Rugged Computing For The Rugged India


Rugged Computing For The Rugged India

Tablets are in fashion now! Everyone is having one. Even the government and its agencies are throwing all their weight to procure tablet PCs for the work they have been doing to automate the processes, and improve the efficiency.

The biggest challenge the Government faces, is how to monitor the progress of the work it has assigned. It is extremely rigorous to employ another set of supervisors just to monitor the work, and this is not a fool proof system either, as it has been the experience of us, without exception.

It may be the pest monitoring for agriculture, it might be the asset management of the public utilities, or it is possibly the surveys or the UID or PDS programs. With the advancement of geo-spatial technologies like GIS, GNSS based positioning technologies like GPS, and embedded electronics, it is now possible to create right solutions and products for the rugged India.

Imagine you are the head of the healthcare board of a municipal body, or any rural local government. You are facing a threat of dengue in your locality and you don’t know how to tackle this menace. With newer technologies, you can send just a few people with cycle on rounds in the locality. They carry a rugged PDA with them. These GPS based rugged handhelds would have the data capturing modules, where these people can input data with simple drop down menus and keyboard. The GPS location is also captured automatically. While doing the rounds they capture the data on each of the locality where the mosquito breeding is high. At the end of the day at your workstation you have the complete view of your municipal map, and the red spots are where there is high mosquito breeding, the orange ones are moderate ones.

You send a second set of people once more if you feel you need to check on this data collected. You collate the data of the two days. You have a complete visual representation of your municipality, where you would need to spray the anti-mosquito medicines. You have exact idea on how much amount you would need, and where you would need to focus. You can plan on the supplies and the routes and the manpower sitting at your office itself, having a map interface in front of you.

You send the people with mosquito repellent sprays the next day, with this same rugged handheld PDAs, they capture the location, while they are spraying. Instantaneously the map in front of you is getting updated where all you have planned and if the person you sent ACTUALLY went to the right location. You can integrate camera in the rugged handheld to capture photos too.

You can monitor minute by minute, location by location on all the areas where the mosquito breeding is high, till all the red spots become green.

This kind of enterprise applications are available in India, but the rugged handhelds were costly. Now Indian companies are designing and manufacturing this kind of rugged handheld PDA devices. You can have a look at Rugged Handheld as an example.

Just think if you had sent the people with consumer grade tablets or the low cost ones like Akash. One fall from hand, you lose the tablet, and all the data inside it. Sudden rain, or moisture, or dust, your tablet is gone for a toss. That is the whole reason large companies are investing hugely in rugged PDAs, and worldwide are becoming the norm for Agriculture, Utilities, Industries, Roads, Fisheries, and Forestry. Even for smart infrastructure in India, rugged is the way to go.

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