In a surprising pairing of railroad inspectors and high-tech, CSX Transportation, an East Coast railway company, has chosen the OQO Model 02 to replace the 7 inch binders that the inspectors have used in the past. CSX was looking for a small device that inspectors could carry with them easily, and the OQO certainly fits that need while still offering the full functionality of a Windows XP or Vista notebook computer. CSX also liked the fact that the OQO has EV-DO capability built in. With railway inspectors frequently in the field, having fast access to the home office is a really important feature.
"We wanted to go with something small and Windows-based," said Larry Biess, director of advanced engineering for CSX. "The biggest thing for us was, with the OQO we didn’t have to develop new software for the handheld device — we could just port over our existing applications from the desktop environment. It took a lot of pressure off of us."
This is exciting news not just because of the impact that the sales could have for OQO. This is taking small, fully features ultra mobile PCs and putting them in places where we typically expect to see only ruggedized devices. That expands the available market for a UMPC dramatically, and bigger markets mean more choice. Coming as this does on OQO’s recent design award in Japan, I hope this means good things for the company in general.
I have played with an OQO Model 02 on a couple of occasions and it is definitely my favorite device in that size category. I just wish I could afford to have another Tablet PC right now…