Rugged Android Tablets vs Commercial Tablets

Tablets are now essential to many industries and work environments. While the sleek designs, availability, and apparent cost-effectiveness of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) tablets may seem attractive, these devices are not always the best choice. When deciding on the right tablet, it is essential to know what you need from the device and how you intend to use it. Most commercial tablets available today run one of three operating systems – iOS, Android, or Windows. iOS tablets are available from a single manufacturer who keeps the operating system proprietary, making these tablets difficult to modify and deploy in many customized applications....

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Benefits of an RTOS on Portable Handheld Devices

A real time operating system (RTOS) is used in applications where time sensitive operations are required. Typically, these applications involve the collection and analysis of sensor data, or the control of critical equipment. This contrasts with the use of general purpose operating systems. A general purpose operating system (GPOS), such as Android, Linux, or Windows, is designed to manage a wide variety of system processor, GUI, and peripheral functions, with complex scheduling rules. Paramount is maintaining a reactive user interface and assuring that all system functions and are executed, often on a round-robin basis. The application use cases of an...

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Tips to Follow While Choosing an Industrial Custom Tablet or Device Manufacturer

Tablets are versatile devices with seemingly no end to their uses in both personal and workplace environments. Tablets offered on consumer markets provide a standard set of features that cover many use cases – human interaction, wireless internet connectivity, location services, and more. However, these standard features may not include interfaces and features required for specific industry uses, enable long term supply chain stability, or be sufficiently controllable in their configuration for security. Advantages of Industrial Tablets and Custom Devices Connectivity: Consumer tablets are often only fitted with the bare minimum in terms of external connectors, such as a micro...

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Design Guide for Portable Electronic Devices

The demand for portable electronic devices continues to increase with the popularity of smartphones, tablets and similar devices. These devices must be lightweight, rugged, responsive, and long battery life. The key to designing portable devices is implementing a large amount of functionality packed into a small space while minimizing power consumption and enabling sufficient performance. Circuit Optimization Portable device design starts with the selection of components, including the processor, meant for embedded circuitry. These components typically support low power operation, low power modes, and are available for many years. Engineers must know how to make the proper trade-offs to shrink...

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Security: Forethought and Planning Avoids Problems

My wife and I were watching the news the other night and a story came up about the latest telemarketing scam that is making its way around the country. With this new scam, you answer your phone and a person who sounds like a telemarketer asks, “Can you hear me OK?” Most people instinctively say “yes” because they can in fact hear them OK. This is a pretty reasonable reaction, but it is also a predictable one. The scammer records your “yes,” then hangs up the phone and uses the recording to make over-the-phone purchases with a credit card or...

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Modified COTS and the Super Bowl

I came on board to InHand Electronics just over a week ago and have spent a lot of my time familiarizing myself with the products and services we offer. Maybe it’s because the Super Bowl is this weekend or football is just always on my mind, but as I learned about InHand’s custom products I immediately thought of a story I read about the NFL. For years the NFL printed out pictures on the sidelines so players and coaches could review them and make game time adjustments. Over the past two seasons, someone realized we are in the 21st century...

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Why Security Is Critical to The Success of The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects machines, allowing remote control and data collection used to improve automation, real-time knowledge, efficiency, and convenience. The Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) is a class of the IoT where manufacturing and other critical infrastructure are interconnected for operational efficiency and to enable rapid response in case of problems. What used to be simple machines are now smart machines. However, remote access increases the number of security risks experienced by industrial facilities. IoT security and privacy is a hot-button issue due to the fact hackers can find vulnerabilities in connected devices and industrial equipment that...

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Security Challenges Posed by Internet of Things

At one time, computers were the only devices connected to the internet. Not long after, smartphones connected through cellphone carriers. Wi-Fi enabled tablets and smartphones followed suit. Video game systems came with the capability to allow their users to play other players online, video streaming devices arose, and now people can control the lights or thermostats in their homes through mobile applications. The internet quickly became an Internet of Things (IoT). With it came IoT security challenges due to these devices being connected to the internet. Nowadays, it isn’t just the consumer facing security challenges. Those in the industrial world...

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How to Develop Secure Internet of Things Devices

When referring to the Internet of Things (IoT), everything from Wi-Fi-enabled cars and Bluetooth-enabled fitness bands to streaming devices and smartphones come to mind. There are countless devices connected to the internet; the question is whether these are secure IoT devices? Security tends to be overlooked by some companies until there is a breach. A breach can be devastating. Factor in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which interconnects critical manufacturing, utility infrastructure, and other complex machinery, and the need for good security and privacy is emphasized even more. This is because IIoT transmits sensor data, allows remote control of...

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Techniques to Protect Embedded Systems from Hacking

Cyber attacks on embedded systems are on the rise. Embedded systems control numerous commonly used devices, including tablets, medical devices, industrial instrumentation, automobiles, and more. For embedded system security, you can use a number of techniques to reduce vulnerabilities and provide protection against threats against embedded devices. Believing that embedded systems fell below the radar of serious hackers led to waves of attacks. Hackers can exploit these systems to steal intellectual property, copy designs, gain access to proprietary information about companies and their customers, utilize them as platforms to propagate further attacks, and even cause real world physical damage and...

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