Microsoft and Apple have announced they will be using “liquid metal” in their new devices to make them much stronger and less likely to crack. For business applications, like those provided by TAAP, this gives customers more options and greater cost-saving potential.
For example, the new Windows 8 ‘Surface’ tablet, manufactured using liquid metal, will launch on October 26th 2012. TAAP has stated that its range of mobile software, including job management; deliveries; data capture; inspections; compliance and many others , will be available on the Surface.
The potential impact of liquid metal technology on the ruggedized mobile device industry as a whole could be significant. Of course, it depends on the requirements of individual organisations and these usually focus on total cost of ownership. At present, there are many choices of device, ranging from “semi-rugged”, with higher levels of protection from impacts, dust and moisture; right up to intrinsically-safe devices which can be used in dangerous and potentially explosive environments.
Liquid metal has significantly improved properties of strength; vibration dampening; hardness and corrosion-resistance. The version that Apple is using – which differs from Microsoft’s version – was originally developed by the California Institute of Technology and has been available since 2003. It has previously been applied to a broad range of products including military; medical; industrial; luxury consumer and sporting goods products. Apple has secured exclusive rights to Liquidmetal Technologies’ IP, extending sole access to the company’s unique metal until February 2014.
Regarding TAAP’s support of the new technology, Steve Higgon, Product Architect, commented “By offering our software on the new generation of liquid metal-manufactured devices, as well as existing ruggedized devices using operating systems from Microsoft, Apple, and Android, we are ensuring that our applications are accessible to all organisations that need to make choices about total cost of device ownership and varying levels of ruggedness.”