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Mobile workstations for field visualisation

February 1, 2018

Mobile workstations for field visualisation

There are many industries that depend on access to data in the field. Mining, utilities, and telecommunications, to name a few, have extensive field operations where staff routinely use portable devices to access backend systems and collect data from remote sites.

Mobile workstations complement ruggedised smartphones and tablet devices by allowing more data processing and content creation at a remote location.

DESKTOP APPS WITH DATA VISUALISATION

Mobile workstations bring the power of desktop computing anywhere, which is a big advantage for field data visualisation. Workers can perform data imports and on site processing without the need to go back to a central office or rely on a cloud-based service when the ability to transmit data over a mobile or satellite network might be limited or impractical.

Mobile workstations offer compelling productivity enhancements for field data operations:

The ability to run full desktop (Windows and Linux) productivity applications not available on mobile devices
Superior graphics capabilities for real-time data visualisation
Optional integration with mobile devices via Bluetooth or USB connections
High volumes of local storage (HDD or SSD) for remote data collection without a cloud service
Another benefit is that most field staff are already familiar with desktop workstations. For them, taking a mobile workstation into the field to perform data analysis doesn’t require any additional training or resources.

TAKING A PAGE FROM GAMING

The evolution of the mobile workstation has accelerated during the past decade, and today’s technology is closely aligned to that used by 3D gamers. High performance 64-bit processors, large amounts of memory, and SSD storage combine to create mobile workstations capable of visualising data and generating 3D imagery in response to human interaction.

This concept of real-time visualisation can be applied where there’s a high-volume of field data from telemetry and other systems that otherwise would go back to a central site for processing.

Data analysis applications can be developed for mobile workstations and used locally with or without an Internet connection. The results (and raw data) can always be integrated with a big data visualisation platform when the mobile workstation returns to the office.