During CES this past year, we brought you news and footage of Black Diamond’s SwitchBack PC, a rugged Windows XP based UMPC.
Today, Roper Mobile Technology has announced their acquisition of Black Diamond, and has made the SwitchBack available for purchase, finally.
From Roper Mobile’s press release:
Roper Mobile Technology today announced the acquisition of technology development firm Black Diamond Advanced Technology. Roper Mobile Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper Industries (NYSE: ROP), is a leading provider of fully rugged, highly customizable mobile computing solutions for challenging environments. With this acquisition, Roper Mobile Technology announces the commercial availability of its flagship product, the SwitchBack PC. Debuted last fall as the world’s first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer), the SwitchBack is a powerful Windows XP-based PC in a lightweight, rugged form factor.
““Over the last year, we have experienced an overwhelmingly positive market response to the SwitchBack PC and its unique modular design. With the completion of this acquisition, the SwitchBack is exploding onto the market and our first customers have been pleased with the technology and service we are providing,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Justin Dyster, former President of Black Diamond Advanced Technology and current Vice President of Engineering at Roper Mobile Technology. ““Our BackPack initiative is already a success, with many customers placing orders for the Standard BackPack and with several more in military markets ordering Custom BackPacks or working with us to develop their own.Ã¢â‚¬Â
““The UMPC is emerging as a highly viable form factor for use in vertical applications currently supported by rugged mobile computers,Ã¢â‚¬Â said David Krebs, Practice Director, Venture Development Corporation. ““The SwitchBack is uniquely positioned to support many of these applications and its design emphasizes the need for more platform-based modular computing solutions.Ã¢â‚¬Â
““The strength of Black Diamond’s highly talented Research and Development team combined with Roper Mobile’s established global resources in sales and service will greatly accelerate SwitchBack’s market success,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Gene Yazbak, President of Roper Mobile Technology. ““Roper Mobile is pleased to expand our capabilities in order to retain our fierce focus on innovating disruptive technologies, like the SwitchBack, that go the extra step to anticipate customer needs in harsh environments.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The latest version of the SwitchBack PC is the most powerful version yet. Operating on a Windows XP or Windows Vista platform, it utilizes a 1.0 GHz Intel ® Celeron ® M processor, 2GB of 400 MHz DDR2 and up to 120GB of optional storage. It has passed rigorous environmental testing and meets military specification MIL-STD-810F and IEC 60529 standard IP-67 for operating in conditions of extreme shock, vibration, temperature and immersion.
The standard SwitchBack PC is equipped with a condensed QWERTY keyboard, removable hard drive, hot swappable battery and a 5.6-inch WSVGA sunlight viewable touch screen with stylus. Wireless capabilities like Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g and GPS can be integrated. The newest SwitchBack also has a patent-pending Status & Control feature that enables remote diagnostics for automatic troubleshooting in the field. This first of its kind diagnostic tool intelligently manages and controls vital functions of the PC including:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Primary & secondary battery levels
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Temperature fluctuation
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Accelerometer to measure drops
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Power consumption
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Input and output shortages
The BackPack Program
The SwitchBack’s patent-pending BackPack Technology allows the user to incorporate multiple devices into a single BackPack such as a digital camera, biometric security, an RFID reader or any combination of I/O options.
The BackPack (standard or custom) attaches onto the back of the SwitchBack and interfaces to the computer through a special ultra-wide, high-speed connection to the Switchback. This design is so flexible almost any electronic peripheral can be designed to interface with the SwitchBack.
Today, customers can order the Standard BackPack which includes:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Type II PCMCIA
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ USB 2.0 Port
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Serial Port
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ VGA output
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Audio Line In
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Audio Line out
Roper Mobile also works closely with its customers to design customized BackPacks that are right for them. In addition, customers can choose to utilize Roper Mobile’s BackPack Development Kit which allows them to build their own BackPacks.
Pricing & Availability
The SwitchBack PC and the Standard BackPack are available immediately through Roper Mobile Technology. For pricing and information on custom BackPack Modules or a BackPack Development Kit, contact Roper Mobile at 480-705-4200 x 230 or at [email protected]
About Roper Mobile Technology
Roper Mobile Technology is the leading provider of fully rugged, highly customizable computer solutions for challenging environments. Designed from the ground up, the Company’s full line of rugged mobile computing solutions include lightweight handhelds, Tablets, Ultra Mobile PCs and fixed mount computers.
Roper Mobile Technology, located in Tempe, Arizona, is newly formed and draws from over 35 years of combined experience through the joining of DAP Technologies, LTD, JLT Mobile Computers, Inc. and Black Diamond Advanced Technology.
Roper Mobile’s highly customizable and versatile products bring efficiency and reliability to mobile data communications for customers in a breadth of industries including public safety, military, warehousing, mining, construction and transport. Roper Mobile’s hardware solutions are available through certified partners and resellers worldwide. Roper Mobile Technology has corporate offices in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and sales offices worldwide. Roper Mobile Technology is wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper Industries (NYSE:ROP), a global and diversified provider of industrial products and solutions for global niche markets. For more information, go to www.ropermobile.com.
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