Touchscreen Computers –  Touching on a Future of Self-Service

Touchscreen Computers –  Touching on a Future of Self-Service

Over the last couple decades, self service technologies have revolutionized how people conduct business, travel and even receive healthcare services.These technologies have vastly improved efficiency through increased control over service delivery, convenience, reduction in wait time, reduction in operating costs, and flexibility in use. At many restaurants, dozens of flavors of sodas can be mixed and dispensed at the touch of a screen, and ordering one’s own food on tablets is an increasingly popular trend. Shopping malls and corporate offices provide interactive directories to its visitors, and it is nearly impossible to encounter any ticketing area of an airport that is not brimming with touchscreen kiosks for checking in and getting flight information. Self-service touchscreen computers are appearing in hospitals in great numbers as well. Patients are checking into their appointments without the help of medical administrators which is streamlining administrative tasks like hospital registration and payments.

 

Touchscreen computer technology is widely available and the demand for it is extremely apparent, but how durable are these machines that are abused on a daily basis? After all, a solution is only effective if it is reliable. Luckily, industrial touchscreen computers like the ones offered by Tangent benefit from a durable and rigorously tested construction. Tangent’s S Series of 15″, 19″, and 22″ touchscreen computers are assembled with rugged, stainless steel housing  that offers a corrosion resistant surface. The standard casing is IP66/NEMA 4x rated, which means the enclosure is constructed for either indoor or outdoor use and provides a degree of protection against dirt, rain, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, hose-directed water, and corrosion. The S series also has an optional IP69K rated enclosure which means that high pressure and high temperature washdown can be used to sanitize the equipment. Of course this is likely overkill for most applications, but it’s nice to know the equipment can handily be subjected to such a powerful scrub and high heat without experiencing any damage.

 

One of the better advancements in touchscreen technology is Projected Capacitive Touch, also known as PCAP. The first capacitive touchscreen required a bare finger to use and could not allow for multi-touch, but now PCAP touchscreens offer high precision multi-touch functionality and high response speed. They also work when operated by a hand covered in surgical gloves or other thin gloves, which is essential in a hospital or industrial settings. The S series offers this PCAP as an option on all sizes of their touchscreen PCs. And like with many of Tangent’s industrial products, the unit is rated for shock protection and has a fanless design for extreme reliability, and noise-free operation. For an added measure of autonomy and utility, the S series can be equipped with Intel Wireless AC-7260 & Bluetooth for a relatively wire-free system. The efficiencies that touchscreen computers provide are nearly boundless, and with such reliable systems available, companies are able to utilize them to their full potential.

Consumer Grade vs. Medical Grade Displays

The importance of selecting Medical Grade Displays for your Healthcare Application

Although there is a wide availability of display solutions to meet the demands of hospital and diagnostic requirements, not every solution can provide the quality, consistency, or longevity necessary for successful operation and patient satisfaction. Hospital staff often do a double take when they see the price tag for medical grade displays, and then the obvious question rears its head: what is the difference between consumer grade and high-end medical grade displays? While medical-grade displays are recognized for providing higher quality screens compared to to consumer-grade alternatives, advances in commercial off-the-shelf display technology paired along with lower prices have understandably drawn the attention of many health care professionals. Is there really a noticeable difference between the two? Much debate has surrounded the issue, but the answer comes down to a solid confirmation that, yes, there are discernible and important differences.  

 

For one, medical grade monitors display more colors, about one billion colors compared to the consumer version that displays maybe around 16 million at best. Although the human eye is limited in how many colors it can see, providing more colors allows for greater accuracy, and doctors and surgeons use precise coloration-based assertions in medical procedures or when making a diagnosis. A minute difference is shades can make all the difference.  Another major difference between medical and consumer grade displays is the automation of the backlighting system, also known as the luminosity. Medical displays have a closed-loop control circuit to maintain stable luminance from cold start to full operational temperature. A medical display’s automated system can continuously adjust the desired peak luminance several times a second. On a consumer grade monitor, one has to use the brightness control to adjust luminosity which is manually set without any reference to a correct level of luminance.  A commercial display requires an unreasonable amount of manual calibration to provide the same consistency of a medical display. Another point of distinction is that the average certified medical display’s life span is generally rated to be four times longer than that of consumer displays.

