On the Move: Tools For Today's Federal Workers

Some new tools offer users ease of motion in the meeting room, in the training facility, at the depot — almost anywhere.

The typical public notion of a federal worker is probably still of someone seated at a gray metal desk in a warren of offices in a massive old office building. But feds know that reality has been bent — a lot. Federal workers, like those in industry, are on the move — a lot.

At the recent 2009 FOSE show, vendors offered up some cool tools that seem built with the mobile fed in mind:

The typical public notion of a federal worker is probably still of someone seated at a gray metal desk in a warren of offices in a massive old office building. But feds know that reality has been bent — a lot. Federal workers, like those in industry, are on the move — a lot.

At the recent 2009 FOSE show, vendors offered up some cool tools that seem built with the mobile fed in mind:


Going wireless for presentations: At the Black Box Network Services booth, the tech team demoed its new VGA Wireless Video Presentation system. The 802.11 b/g-ready plug-and-play device can connect to an SVGA or WXGA projector and can communicate with any Wi-Fi equipped PC running Microsoft Windows. But here’s the cool part: Up to 254 users can access the projector presentation wirelessly from a distance of 200 feet. [CDW•G price: $548.62]

  • Teaching at a distance: The folks from Smart Technologies showed off their Smart Board Interactive Whiteboard. What’s nifty about the 600-series device is that users can interact using networked applications directly via the touchscreen controls. This could come in handy for remote training, for which the Air Force uses the boards extensively. The trainer in the classroom can make changes to files in, say, an Excel spreadsheet on the whiteboard, and the changes will appear on boards in other classrooms or on users’ computers. If the users are in another classroom with a whiteboard, they can respond or make changes that appear on the trainer’s board. [CDW•G price: $2,875.78]
  • Tracking down what you need: To tag and label items in a government hospital, warehouse or battlefield headquarters using radio-frequency ID typically required a lot of running to and fro from the label printer. Zebra Technologies introduced the first portable thermal transfer printer with RFID printing/encoding capability. The device supports Bluetooth 2.0 or 802.11b/g wireless connectivity. [CDW•G Price: $1,144.12 ]

  • Traveling light: Hewlett-Packard’s booth gave feds a chance to go hands-on with its Mini-Note 2140 Notebook PC. Weighing less than 3 pounds and smaller width- and length-wise than a standard notepad (at 6.5-by-10.3 inches), this latest HP netbook can run a full-size Windows Vista operating system. This creates an entire new form factor for federal road warriors to consider: bigger and more utilitarian than a smartphone or personal digital assistant, yet smaller than a notebook computer (but with the same office tools).  [CDW•G price: $572.56]

 

Mar 19 2009