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Xplore Rugged Tablets: The Past 20 Years, the Present, the Future

Generations have always been defined by their collective ideology and collaborative innovations. And each decade of the 20 th century has been defined by the people, events, and inventions that dominated it. In the 1950s, the propagation of TVs into homes and public spaces redefined how we socialized and received global news. In the 1970s, computers emerged on the scene and the first mobile telephone call was made from handheld subscriber equipment. In the 1990s, the introduction of the Internet changed the way we would use all three technologies forever. In fact, there’s a belief that the 1990s “…brought some of the greatest scientific findings and technological inventions in human history.” Xplore rugged tablets and ultra-rugged tablets were among them.

History books recognize our world’s greatest individual and industrial leaders for the impact of their actions or inventions at the peak of their popularity. However, it’s just as important to recognize these achievements for their longer-term influence on society, business, and overall cultural norms. We must acknowledge the longevity of those few ideas that were powerful enough to warrant further “generational” innovation – especially the technologies that had staying power across multiple decades.

One of which was the rugged tablet. 

20 Years of Xplore Rugged Tablets

 In 1996 – before broadband, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth; before today’s search engine giant emerged, before big data or social media were on the radar – Xplore Technologies delivered one of the first rugged tablet PCs to the mass market . That’s 14 years before the Apple iPad took its first pre-order.

In 1996, we began engineering purpose-built rugged tablets to fulfill the on-the-job data and connectivity needs of industrial sector workers worldwide – something no other single technology could do on its own at the time. We did the same with ultra-rugged tablets beginning in 2003. And, while other PC technologies (deemed “great inventions of their generation”) have come and gone over the last 20 years, Xplore rugged tablets have gained increasing relevance to multiple industries.

That’s because Xplore is one of those visionaries, inventors, and innovators that has always sought new ways to help customers work smarter. From day one, we

  • Recognized the complete inefficiency of paper-based business processes.
  • Saw the gap between cell phones, video cameras, and desktop computers and wanted to address the inefficiencies these disparate technologies were creating for businesses of all sizes, in all industries, worldwide. The fax machine could only do so much for data sharing.
  • Understood the need to empower field service-type workers with the same tools – and the same data and communications capabilities – as their peers with traditional desk jobs.
  • Recognized the potential of computers in solving all of the above issues. But we understood that it was essential to consolidate all computing and communications capabilities into a single, truly mobile form factor that would not fail due to environmental hazards, rough handling, or insufficient scalability.

We wanted to engineer a flexible computer platform that allows customers to implement future-proof mobility solutions with immediate benefits.

So, from day one, we have continuously:

  • Researched the pros and cons of various computer technologies based on what our customers told us they needed in the near-term and wanted to achieve in the future.
  • Tested our rugged tablet PC designs to rigorous military-grade standards, delivered a rugged tablet platform with long-term stability across multiple “generational” upgrades, and worked with partners to integrate the best components available at each point in time along our product roadmap.
  • Committed to delivering only the very best solution to customers no matter what “the best” technology may become in the future.

Despite the changing technology landscape and economic climate over the last 20 years, the best mobile computing technology has always proven to be the rugged tablet. That’s why Xplore has always been hyper-focused on rugged tablet solutions, remaining at the forefront of the rugged tablet market since our first tablet was manufactured in 1996.

As a result , Xplore has long been recognized as the rugged tablet authority by customers and partners. But we have never been just a rugged tablet company. We have always been mobility solution engineers. We know mobility, we know rugged mobility, and we are vertical experts that know the unique operating requirements of each customer’s industry as well as they do. We know what works and what doesn’t from a technology perspective. And we know the right questions to ask to make sure the customer is making mobility decisions that are in their best interest.

Plus, we’ve proven over two decades with thousands of global customers that rugged tablets are central to the longest-lasting mobility solutions and the advancement of broader business systems. Not only was Xplore the first company to engineer backwards/forwards compatible rugged tablet technologies with staying power, but…

  • Xplore rugged mobility solutions have been in the hands of those engineering our world’s most impressive innovations to date: aircraft, automobiles, telecommunications networks, military applications, smart grids, homes, buildings, roads.
  • Xplore rugged tablets are used by law enforcement, fire, and EMS professionals every day to protect our communities and our lives.
  • Xplore technologies are used to deliver our utility services, healthcare, shipped goods, oil & gas, etc. They help keep the lights on, serve in peacekeeping operations, and collect research data.

Xplore rugged tablets have served manufacturing, military, government, public safety, mining, oil & gas, utility, healthcare, transportation, and retail customers for 20 years – and will continue to protect workers, data, and technology investments for many years.

In other words: Over the last 20 years, Xplore has designed the past and present. Today we’re designing the future.

We have teams on the ground across the globe, engrained in our customers’ day-to-day operations to experience employee’s challenges. We “get” their business culture and technology stipulations. That’s why we will always collaborate with customers to tailor rugged tablet-based solutions with the right feature sets, workflow capabilities, and accessories for the next 5+ years. (You shouldn’t have to compromise on features and settle on a mobile PC that will have to be replaced in a couple of years anyways.) Xplore also works with hundreds of global partners to mutually accomplish our customers’ mobility goals, and we empower our employees to take fast action in response to customers’ evolving support needs.

Together, we will continue to help customers not only anticipate industrial technology changes, but align their investments with the pace of regional technology implementation. Whether it’s the emergence of the Internet of Things or the Industry 4.0 evolution, Xplore rugged tablet technologies are ready and able today to support tomorrow’s mobile computing demands.

We’re in it for the long haul. 

See More on Our Twenty Year Anniversary