So when considering all the factors of longevity, automated luminosity, and brilliant accuracy, a medical grade display is still miles and away more beneficial and cost effective compared to a consumer grade display. Tangent offers a 22″ Medical LCD monitor featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen display with PCAP 2-point touch screen, IP65 front panel and an antimicrobial enclosure. This medical display is certified with the EN/IEC 60601-1 standard of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99), under which monitors used within a patient care vicinity can’t exceed leakage current levels of 100 microamps or more. With VESA 75 mounting, this 22″ Medical LCD display can easily be installed in a variety of healthcare environments and still maintain the quality and performance expected of a professional medical device. It’s very easy to be attracted to good prices and promises of quality, but true professional and health-oriented clients require the assurance and certified superiority of medical grade displays.

 

Industrial Computers – Conducting Business in Extreme Conditions

Industrial Computers – Conducting Business in Extreme Conditions

It’s no surprise that extreme weather can have a significant impact on industrial operations, which often times take place while on the move or exposed to the elements. For military personnel working in Afghanistan, summers are blistering hot and winters can be bitterly cold, and a 2007 Air Force Weather Agency report on Iraq’s summer weather marked a record temperature of 124 degrees fahrenheit. Temperatures of that nature are nearly intolerable to human beings, much less to sensitive computer equipment that emit heat on their own. For that and many other reasons, sturdy industrial computers are a necessity to ground forces and any other industry working in harsh conditions.

 

With thermal and shock management in mind, Tangent created a line of rugged industrial PCs to suit a variety of environments, be it frigid or sweltering. Both the Rugged E3 and Rugged E2 have operating temperatures ranging from -13° to 158°F (-25° to 70° C) and storage temperatures ranging from an amazing -22° to 185°F (-30° – 85° C). Another excellent feature is that they have no moving parts to wear out. Being fanless and sealed ensures that dust, humidity, and other contaminants cannot get into the industrial computer and wreak havoc as it often does with standard PCs.

 

How do they manage to regulate extreme temperatures without fans? By using conduction cooling! Tangent’s military-grade industrial computer cases have fin-like design that acts as a heat conduit to draw thermal energy away from the processor and dissipates the heat. Conduction cooling literally conducts the heat away from the source to the cooler outer wall of the enclosure. This makes the enclosure of the industrial computer itself a heat radiator. Although forced air cooling is cheaper and easier to implement, conduction-cooled designs provide greater flexibility than forced-air, particularly for extreme conditions. An added bonus to this cooling method is that it provides a completely noise-free operation for the industrial PC.

 

Besides the excellent cooling components, the sturdy construction of the mini PCs protects them from vibration, sudden movements or drops, which make them prime candidates for use as a vehicle mounted industrial computer. The Rugged Tank is especially suited to in-car applications. In addition to being rated for extreme temperature, the conductive case is MIL-STD-810F military standard tested for shock and vibration. The Rugged Tank industrial computer also has an optional iRIS-2400 remote management module that provides IPMI 2.0 compliant support that monitors hardware operation, can be used to autonomously to reset the machine from a remote location and also provides a reliable remote access tool. A very handy thing to have for a PC that is installed in hard to reach places!

 

In the unfortunate event of a crash, the Rugged series industrial computers come equipped with RAID support and the E series even has removable drive bays to quickly swap out bad hard drives. This also helps to meet offsite data retention and storage requirements organizations often have for auditing purposes. Both form and function play heavily into the construction of the Rugged industrial computer series to ensure reliable and consistent performance in any work capacity or environmental situation and aims to be as flexible as possible to meet the demands of ever changing industries and the climates they do business in.

 

Flat Panel PCs

Flat Panel PCs for Industrial Applications

A flat panel PC uses a thin panel design and is lightweight allowing more portability than monitors. Tangent’s line of Industrial Flat Panel PCs are built with rugged components allowing heavy duty applications capable of withstanding harsh environments.

