What CES 2013 Has To Offer The Enterprise

What CES 2013 Has To Offer The Enterprise

While CES is dubbed the Consumer Electronics Show, this year’s line up of innovative gadgetry produced a few gems for the Enterprise too.

With the increase of BYOD within the Enterprise, and thus the consumerisation of Information Technology, IT departments need to shift their focus on the user experience in order to effectively adapt to this new manifestation of mobile fleet management.

As it stands, many technologies initially created for consumers have been adopted by enterprises, such as Gmail as a dedicated email service, social media to connect with customers and Skype to connect with colleagues across the world. It becomes increasingly important, then, for the Enterprise to monitor consumer technology trends such as those at the Consumer Electronics Show.

So, without further ado, here are the technologies from CES 2013 that enterprises should take note of:

[divider_line]

Kiosk Retail for iPad 2 and iPad (3rd Gen.)

 

griffin Kiosk Retail Ipad

Source: Griffin Technology

Overview:

For those of you in the retail business particularly, optimising the in-store point-of sale experience is becoming more and more important as more consumers choose to shop online. The iPad has the potential to bring in-store point-of-sale up to speed with our increasingly digital world, with its ability to engage customers and provide them with a truly immersive and ‘fun’ in-store experience.

Griffin Technology have cottoned on to this, unveiling a point-of-sale solution to optimise the use of iPads in retail stores. Griffin’s ‘Kiosk Retail’ offers not only rugged stand to protect the iPad from intense everyday use, but also combines the iPad’s OS with a magnetic card swiper, which will take self-service to a whole new level. Customers could even access an interactive catalogue or a specialised app with current specials or deals.

Features:

[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • Works with iPad 2 or iPad third-gen
  • Impact – resistant housing for the iPad
  • Power connection routed through the steel armature for a clean-look and protection
  • Base bolts securely to desk, table top, wall or floor, with all mounting screws hidden from view.
  • Protects point-of-sale data using TDES encryption with DUKPT key management for security for the built-in card reader.
  • Allows for lock-down of features such as camera and Home button
  • Kiosk App available for purchase to focus the iPad towards its intended use and for monitoring the use of the iPad

[/list]

Tablets

While enterprise adoption of tablets has increased, there is a limited range of tablets that really meet the needs of a mobile worker. However, CES 2013 unveiled a host of new tablets from companies other than Samsung, Apple and Google targeted particularly to businesses in the creative or outdoor/ construction/ mining industry.

Panasonic 20-inch Tablet

Panasonic 20inch tablet

Source:Mashable

Panasonic had quite a good showing at this year’s consumer’s electronic show, with the show stealer being its 20-inch monster, which makes full use of newly developed 4K (or Ultra High Definition) resolution technology used in televisions.

The tablet has been designed with a wide viewing angle, so 4K content can easily be shared with others, with pixels almost invisible from up close.

Panasonic is aiming the tablet towards professionals in the creative fields of graphic design, architects, photographers and even marketers. At its CES booth, it demonstrated a variety of ways the tablet could be put to use in a professional environment, such as creating interactive marketing demonstrations, monitoring a live camera during a photo shoot, or altering architectural blueprints on the fly to share remotely with others.

Features:
[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • 20 inch IPS-alpha display
  • 3840 X 2560 screen resolution with a 15:10 aspect ratio
  • 1.8Ghz Intel Corei5 processor
  • Windows 8 pro OS
  • 4GB memory (expandable up to 16GB)
  • 128GB SSD storage
  • USB 2.0 and microSD slot
  • 1280X 720 pixel front camera with HD 720p video recording

[/list]

Panasonic ToughPad

Designed to withstand tough environments, Panasonic unveiled their ToughPad tablet targeted towards field workers in unforgiving environments. Mining and construction companies come to mind immediately when thinking of use cases within the Enterprise, with the ToughPad able to withstand drops of up to 4 feet as well as hold its own against the elements; wind, rain, dust and temperatures from -10 to 50 degress Celsius.

For Windows 8 (ToughPad FZ-G1)

Panasonic ToughPad FZ-G1

Source: Panasonic

Another added benefit for those working in the great outdoors, is the resolution of the tablet. Its 10 inch screen has a brightness rating of 800 nits, which is more than sufficient for outdoor use. It has a decent screen resolution, coming in at 1920 X 1080 pixels and runs Microsoft’s newest version of Windows, windows 8.

Features:
[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • 10.1 inch screen with 1920 X 1080 pixels screen resolution
  • Windows 8 Pro OS
  • 1.1 kg weight
  • 1.9Ghz Intel Corei5 Processor
  • 4GB -8GB RAM
  • Available with either 128GB or 256GB SSD storage
  • Replaceable battery
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports
  • Wi-Fi with optional embedded 4G LTE or 3G

[/list]

For Android (ToughPad JT-B1)

Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1

Source: LesAndroides

For those who prefer the Android OS (and a cheaper tablet) with the same durability, the ToughPad JT-B1 is the tablet for you.

