Appear device selection

By: Appear Networks  06-Dec-2011

With so many available form factors, operating systems, add-ons and accessories, device selection is often very challenging. The device has a critical impact on the success or failure of a particular project. All too often the device is selected without careful consideration for its suitability in the field. There are many factors that can wrongly influence your choice, namely the “coolness” factor (sometimes known as “I want an iPhone” syndrome). The initial cost of a device also comes into play as consumer devices often seem less expensive than enterprise device at purchase, even if they can reveal a much higher cost of ownership in the long term, once all the costs have been accumulated.

Appear has a long term history in helping its clients to identify the appropriate devices for their enterprise projects. The device selection process is driven by the thorough analysis of ergonomics, battery requirements, device lifecycle, add-ons and accessories required. These criteria will have a specific influence on the decision making process, depending on the project.

The following table illustrates criteria and impact on certain projects:

Criteria Questions Considerations
Ergonomics Does a device need to be used with one hand?
Is the device likely to be dropped or knocked frequently?
What clothing will the user be wearing? (will the user be wearing gloves for example?)
The form factor of the device will be influenced by the answers to these questions. Should a rugged device be employed? What screen or button size will be required?
Connectivity In the user environment, what profile of wireless connection exists? What types of coverage exist? - WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth, HSDPA, CDMA etc. The required profile can have a severe effect on application usability, power consumption, even the resulting application design.
When this is determined as critical, sometimes the device selection process involves some extensive testing of a number of candidate devices.
Power consumption What is the duration of your workforce’s shift? How will the applications be used during that shift?
Is the device going to be used in bright sunlight?
Devices on the market have a surprising degree of variation in power consumption capabilities, which may also require some tests to be designed and performed.
Device life cycle and MTBF What is the expected lifecycle of the device? What is the expected budgetary IT refresh cycle? Some consumer devices last less than a year, with frequent failure of component parts.
Repair process What is the turnaround for repairs offered by the manufacturer or supplier?
What is the process used? What number of spare devices will be required?
Often overlooked, after-sales support proposed can have a substantial impact on the bottom line long after the initial project has been delivered.

Appear can help you make the right device choice at any stage of your mobility project.

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