Built with reliability in mind, our industrial flat panel PCs come fanless for use in dusty environments. Many of our flat panel PCs are IP64, IP65, IP66, or IP69K sealed for waterproof, dustproof, shock  and vibration proof.

Our reliable flat panel PCs are capable of operating in up to 140 degrees.

Backed by our three and a half year warranty, you can rest assured that our Flat Panel PCs will operate reliably and are dependable.

Offering nine flat panel PCs, we have the flat panel PC you need for your industry specifications. Our flat panel PCs feature all-in-one touchscreens and are customizable with large I/O expansion to meet industrial standards.

f15F15

The F15 for example. This flat panel PC comes standard with a forklift mount, resistive touch, MIL-STD-810F, four RS232 & four USB ports, camera, 3G, GPS, RFID. Everything you need for your warehouse or factory. With programmable buttons, the F15 permits for one-handed operation while operating a forklift.

sS Series

Our S Series Flat Panel PC is IP66 and IP69K fully waterproof. It has a stainless steel housing offering a corrosion resistant surface. Our S Series is ideal for factories, wet environments such as car washes, and in-vehicle applications.

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For Tangent’s full list of flat panel PCs, complete with specifications, take a look at our Industrial Flat Panel PC page. Here you will be able to find your industry specific flat panel PC: Tangent’s Flat Panel PCs

Benefits of a Fanless PC

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Benefits of Fanless Computers

 

With durable, fanless construction, most of our Mini Rugged PCs provide quiet and reliable operation. Fanless computers are ideal for critical care environments, hospitals, nurseries, or anywhere that noise is a consideration. The primary function of a fan in a computer system is to cool down the internal components and prevent overheating. Fanless computers use alternative cooling methods and lower-powered components that give off less heat. The result, is computers that are silent and energy efficient. Most fanless computers are typically more compact like Mini PCs. In business settings, these qualities are often highly valued. Fanless computers can promote dust free environments, because without the presence of a fan there is no opportunity for dust to be collected and further distributed throughout the environment th. This quality is also beneficial in hospitals as it helps prevent the spread of airborne particles. Fanless computers are ideal for chip manufacturing facilities as they can help meet minimum requirements of dust per air ratios.

Silent Operation

The loudest part of a computer is typically the fan. When fans are removed and solid state hard drives are added, up to 99% of the audible noise is eliminated, Components such as solid state hard drives have no moving parts; making them inherently silent and reliable – the perfect partner for a fanless computer. A silent operating fanless computer is beneficial in a wide range of applications: libraries, laboratories. operating rooms, recording studios,  or other environments where sound (or the limitation of sound) is critical.

Small Size

Many fanless computers are often designed to be compact. Without a fan, the need for air around components used for cooling is unnecessary. As such, the internal parts of the computer can be placed closely together without overheating. The small size of fanless computers allow them to be mounted in compact spaces making them ideal for offices. They are capable of fitting underneath desks and tables. When size is a consideration, a fanless computer can be an excellent choice.

 

Energy Efficient

A fanless computer is often built with energy efficiency in mind. No fans mean the computer components must waste little power and generate minimal heat. Therefore, fanless computers use less power and reduce energy cost. For businesses running a large number of computers simultaneously, fanless computers result in significant savings.

 

Reliability

Some Tangent fanless computers are compact and offer a sealed chassis making them more robust. Many fanless computers are rated for shock and vibrations making them suitable for in-vehicle applications. Fanless computers are often designed to withstand extreme temperatures or exposure to different elements. Fanless computers are not threatened by dust and moisture the way classic computers are. This equates to less maintenance and longer lasting durability. With fewer moving parts and internal connections the margin for malfunction is virtually eliminated in many applications including harsh environments.

Thin Client

thinclientblog

All About Thin Clients 

 

A thin client is a lightweight hardware created for VDI- virtual desktop infrastructure solutions. Instead of storing data on a PC, a thin client enables storage of data on a data center or server.

