Symbol offers refreshing devices for field workers

Symbol has released a pair of rugged devices that offer WAN access to field workers far away from the office. The handheld maker also announced that Coca Cola will implement nearly 30,000 of its devices.

Symbol Technologies Inc. has announced the availability of two rugged devices that offer field workers the convenience of wide area network access, as well as the Windows platform.

The MC9000-K and the MC9000-S handheld devices from the Holtsville, N.Y., vendor are both available with Wi-Fi, GPRS (or CDMA) and Bluetooth radios that use embedded antennae. The products also support seamless roaming between networks to enable users to move from Wi-Fi to cellular networks and back.

The two devices are similar, but the MC9000-S is smaller and has fewer keyboard options than the MC9000-K, which can come equipped with a 53-key alphanumeric keyboard. Both support voice as well as data.

Symbol's devices target a broad range of industrial users. With these devices, the wireless access point and rugged handheld specialist is making a leap from the wireless LANs of the factory to computing tools for those who work far outside the range of the typical Wi-Fi network.

"Mobile applications are increasingly being used outside of a company's four walls," said Steve Schmid, senior director of product marketing for Symbol.

The devices run on Microsoft's Windows CE .NET or Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition operating systems. Since the devices use the same operating systems, Schmid said businesses can develop applications that can run across both handhelds.

For more information

Read how IBM and Symbol have partnered to offer mobile integration.

Learn how HP is digging into the rugged device market.

These devices can also run Microsoft Office applications, including e-mail and calendar software. They also use many of the same components such as batteries and chargers.

Symbol, the leading supplier of rugged handhelds, also recently announced that Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. will deploy 28,000 MC9000-G devices, which are similar to the newly announced models.

The MC9000-K and the MC9000-S cost between $2,895 and $3,645, depending on the options included.

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