Motorola MT2000

April 6, 2010

Hey it’s been a while since I made a post. Like over a month. That’s not a good way to build a readership. But here it is, some new gear from our friends at Motorola. The MT2000 is an upgrade and replacement over the old Phasers, and it seems to try to bridge the gap between barcode scanner and batch data collector.

There are two flavors of the MT2000, the MT2070 which is batch and bluetooth, and the MT2090 which has an 802.11b/g radio built in. You also get your choice of laser scanner, 2D imager, or a high density 2D imager, so you only have to pay for the barcode scanning you need and nothing extra. As fantastic as the laser barcode scanner is, I definitely recommend the 2D imager. Motorola’s made great strides in their 2D imaging technology, and the MT2000 definitely shows the fruits of their labor. This is the same imager that’s found in the DS9808, a presentation scanner fast enough to keep up with grocery store scanner/scale combos. It’s pretty badass.

The MT2000 has a similar design to the Phaser, looking like something you’d imagine Commander Riker would be using to shoot aliens. Phaser is definitely an apt name for the product. It’s pretty comfy to use, and the balance of the device prevented wrist strain during extended scanning. Motorola also beefed up the durability on the MT2000, giving it a drop resistance of 6-feet to concrete and a “sneeze-proof” IP54 rating.

Overall, the unit has a good design and should fit in well at retail establishments or warehouses alike. It runs Windows CE 5.0 Core with a default barcode/quantity application installed by default. While in bluetooth mode, the MT2000 can send barcode data individually or in batches to your computer, and can filter by location.

I spent the better part of two weeks working with a MT2090, which is the WiFi flavor of this line, and I can definitely see it fitting into businesses that may need to do batch scanning but need a bit more than a Honeywell Voyager BT in memory mode or an Opticon OPN2001. By default, our version sent data to the communications cradle and on to whatever text field happened to be active. Batch data can be delimited by tab or comma, so a combination of a MT2000 and Notepad can make it easy to build CSVs for receiving or even creating purchase orders.

All in all, it’s a good unit. I did try to disable the built-in software, in hopes that I could boot into Windows CE by default, but was unable to do so. This could make it a little bit more difficult for developers to get their software onto the MT2000, but according to Motorola, MCL is also supported, so if you are developing within MCL you should be set.

Motorola MobileVisor

February 26, 2010

A couple years ago I made a post about the Motorola ScanVisor, a slick way to do quick Moto barcode scanner comparisons. Anytime you can find out the real actual differences between the LS9208 and LS9203 more than one has a tilty base has got to be a good day for buyers. Moto took this idea and applied it to their mobile computing line, so now there is the Motorola MobileVisor, and I think that’s fantastic.

Purchasing a mobile computer is an incredibly expensive ordeal and should never be taken lightly. Personally, I’d be really hesitant to drop two grand on something unless I knew for certain it was right for me. So with the MobileVisor, you can compare the MC55 and MC75 and see a solid breakdown of the differences, far more than “This one is black and this one is gray.” You can learn all sorts of crazy stuff, like that the MC5590 has a 520 MHz processor while the MC75 rocks out at 624 MHz. And I just now realized those mobile computers are faster than the iMac I used through most of college.

And much like the ScanVisor, MobileVisor lets you breakdown product listings by your industry, so you can look for the right mobile computer to use in a truck that hauls petrochemicals, or the health care mobile computer that is ideal for doctors who perform only appendectomies. Totally spelled appendectomies correctly on the first try. Count it.

Unitech HT680 Mobile Computer

February 23, 2010

Our Unitechnician friends recently showed off this new mobile computer and it definitely looks like it bridges some gaps and creates synergy and other buzzwords that make it fancy. It’s the Unitech HT680, and it’s a pretty beefy yet not wicked expensive unit.

The HT680, to me, seems like an in-between on their big tough PA line and their itty bitty batch device line. Kind of like the Hercules of the Unitech Pantheon. It comes standard with Windows CE 5.0 Pro, a 520 MHz processor, and 128 MB RAM / 512 MB Flash. So it may not be as much of a powerhouse as the PA600, but it’ll get the job done for most folk. There’s also an expansion slot for miniSD cards which can add up to 4 GB of Flash storage in case you want to load a rather large product database, or maybe a couple movies, onto the HT680 for later perusal.

For scanning, you get your choice of a 1D laser scanner or 2D imager, so you don’t have to pay for functionality you don’t really need. It’s also set at an angle from the device, much like the Honeywell Dolphin 6100, so it’s no sweat to scan barcodes while still staring at the screen.