 

Benefits of a Thin Client:

 

A thin client allows for easy deployment and management. It is inexpensive and saves energy and space. Thin clients enable IT department professionals to troubleshoot end -points support end users in one centralized location, at times even offsite.  

 

Tangent Thin Clients:

 

Tangent currently offers three Thin Clients, the Z600, Z400 and Thin Client 160.

z600

Z600 Thin Client

This thin client comes is an HD 1080P monitor. It’s low wattage CPU saves energy and reduces consumption without sacrificing performance. Fanless in design, the Z600 thin client is silent. It comes complete with a Texas Instruments DM8148 1GHz Processor and supports Citrix ICA/HDX, VMWare View remote access protocols.

z400

Z400 Thin Client

Smaller than a pencil, low in cost and lightweight in design, this energy efficient thin client is an excellent option. The Z400 comes with dual monitor support, and High-performance TI ARM CPU at 1GHz.

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Thin Client 160

Thin Client 160 features the integration of the powerful and energy efficient VIA 1GHz x86 processor into a compact and robust enclosure. Thin Client 160 provides a DVI (digital video interface) port and a VGA adapter for optimal display experience, and has an optional miniPCI adapter for internal wireless. With options for wireless networking and VESA-compliant mounting, Thin Client 160 is perfect for cable-free and space-saving applications. With durable, fanless construction, Thin Client 160 provides quiet and reliable operation and extended operating life, lowering the total cost of ownership.

Mini PCs for Industrial Use

f15Mini PCs for Industrial Use

When deciding whether to buy a Mini PC, you may feel some hesitancy comparing it to a full size PC. Although the size may be attractive, there may be some questions in your mind about what their capabilities are.  You may be surprised to learn about their versatility and wide range of power and capacities Tangent’s Mini PCs have.

With fifteen Mini Pcs (and more to come) to choose from, our Mini PCs can be utilized in a wide variety of industries and applications. Our Rugged E3 Mini PC is able to withstand temperatures of -13 degrees up to 185 degrees. This Mini PC is fanless and provides noise-free operation. Rated for shock & vibration,, designed with removable drive bays and RAID support, the Rugged E3 is an ideal Mini PC for video surveillance and video capture POE. The TPM and watchdog timer enhance functionality.

RUGGED E3Rugged E3

 

Our Rugged S is slightly larger than a standard pencil. It meets medical grade UL60601-1 requirements and is ideal for healthcare or industrial applications. With optional multiple ISO ports, the Rugged S can be configured to meet the needs of critical care environments. The Rugged S is fanless and provides noise-free operation. It also comes with an Available Full PCIe Slot which can be configured with optional 4KV isolated card for high voltage insulation, making this model ideal for healthcare environments.

rugged-mini-s Rugged S

At 1.53 pounds and dimensions of 4.57″ x 4.33″ x 1.93″, our Rugged Q is lightweight and has an ultra mini form factor. This desirable computer is easy to mount and install in a variety of environments. With a wide input power of 9 to 24V DC and VESA 75/100 Mounting, wall mounting brackets and DIN rail mounting this Mini PC offers versatile connectivity and mounting options. Standard with two LANs, one RS232, four USB ports, and two HDMI connectivity is not an issue for this Mini PC.

rugged-qRugged Q

Our complete line of Rugged Mini PC’s can be used for in-vehicle, defense, factories, mills and healthcare applications. They can also be mounted on mobile carts, used for surveillance  and for digital signage. Tangent’s Mini PCs are capable of performing similar to their larger counterparts, at times even surpassing larger PCs. Our available Mini PCs our designed to meet your industry needs. The question is not if they have have the power to perform. The question is which Mini PC best suits your specific needs.

Importance of 60601-1 Certification for Medical Tablets

Importance of 60601-1 Certification for Medical Tablets

In the medical field, the general standard IEC 60601-1 is a widely accepted benchmark for medical electrical equipment. It deals with the basic safety and essential performance functions of medical electrical equipment and aims to ensure that no electrical, mechanical, or functional failure poses an unacceptable risk to patients or operators.  Compliance with the standards described in the manual (including newer editions) has largely become a mandatory requirement for electrical medical equipment in many countries, so adherence to it is paramount to any company manufacturing or selling such equipment.

