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Mobile Computing Applications

This is pretty much the realm of specialist, high-dollar wireless computing. For example, the wireless tablet that you sign when UPS drops a package off at your door is nothing more than a specialty PC that interfaces with a base station at the UPS depot through a special packet radio wireless link in the truck. Thus, their solution uses short-range wireless to get from truck to tablet, and longer-range wireless to get from truck to depot, all in the name of tracking packages as they're moving about in those big brown trucks in your neighborhood.

This kind of capability is great for those who need it, and is starting to supplant all kinds of radio dispatch systems (like those of taxi drivers, utility workers, and other vehicle-based work crews) around the country. With the right kind of interface and a small portable printer in a truck, workers can not only go where they must, but they can also update and produce work orders and other paperwork on an as-needed basis.

Such wireless applications don't normally affect the computing lives of ordinary citizens very much (unless they happen to work for a company that uses one), but such applications are changing the way a lot of businesses interact with their customers. Many, despite the costs of equipment and custom software, boost worker productivity enough to pay for themselves many times over.

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