The Next Generation in Rugged Mobility: Flexible solutions for diverse workforces

To support the hardest working mobile professionals, it is critical that we understand our customers’ work, their needs and the obstacles they face every day. To ensure we are equipping them with the tools they require to meet the challenges of their jobs, we put a high value on their feedback and input, and look to that feedback to guide the development of devices and features as we continue to evolve the Panasonic Toughbook® line. We have listened to their stories, pain points and challenges, and in the coming days, we’re excited to share with you the next chapter in rugged mobility.

We understand that our customers need devices that are as rugged and mobile as they are. They need highly durable mobile solutions that provide the flexibility to work across variable environments and functions; mobile computing devices that work just as well in a rig, car or at a desk or held in hand. While maintaining a fully rugged design, the next generation in rugged mobility must also be balanced with adaptability to suit our customers’ dynamic work environments.

We are constantly listening to understand and anticipate what our customers need by looking at the ways people work.  And the ways they want to work – are changing. Nearly every job is a tech job in one way or another.

Let’s consider three industries whose mobile workers Panasonic knows well and look at some of what they’ve told us they need from their devices – and the solutions we’ve proposed.

Law Enforcement

Police officers have become used to patrolling with a mobile computer docked in their vehicles, giving them up-to-the-minute access to information that helps them make smarter decisions when protecting communities. Recently, we’ve heard that these officers want to do more with their mobile devices, not only using them to write reports or access information in the car, but to have the flexibility to take the device with them outside their car, ensuring they maintain their connection to critical information. One of the solutions we’ve suggested is a 2-in-1 detachable laptop that provides high mobile computing functionality of laptop as well as the agility of a tablet mode for enhanced patrolling. This also offers them the same connectivity whether on break, on patrol, or off duty – and they’re able to stay connected without removing themselves from delicate situations that require their full attention.

Vegetation Management for Utilities

For those working in vegetation management, the need for uninterrupted mobile connectivity is critical for correct and complete job performance.  Spending hours – and sometimes days at a time – traversing rural landscapes, these men and women are looked to by utility providers to inspect and maintain utility lines and infrastructure, ensuring they are not overgrown. This job is reliant on connectivity as vegetation management professionals remotely log their activities and provide updates on the state of power lines and other infrastructure. Working far away from a consumable electrical source, they are looking for the longest possible battery life. For these customers, we’re looking towards hot-swappable batteries as an effective solution – not only are they long lasting in their own right, they can be changed in the field without any loss of progress or notable downtime. For mobile workers like vegetation management professionals, this feature helps ensure they can do their job efficiently and reliably in even the most rugged, remote conditions.

Utility and Manufacturing

The workforce within the utilities and manufacturing industries spans multiple generations: from seasoned experts in the field to fresh-faced employees on their first jobs, there is a demand for devices that help employees of all ages be productive. For veteran workers, who watched as technology became part of their routine in recent decades, they tell us over and over that they prefer the tactical feedback of a more traditional mobile computer and are used to working with a physical keyboard. However, they’re now sharing roles with a younger generation, a generation born into the digital age, who grew up with mobile technology and are completely at home with touchscreens. In order to best outfit these industries with technology that works for all of their workers, flexibility is key.  A 2-in-1 detachable laptop fits the needs of diverse groups of workers, each with their own preferences, and enables them to work however and wherever their work demands.

Whether out on the road or in the field, rugged mobile devices are an established must-have for our customers. And, throughout our twenty years of delivering rugged mobility, it’s been these types of challenges and changes to the way our customers work that have guided our vision. As we enter the next chapter in rugged mobility, we look forward to working hand in hand with our customers to deliver technology that better equips them, The Extraordinary.


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