Tangent takes safety standards very seriously for its line of medical tablets, ensuring that they not only meet those requirements, but also offer durable, full-featured, and user-friendly devices. Tangent offers five different medical tables, made to suit a variety of hospital technology needs, and range from nine inches to thirteen inches. All come standard with anti-microbial surfaces, at least an IP54 rated casing, a sleek, but rugged design to withstand the demanding environment of medical facilities, and of course is certified on the 60601-1 standard for medical equipment safety.

 

t13-13-inch-antimicrobial-tablet

The T13 thirteen inch medical tablet features the Intel Core i7 or i5 CPU, a projected capacitive touchscreen, full slot smart card and SD card readers. Optional features include RFID reader, front and back cameras, 2D barcode scanner, a 4G LTE module, detachable keyboard, charging cradle, and mounting accessories like a desktop charging cradle, and wall/vehicle mounts with VESA 100 ratings. Another great option for added mobility is a hand strap for the medical tablet and\or an integrated stand.  The IP54 rating on this means its protected from dirt, dust, oil, other non-corrosive substances and splashes of water. This workhorse is perfect for users that are on the move and need a reliable, clean, easy-to-read device.

M10i-10-inch-fully-rugged-tablet

The M10i ten inch medical tablet takes safety and durability ratings to a whole different level with being tested to MIL-STD-810G military standards and having an IP65 rated enclosure, making it safe to be sprayed and wiped clean without damaging the internal components. The MIL-STD-810G environmental testing proves that this tablet will excel throughout its service life in the medical industry by certifying that it can handle stress, vibration and shock. This is all in addition to the 60601-1 certification all Tangent medical tablets carry. This particular tablet features a 4th Generation Intel® Haswell Core™ i processor, and a high brightness multi-touch surface featuring a sun-readable Gorilla Glass panel and digitizer. Other features native to this impressive PC include a  hot-swap battery for 11-hours of uninterrupted operation, dual front and back cameras, TPM 1.2 support, WiFi and Bluetooth. It even has a docking port to easily make use of a monitor and keyboard. It’s an extremely full-featured medical tablet that’s ready to last a full day of work.

It’s tough keeping up with the rigorous standards of the day, especially in regards to medical equipment, but it’s a task that Tangent and its medical tablets happily take on and continuously work to improve.

The Difference Between a Thin Client and a Thick Client

The Difference Between a Thin Client and a Thick Client

Of all the jargon the tech world usually has for its computers and components, the name of thin and thick clients probably elicits the most accurate image of what they really are. A thin client  offers a bare bones, simplified approach to computing, in which the client system has no hard drive, moving parts, or locally installed applications. How is this possible? Quite easily actually! Thin clients are designed to connect remotely into a separate server or data center that does all the work in a virtual environment. Conversely, thick client PCs are full featured computers with all the standard hardware and locally installed operating system and applications. All the computing is done there on the workstation.

 

What’s the point of having a computing console that can’t operate autonomously? For one, security plays a huge role. All the data that is interacted with on the thin client is stored on the remote server. So if the computer were to crash or get stolen, there’s no threat of losing valuable or private information. Having your data and applications in the one location means that only the main server or server farm needs to be secured, rather than installing security software on every computer in the organization. These clients can do much of the same work that thick clients can, but with greater savings in space and cost. Thin clients excel in being easy to set up, easy for end users to utilize, and easy to administrate. In an office environment where users work with the same applications and processes daily, it’s an elegant solution.

thin-client-Z600-fanless

Tangent offers three thin clients to meet a great variety of needs. First is the sleek and impressive looking Z600. This computer is seamlessly built into the base of a 21” LED Backlit LCD display. It doesn’t look like a thin client is present at all on this lightweight machine! The slim LCD has full HD 1080p for an enhanced viewing experience, and a fanless operation means the system provides a very silent working environment. The client has four USB 2.0 ports, audio jack, and an ethernet port. For an added measure of security, a Kensington lock is affixed to the back of the monitor. The low wattage CPU promotes efficient energy consumption without compromising on performance. 

