Firefighter Tablet: iPad vs. Motion F5v
by, 11-03-2010 at 12:46 PM (13837 Views)
This week I'm in Seattle at the FIREHOUSE Software End User Training Symposium. Over 400 fire department personnel that use FIREHOUSE Software (FH)are to learn about how to take advantage of the capabilities of the software. FH has just released an inspection module that runs on the iPad. Their sales people in the field all carry Motion or Panasonic tablet PCs. Which will win the hearts and minds of the fire fighting community?
The iPad is inexpensive and that seems to be the #1 reason that people give, stating they can "buy five of them for every tablet PC". I can't dispute that. What is important is all the features that the iPad doesn't offer that are important for fire inspectors in the field. These include the ability to run other Windows applications, the ability to capture signatures with a pen, ruggedness, sketching with a pen and more. Using the handwriting recognition, inspectors can add notes about unusual situations without having to try and tap on an on-screen keyboard with their fingers.
For other FH software like incident command, a Motion F5v with hot-swappable batteries means you can run it 24 hours a day just by keeping another battery charged. With the optional barcode reader, firefighters can do personnel accountability and station/truck inventory.
The Apple iPad is a great device and for those that don't mind the limitations of how it can be used in the field can be a choice but for those that want to take full advantage of all the software that runs on their desktop or laptop, the Motion F5v can't be beat.