Features:
[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • 7-inch 1024 X 600 pixel screen resolution
  • 1.5GHz dual core processor
  • 16GB memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 13 megapixel rear camera
  • 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • Replaceable battery
  • Micro USB slot
  • Wi-Fi with optional embedded 4G LTE or 3G

[/list]

MultiDock

 

Griffin Technology- iPad Multidock

Source: Griffin Technology

Overview:

Many IT departments are now responsible for the deployment and management of iPads and iPhones within the Enterprise.

When you’re dealing with a fleet of iPads or iPhones that require charging, secure housing and syncing, it can quickly become overwhelming.

Another one from Griffin Technology is their MultiDock  iPad solution, which promises to make managing iPads within a corporate environment easier for IT staff.

Features:

[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • Charge up to 10 iPad devices simultaneously
  • Sync apps, media and other content via iTunes
  • Compatible with iTunes or Apple Configurator v1.01
  • Connect up to 3 MultiDocks (30 charging slots) to a host computer
  • Can set up MultiDocks as centralized or remote charging stations
  • MultiDock offers enough room in charging bay to allow for a variety of case types and sizes

[/list]

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z- waterproof

Source: Sony Mobile

Going along with the theme of rugged mobile devices, the Sony Xperia Z is a water and dust proof high-end smartphone.

As a Telstra dealer, we see many companies send in devices to be repaired due to water damage, which unfortunately automatically voids the device warranty. So, a smartphone that is capable of staying submerged for 30 minutes without being affected is almost a miracle for companies anxious about the safety of corporate smartphones in the hands of users.

An added bonus is the anti-shatter glass Sony have used for the front and back of the phone, making it a fairly rugged smartphone with impressive specs.

Features:
[list style=”list1″ color=”green”]

  • 5 inch, 1080p screen resolution
  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB intern memory
  • MicroSD slot
  • 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with HDR video support
  • Glass fiber polymide (metal-like) material frame
  • LTE support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

[/list]

Ubuntu For Smartphones

Source: Cnet

Source: Cnet

Canonical, the creators of the Linux Based PC operating system, Ubuntu, have plunged into the mobile market, showing off their mobile version of Ubuntu at CES 2013.

Make no mistake, Canonical has designed Ubuntu with the Enterprise in mind, with CEO Jane Sibler stating:

“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client, and phone functions. We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web, and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.” (via NDTV Gadgets).

Indeed, the gesture-based mobile OS retains the ‘Unity’ look and feel of Ubuntu’s desktop OS, which enables a smartphone to be turned into an Ubuntu desktop PC with the addition of a keyboard and monitor. It is this unified experience that Canonical are hoping to achieve, with plans to offer consumers an operating system that allows them to seamlessly switch between PC’s, phones and TV’s.

An interesting feature for Enterprise IT and mobile workers is the ability of a docked smartphone to function as a thin client for Remote Desktop Applications, which will enable users to stream Windows apps from corporate data centres. Additionally, Enterprise IT will love the security features Ubuntu offers, with IT being able to manage every app that is installed on the phone using existing enterprise management tools.

While at present Canonical has not announced any partnerships with handset manufacturers, Ubuntu for phones has support for both ARM and X86 Processors, which means that it can be run on most Android powered devices.

To get a look at the interface for Ubuntu for phones, check out this video!


Tactus Physical Morphing Keyboard

Source: geek.com

Source: geek.com

While initially this morphing physical keyboard will be a novelty, for business users constantly typing out lengthy emails or messages, or even creating presentations using their mobile device, the feel of a physical keyboard may just make this potentially frustrating and time-consuming task into a breeze.

Tactus Technology has developed a patented technology called “Tactile Layer”, which provides the user with completely transparent physical buttons that rise up from the touch-screen surface on demand. When the buttons are enabled, users can push or type or rest their fingers as they would with any physical button or keyboard. The physical buttons will then disappear into the screen once the user has disabled the buttons.

The ‘tactile layer’ sits on top of the existing touch screen and is compatible with existing touch sensing and display technologies. Tactus also notes that the technology won’t drain your battery with minimal battery consumption. Another cool feature, is the ability of the user to customise the button layouts, shapes, location and sizes, making it easy and comfortable to use.

In addition to being pretty cool, this technology will reinvigorate the smartphone by combining the smooth, easy to use interface of a touch screen and the convenience of speed typing with a physical keyboard.

To see this exciting new technology in action, check out Tactus Technology’s demo video below!

Tactus Technology – CES 2013 from Tactus Technology Inc. on Vimeo.

1 of 6  

1 of 6