z400-performance-end-client

The Z400 thin client offers support for dual monitors, making it perfect for users that need to multitask. The diminutive machine can be mounted vertically or horizontally and is a featherweight at 0.8lbs. The TI ARM CPU provides a high performance experience while still maintaining energy-saving value. Like Tangent’s other thin clients, the fanless design boasts reliability and noise-free operation. The  Z400 has four USB 2.0 ports, two DVI (digital video interface) ports, an ethernet port, and audio jack.

z400-performance-end-client Thin-Client-160-mainfront

The Thin Client 160 is a compact, but mighty product in this line. It’s also quite a versatile one with options for wireless networking and VESA-compliant mounting, along with the durable and fanless construction that Tangent is known for. The client provides a DVI (digital video interface) port and a VGA adapter for optimal display experience on high resolution displays. The Thin Client 160 also has four USB 2.0 ports,  and audio ports for line-in/mic and line-out/headset. The powerful and energy-efficient VIA 1GHz x86 processor will ensure that all remote client functions can be handled with ease.

All About In-Vehicle Computers

All About In-Vehicle Computers

A computer mounted in a vehicle doesn’t sound like the most obvious place for it, but in reality, it’s an essential part of many industries’ daily functions. For example, mobile surveillance computers provide tracking, information gathering, and monitoring for emergency response vehicles such as police cars and ambulances. Vehicle mounted mini PCs are employed as informational and entertainment systems in taxis, airplanes and public transit, not to mention personal entertainment systems in passenger cars. In-vehicle GPS and 4G communication systems are widely used for fleet management and long-distance trucking operations.

 

Once you get to thinking about it, the need for durable, reliable, and space efficient mini PCs for vehicular use is quite far reaching. The environments they are integrated into are demanding, jarring, prone to lots of wear and tear, and leave little room for downtime or error. At first blush, specialized applications like this sound intensive and cost prohibitive, but with a good set of requirements and Tangent’s impressive line of rugged mini PCs, the opportunities are boundless.

tankRugged Tank

The starring feature of Tangent’s Rugged Mini PCs are their extremely sturdy and functional design. The fanless operation promotes longevity and keeps the PC very quiet. Also, having no moving parts allows for a greater temperature range at which the unit can operate safely. This is a big deal when you consider how much the temperate can vary inside a vehicle. The Rugged Tank Mini PC can operate at up to 153° F and as low as -4° F. The fins on the PCs case aren’t just for looks either, they are quite adept at keeping the unit’s temperature as cool and stable as possible.

 

The next issue that’s often encountered with in-vehicle computers is the constant vibration, jolts and bumps felt during driving. For a person it’s annoying, but for most computers it’s quite potentially damaging. The Tangent Rugged Mini PCs’ extruded aluminum chassis is shock and vibration resistant, and many come with mounting brackets that are VESA standard compliant. The effort into keeping these mini PCs stable and reliable will provide the confidence to use the systems over most any terrain. Many in the Rugged series also come installed with watchdogs timers. Watchdogs add critical monitoring features that allows the system to detect and recover from system failures on its own.

ruggmini-L1Rugged L1

Another common challenge encountered is space. Real estate within a vehicle is already pretty tight, so a mini PC needs to be compact and lightweight while still offering most of the same features and outputs as a full sized computer. Tangent’s Rugged Mini PCs are all under 10 pounds and not much longer than a pencil. The Rugged E2 comes in at 4.6 lbs while the Rugged L1 is a featherweight at 2.9 lbs. Options for input/output ports range from 1 to nearly 30 on the PCs in the series, as well as a wide range of options for memory and even wireless capabilities; they are extremely versatile to fit the job and still be cost effective to the consumer. If there’s a need for an in-vehicle mini PC, Tangent has a product to suit it perfectly.