IBM'S TOUCHMOBILE HELPS FIELD WORKERS COLLECT DATA AT THE TOUCH OF A FINGER
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the TouchMobile(A) System, a rugged, wireless data collection and communication system with a portable terminal that fits in one hand. TouchMobile will be available beginning March 26. TouchMobile enables mobile workers to electronically capture information at its source, such as a customer's doorstep, a loading dock or warehouse. A flexible system, TouchMobile units can be programmed for a number of different tasks to fit the user's individual business needs. In addition, TouchMobile provides near real-time information access, enhancing the speed and integrity of information throughout organizations. "TouchMobile's application flexibility, wireless capabilities and small size make it a key information capture and communication tool in many industries," said Bill Paulk, director, Transportation Industry, IBM Application Solutions. Generally, mobile workers record field data on paper; upon their return to the office, the data is entered into a computer. Workers also must stop frequently and call the office to give or receive information such as status updates, scheduling changes or service requests. TouchMobile replaces these processes with computer-based data collection and wireless, two-way communication capability for transmitting data and messages. This helps reduce paperwork, save time and increase efficiency. NW Transport Service, Inc., headquartered in Commerce City, Colo., for example, is piloting TouchMobile to streamline data collection and enhance communication in its less-than-truckload (LTL) operation. NW drivers will use TouchMobile to record data regarding pickups and deliveries while in the field and transmit this information to the local dispatch control system. "We anticipate that TouchMobile's ability to capture signatures, record bar codes and provide radio frequency communication will help improve our operations with faster, easier data capture and better communication with our drivers," said James Mathis, director, operations services, NW Transport. "Also, TouchMobile is lightweight, portable and operates with a touchscreen, making it easy for our drivers to use." TouchMobile's two-pound, 8-by-4 inch Portable Data Collection Terminal provides three ways to collect data: electronic signature capture, using an untethered stylus; touching the screen with a finger or the stylus; and bar-code scanning, using an integrated, non-contact laser scanner.
method rather than contact reading for faster, easier scanning. The Symbol scanner is integrated within the TouchMobile Terminal, providing a cost-effective way to collect bar code data. Symbol Technologies, Inc., Products Group is based in Bohemia, N.Y.
The TouchMobile Terminal is easy to use, requiring minimal training, since it functions without a keyboard. The LCD touchscreen is used to provide graphics, icons, text and one-touch function "buttons" to direct workers through a series of tasks. The screen can be customized through programming to meet the needs of multiple applications, such as daily logs or work order forms, without changing the hardware. TouchMobile software products also available beginning March 26 include: High-Level Application Generator/2; Management Services/2 and Programming Application Environment Services/DOS. Intended for a mobile workforce, TouchMobile is designed to survive tough environments, including: loading docks; warehouses; manufacturing floors; vehicles; and the outdoors. Sealed ports and durable construction enable the terminal to withstand normal: shock; vibration; the impact of accidental drops; and exposure to spills, chemicals, rain and humidity. An advanced power-management system allows the TouchMobile Terminal's battery to work a full 8-to-12-hour day without recharging. At the end of each day, units are placed in a TouchMobile Stationary Docking Station supported by an IBM Personal System/2(A). The station, which can store up to 16 terminals at one time, recharges the terminals' batteries and transmits their data. The station also sends TouchMobile Terminals any new data for the next day, such as route information or scheduling. In addition to the Portable Data Collection Terminal and the Stationary Docking Station, the TouchMobile System includes a Vehicle Docking Station. Mounted in the vehicle, this station can connect the terminal to private or shared mobile radio networks, cellular telephone networks or value-added networks. This enables wireless data communication between the TouchMobile Terminal in the field and the Stationary Docking Station at the home office. TouchMobile can enhance data capture and mobile worker communication in a number of industries, including: transportation; communications; utilities; wholesale; distribution; retail; government; healthcare; and manufacturing. NOTE: (A) indicates a trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. -0- 1/26/93 /CONTACT: Judi Germano of Burson-Marsteller, 212-614-4914, for IBM/ (IBM)
CO: International Business Machines Corporation ST: New York IN: CPR SU: PDT
TM-WB -- NY004 -- 8945 01/26/93 09:31 EST
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|Date:||Jan 26, 1993|
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