Why Physical Keyboards Haven’t Gone Out of Style on Rugged Handhelds

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As most electronics manufacturers make the move away from physical keyboards and towards solely touch interfaces, rugged handheld manufacturer, Juniper Systems, says in a recent blog post that physical keyboards still have a place in the rugged data collection world.

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We design our handhelds to maximize efficiency and productivity for data collection, and sometimes that might mean diverging from what the consumer electronics industry is doing.

As most electronics manufacturers make the move away from physical keyboards and towards solely touch interfaces, rugged handheld manufacturer, Juniper Systems, says physical keyboards still have a place in the rugged data collection world—especially for applications that involve high volumes of data entry. In a recent blog post, Juniper Systems names several key benefits that physical keyboards offer for data collection, that entirely touch interfaces simply can’t provide.

In their blog post called “Why Physical Keyboards Haven’t Gone Out of Style on Rugged Handhelds,” Juniper Systems lists the following benefits offered by a handheld with physical keys:

  • Faster data entry – Keying in data is much faster when there’s no worry of inadvertently touching the wrong part of the screen.
  • Higher accuracy – Physical keys provide direct tactile feedback response, reducing the number of errors in data entry.
  • Rapid, non-visual data entry – Some data collectors get so comfortable with the keyboard (like many log scalers, for example), that they can rapidly enter in data without even looking at the keys.
  • Safety – Using non-visual data entry, workers spend less time with their heads down, allowing for increased awareness of their surroundings.
  • Reliability – Physical keyboards are not subject to weather conditions, as on-screen keyboards are. Rain, snow, and dirt can affect a touch screen’s responsiveness, and bright sunlight can affect visibility. Physical keyboards provide reliable performance in any conditions.
  • Productivity – Physical keys can be programmed to carry out background tasks with the press of a button.

“We design our handhelds to maximize efficiency and productivity for data collection, and sometimes that might mean diverging from what the consumer electronics industry is doing,” said John Florio, Product Manager at Juniper Systems. “In this case, that means retaining a physical keyboard on our handhelds used for data-intensive applications, providing important benefits to those customers that they just can’t get from on-screen keyboards.”

Juniper Systems points to the physical keys featured on its Allegro 2™ and Archer 2™ handhelds, both of which are designed for data-intensive applications. Read Juniper Systems’ full blog post here: http://bit.ly/1KkcoU4

About Juniper Systems:
Based out of Logan, UT, USA and Birmingham, UK, Juniper Systems designs and manufactures rugged handheld computers and provides field data collection solutions for use in extreme environments. Since 1993, Juniper Systems has provided innovative mobile technology to natural resources, utilities and public services, geomatics, agriculture, industrial, and military markets. For more information on Juniper Systems products, please visit http://www.junipersys.com.

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Kirk Earl
Juniper Systems, Inc.
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