Hundreds of meter readers need reliable handheld computers to complete their daily tasks under the African sun
The workforce uses the Nautiz X9 ultra-rugged PDA, which is sunlight readable and stands up to harsh environments.
Electric and water readings that are accurate, timely, dependable, and easily completed, with minimum hardware breakages.
Meter readers in South Africa needed handheld computers that were truly rugged and ultra-mobile.
Local utility workers required a data collector tough enough for daily use but still able to be carried easily from house to house on foot. Rugged Mobile sells meter reading software to municipalities all over South Africa and is currently expanding into Botswana.
Rugged Mobile and its clients had experimented with several kinds of data collection methods over the years, using an assortment of devices from early rugged data collectors and inexpensive rugged phones to pen and paper. Those earlier trials have proven the dependable value of Handheld’s Nautiz X9 ultra-rugged PDA, which has become their go-to device.
Since 2018, the mobile workforce that uses Rugged Mobile’s meter reading software relies on the 800 Nautiz X9 rugged Android handhelds. Business CEO Thomas Walters says, “It is as rugged as you would expect a decent rugged handheld device to be. We have hundreds out in the field and have very little breakages.”
The meter readers walk through neighborhoods taking meter readings of water and electricity for consumer billing. As a worker travels, the device guides them using gesture navigation and directs them to each property or meter. When a worker punches in readings, the device calculates deviation and even warns them of potential mistakes. It prompts and requires the meter readers to take photos of their readings.
The workers can add new meter information to the system and can update changed meter numbers. All this info is sent to the system remotely, relying heavily on the Nautiz X9 security as well as its long-lasting battery benefits. Administrators can process the data as it comes in directly from the readers in the field.
With hundreds of devices in daily use by that large of a workforce, the occasional fumble and drop are to be expected. And the Nautiz X9 is ready for them. Its countersunk and specially-hardened screen with bumpers offers protection that helps it pass a 1.5-meter drop test, which is well above the usual 1.2 meters used on other rugged devices. And should that drop land in water, the Nautiz X9 rugged handheld is prepared for that as well—its work is uninterrupted by a dunking because it is made to withstand even full immersion.
Designed for field service and GIS, surveying, the Nautiz X9 data collector is the perfect choice for this job. Workers easily interact with the 5-inch capacitive display with multi-touch sensitivity, and the screen is sunlight-readable in the brightness of a South African afternoon.
With a super-tough magnesium housing and a battery that powers its way through long days, the Nautiz X9 was specifically made for superior outdoor performance. And the GPS + camera establishes exactly where a specific meter reading was made.
Rugged Mobile appreciates the docking cradle rather than micro-USB plugs, due to concern the users might damage the mainboard. They link single cradles together to create a specifically located recharging station.
Rugged Mobile also relies on the MaxGo software, which is free to Handheld customers with Handheld Android devices, and provides a secure experience. Thomas Walters says, “MaxGo is easily customizable for our purposes, and gives even a large workforce an easy-to-use deployment platform.”