tri-pass-through antenna ports to synchronously connect to high-gain WWAN, WLAN and roof-mounted GPS antennas. The sunlight-viewable LumiBond 2.0 display provides a responsive 10-point touch experience along with a 170-degree viewing angle and 16:10 aspect ratio for optimal reading from virtually any angle. Rain, glove and pen touch modes provide just the right sensitivity for writing and signing on the Getac T800 tablet.

To learn more on Getac rugged tablets and how Group Mobile can assist you in implementing an affordable mobile solution, contact one of Group Mobile’s technology experts.

 

 

 

6 Critical Areas that Benefit from Automated License Plate Recognition

ALPR will enhance law enforcement and investigative capabilities, expand the collection of relevant data, and expedite the time consuming process of comparing vehicle license plates with lists of wanted, stolen and other vehicles of interest.

Automated License Plate Recognition, also known as ALPR, captures a license plate image, transforms that image into alphanumeric characters using character recognition software, compares the plate number to license plate numbers in critical license plate number databases, and alerts law enforcement if and when problems arise.

ALPR for Law Enforcement

Law enforcement personnel need real-time data, with ALPR they have just that. ALPR technology gives them real-time data without the tedious manual process of researching license plate numbers one by one. ALPR technology drastically improves efficiency and effectiveness for officers trying to identify vehicles of interest–a stolen car, an abandoned car, a vehicle associated with a robbery or child abduction.

ALPR technology helps law enforcement with investigative and interdiction activities. Police officers can use ALPR technology with fixed or mobile equipment. With such advanced technology, you’ll need a rugged laptop or tablet devices that integrate smoothly — devices that better withstand hazards associated with law enforcement and public safety work.

ALPR for Airports

With the obvious need to increase security at airports, many are turning to ALPR technology to monitor precisely who enters onto airport property. ALPR security offers instant alerts and provides real-time data to those responsible for keeping airline passengers and personnel safe.

In addition to bolstering airport security, ALPR enhanced devices track and provide automatic inventory of available parking spots, helping customers get where they need to go with less time-consuming hassle.

ALPR for Healthcare Facilities

When it comes to medical treatment, seconds matter. ALPR technology can monitor available parking, alert and receive incoming notifications from emergency personnel and law enforcement, and can communicate the presence of nefarious individuals and alert the right people.

With the right network and technology in place, ALPR provides a common operating platform for multiple sites or healthcare locations, giving medical personnel instant information on potential dangers, helping emergency personnel know the best location for their purposes.

ALPR for Traffic Solutions

ALPR doesn’t have to always be about preventing crime. With a camera, illuminator, processor and modem integrated in a single rugged enclosure, traffic control can recognize plates at high speed, function with both single and double lane zones, automatically enforce traffic infractions, and reduce costs associated with toll-booth monitoring.

ALPR is perfect for spotting critical traffic safety issues, such as school zone infractions, school bus stop arm enforcement, passenger vehicle moving violations, and driving in prohibited lanes. ALPR technology helps with traffic flow analysis, making roads and highways safer.

ALPR for Property Managers

Property managers are entrusted with keeping tenants and their property safe. This important aspect of property management becomes easier with ALPR technology.The moment an unwelcomed visitor drives past a security camera, ALPR technology sends an alert.

No more need for security guards to undergo the tedious and inefficient task of manually recording each license plate number that passes. This allows security personnel to do their jobs more effectively. It also helps property managers monitor traffic flow and encourage community policing.

ALPR on Schools and Campuses

Students need to feel safe while at school. Large campuses often run like a city within a city. Most colleges and large school districts maintain their own police forces or partner with local law enforcement and transportation to maintain safety. ALPR technology helps campus police and local law enforcement officers identify potential threats, such as sexual predators or vehicles not allowed on campus.

Providing ALPR Solutions

Installing ALPR technology at parking facilities and other critical areas keeps individuals safe, but only if your current technology is reliable and integrated properly.

Group Mobile knows exactly what you need to design and implement the right ALPR solution. Group Mobile specializes in providing a perfectly customized mobile solution for every customer, contact one of our solutions experts for more information.

New! – Xplore XSLATE R12 Available at Group Mobile!

https://groupmobile.com/xplore-xslate-r12.htmlXplore XSLATE R12 


The new Xplore XSLATE R12 rugged tablet design delivers a powerful and reliable computing solution for manufacturing, utility, insurance, and construction industry professionals alike with a direct emphasis on public safety workflows. The Xplore XSLATE R12 tablet PC is designed for the worker who moves from the field to the vehicle to the office.

The detachable XSLATE R12 rugged tablet PC redefines the ease in which a device transforms from a tablet, to a notebook or desktop. The XSLATE R12 is also available with multiple internal configurations, including a 7th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor with Windows® 10 and 6th generation Intel® Core™ i5 with Windows® 7, 8.1 or Windows® 10. Many industries require advanced security which is why the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet enables multi-factor authentication capabilities for enterprise environments through a combination of TPM 2.0, an integrated fingerprint scanner and an optional Smart Card/CAC reader for advanced security measures.

Supported by a complete lineup of accessories, the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet PC is sure to provide a seamless transition from desktop-to-tablet transition. These accessories include a desktop docking station, Secure Mobile Dock which improves driver safety, and Work Anywhere Kit featuring a carrying case and tablet kickstand.

Learn more about the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet here…


Rugged Mobile Computers Ideal For Public Safety Professionals!


Group Mobile has partnered with the best manufacturers in the world. Our public safety mobility solutions include the most rugged laptops, light-weight tablets, and in-car video solutions. Police and Law Enforcement rely on rugged technology to capture and share real-time critical data. Devices used by Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS face a combination of harsh conditions, unique data requirements, and uncompromising reliability and security demands that would quickly destroy consumer-grade technology. Group Mobile offers a wide range of public safety devices to fit any application or budget. As product knowledge experts in mobile technology solutions, Group Mobile can help you discover the multitude of options available and work with you to select the hardware, software, and data communications to ideally suite your deployment. See all of Group Mobile’s Public Safety devices here…


Featured Public Safety Computers


                                                                      
                                          

Getac B300
The Getac B300 fully rugged notebook computer is truly a road warrior. This laptop’s standard configuration includes many impressive features such as a sunlight viewable display, Intel Core i5 2.3GHz processor, and 4GB RAM for amazing speed and efficiency.  The Getac B300 fully rugged notebook also includes Bluetooth, WiFi, advanced security features to safeguard important data such as a fingerprint scanner, TPM 2.0, and a cable lock slot. The Getac B300 fully rugged notebook is a popular choice among public safety professionals. Learn more here…


Motion R12
The Motion R12 is a sleek and lightweight rugged tablet PC with innovative accessories that are made for incomparable efficiency and unbeatable productivity in the public safety field. Equipped with up to the Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor and optimized for mobility, the 12.5″ R12 is also ideal for a desktop replacement. Learn more here…

Panasonic Toughbook 20
The Toughbook 20 is purpose-built for challenging environments, offering a single rugged device that delivers all the advantages of a fully functioning laptop and tablet. The Panasonic Toughbook 20 features the power required to get the job done, including 6th Generation Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor technology, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM, HD Graphics 51 GPU, and Windows 10 Professional. The CF-20 rugged laptop also offers additional options such as GPS and 4G LTE mobile broadband, in additon to SmartCard technology, serial port, magstripe and 1D/2D barcode reader, plus a fingerprint scanner can be added for extended security. Learn more here…