All the units have Bluetooth v. 2 built-in, and come with an optional 802.11b/g radio in case you need to VOIP it up or update your facebook status while driving your forklift. I guess there are more legit applications, like hooking in to the central database to post and retrieve updates while on the job, so you don’t accidentally send 100 copies of “From Justin to Kelly” out to some poor soul.

The design on the HT680 makes it relatively tough, and so you should be safe letting even clumsier people use it. Like most mobile computers kickin around out there, the HT680 sports an IP54 seal, which means dust and splashes of water can’t get in to the electronics, or makes it sneezeproof. And through some combination of light internals (11.2 ounces, so svelte!) and sturdy design, this badboy can withstand drops of 6 feet to concrete. It’s the only Unitech mobile computer that can do that!

Honeywell Dolphin 9700

January 27, 2010

So a few weeks ago Honeywell let us know about a pretty solid new mobile computer they have coming out. I got so excited I listed it right away, then found out it wasn’t available for sale until March probably. But I can’t deny you guys the fun times and info about this for that long.

The Dolphin 9700 is a handheld mobile computer designed for delivery services, route management, or pretty much any other data capture scenario. There is a model with health care plastics for the body, so you could drop one of those into a hospital and not worry about etching the case with cleaning agents.

For durability, all of them meet IP64 standards for sealing. This means no dirt can get in to harm the components, and it should be fine against sprays of water. I’m pretty sure it’s in the sneezeproof category at that point. It also withstands 5-foot drops to concrete and over 2,000 1.6-foot tumbles. I like to think of the example being you have it on the back of your truck, drive off, and it falls off the truck during a high speed chase, yet it’ll keep working.

Honeywell’s crammed their Adaptus Imagers into the Dolphin 9700. Currently, they have specs for the standard range 2D imager on regular models, and the Smart Focus 2D imager on the healthcare models. They also seated the imager at an angle from the top of the unit, so you can scan things in front of you while still looking at the screen. I like to see what I scan while I’m scanning it, so that seems pretty fancy to me. Optional models also can get a 2 megapixel color camera, in case you want to take pictures of the weird rash on your patient that looks like Eric Estrada, or maybe you want to document the boot prints on your shipment.

All models come with 802.11a/b/g and BlueTooth standard, and there are options to add GPS and GSM/HSDPA cell radios. Once you cram the GPS and the GSM in there, you have a pretty solid field service and route management solution right there.

To really rub it in to the competition that Honeywell’s in it to win it, they’ve bumped up their built-in flash offering to 1 GB, and have a microSD slot on the side of the Dolphin 9700 capable of reading 32 GB cards. I’m pretty sure with that size card, and the GPS, you could have a route management system for the solar system. And that’d be pretty bodacious.

RFID Field Visualization

October 13, 2009

Just saw a pretty rad video on warrenellis.com from a blogpost over at BERG about methods to visualize RFID Fields for use in building equipment and device deployment. We try to provide customers with RFID solutions often, unfortunately there are so many variables when creating a solution that it often becomes daunting quick. The method involved in the video, while not feasible for on-site estimates, can give customers a fantastic way to better understand and visualize the effective reading range for various RFID equipment.

Warren Ellis – Immaterials

Opticon OPN 2002

March 20, 2009

Opticon, those guys who make really crazy yet inexpensive stuff, have finally unleashed their OPN 2002 on the masses, and I’m pretty stoked about it. It’s a straight upgrade to the OPN 2001, which is a batch data collector with a lithium ion rechargeable battery and memory capable of holding about 1,000 barcodes and timestamps. We put it up on our site at the beginning of 2008, and with no real big fanfare on our part, it was able to become a top seller no sweat. You could get mobile inventory management, attendance tracking, or registry services for $200, which is a fantastic deal.

The OPN 2002 beefs up the specs, making it a solid contender for almost any use. In addition to bumping up the memory to 1 MB (around 20,000 barcodes and timestamps), Opticon crammed a Bluetooth radio in the unit. So now the mobile data collector can be configured to run as a Serial Port Profile or HID bluetooth device, making it a great fit not only for mobile data collection on a budget, but it’s now one of the cheapest Bluetooth scanners on the market. Hook it up to a PDA, smartphone, whatever you like, and you can send data easily.

I have a feeling this product will have limited stock quantities just by demand alone, and that’s pretty fantastic.

Intermec CN3

April 8, 2008

This is why you have engineers make your videos but not your product spec.

The Intermec CN3 has an advertised IP54 seal spec, which means it can be splashed with rainwater and that’s about it. They also rate it at resistant to drops of 5′ to concrete. I know it’s good to exceed spec, but people really need to know how beefy equipment is before they make a purchase.

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