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27May/150

5 Ways Construction Industry is Embracing Mobile Devices

construction

Construction Industry is all about scale and speed. It is known to mirror the prosperity of a nation. Numerous sub-business groups like developers, manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and field workers come together for successful implementation of any construction project . The inter dependencies of these diverse groups demand efficiency in all aspects ranging from design to implementation. The industry is in constant lookout for modern ways and newer techniques to increase efficiency , reduce costs and yet deliver high quality.

While there are many new adoptions like 3D printers for fabrication, comprehensive construction management software etc, the one big trend has been widespread use of mobile devices for increasing workforce efficiency and creation of a connected and paperless environment.

Mobile technology is slowly but surely changing the landscape of the construction industry. Following are some trends that are benefiting the industry immensely:

 Real- time data availability - Engineers and project managers equipped with mobile devices access and track data on a real-time basis which in turn leads to a much improved workflow. Flow of information also becomes seamless between engineers at the site and the head office. With real time data updates, monitoring performance of projects and the organization as a whole becomes efficient and effective.

 Going green with reduced paper usage- With the introduction of mobile devices, the workers are moving to paperless processes which includes electronic delivery of job sheets and receipts, scanning of inventory, scheduling jobs and ordering of materials among other things.

 Communicating with other parties – Use of mobile devices has created a collaborative and cooperative global ecosystem of workers where communication, sharing of information and support effort has become prompt and efficient.  For example, a worker in UAE easily communicates on a video call from the field and share videos, images and other resources with his designer in the US.

 Tracking and management of assets - Theft of materials is a challenge frequently faced by many construction companies because of the remote location of most construction sites. However, with the introduction of wireless technology and mobile surveillance solutions, managers are able to monitor multiple construction sites and warehouses. This helps is reducing incidents of thefts and misuse of construction material.

 Improving productivityMobile devices give a lot of flexibility to workers for online as well as offline data entry. Applications on mobile devices are capable of syncing up offline data once there is connectivity.  Mobile apps can also be seamlessly integrated with existing systems. For workers, mobile devices loaded with apps are a boon as they save a lot of time and also ensure data accuracy by eliminating erroneous and duplicate data right at the source.

Issues and challenges

There are times when ensuring effective use of mobile technology becomes a challenge. Like for example, deploying unsupervised mobile devices at a construction site for data collection and inter-department communication can be an open invitation for the users to use it for unintended and unproductive activities. Device and data security could also be a problem.

Relying on technology which could trigger unproductive hours, data security threats when not monitored may defeat the purpose of its deployment. One way to counter these issues is mobile device deployment using Mobile Device Management solutions and restricting the user to only required set of activities using Lockdown solutions.

Solution

The solution to above challenges while using mobile devices in Construction Industry lies in using Device Lockdown and Device Management solutions.

Mobile Device Management solutions like SureMDM provide features to monitor, update, maintain and track deployed devices across different locations. SureMDM is widely used for remotely managing and supporting devices in the field. It integrates seamlessly with SureLock which is a device lockdown solution liked for its simple yet comprehensive features.

42Gears offers a range of products for mobile device lockdown and mobile device management. Read more about the products here.

For queries and details about our solutions, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com.

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5May/150

4 Amazing Ways Museums are Enhancing Visitor Experience with Tablets

museums_tablets

Mobile devices are everywhere and they are also becoming all powerful with their ever increasing processing capability. It has become indispensable and important than ever to include the digital dimension in any business or institution. Museums have joined in to benefit from the mobile revolution.

Keeping visitors engaged and drawing younger crowds have always been a challenge with museums. The appeal of a museum is slowly fading away as people consider it as a place to go when visiting a new city just as a customary ritual. Things are changing though as museums are exploring mobile technologies to make visitor experience more engaging, educational and interactive.

Recent studies show that the average museum visitor is 50 years or older and there has been a lot of focus to promote, engage and provide rich experience to younger visitors through clever use of mobile technologies. These can be as simple as a smart-phone app that allows visitors to view museums’ schedules, buy tickets or even receive special broadcasts. There are even a few coordinated digital devices like mobiles and tablets provided by museums with interactive contents and functionalities to engage and educate visitors.

Here is a list of 4 ways by which museums are making use of smart phones and tablets to enhance visitor experience:

1. Interactive Devices for Visitors
The curators at the museum have realized that most people are either taking pictures or going through the details of the exhibits on their own mobile devices. So, instead of letting the visitors browse through the trivia on their own smart-phones, they are providing them with tablets that are well coordinated with contents; translations, explanations, facts among other things and services which allow them to communicate with museum staff. These devices are also enabled with options to text or email images, or post them on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking platforms.

2. Visitors’ Information Gathering Devices
A lot of museums are placing tablets in front of each exhibit to gather data to do predictive analysis on visitors’ behavior. For instance, to measure the time they spend in a particular location. It is helping museums to improve the layout and exhibit locations. These audience data are also being analyzed to equip museums to personalize gallery navigation services and communications of visitors based on their past behavior.

3. Educational Devices
Many museums encourage schools to initiate field trips to museums for a world-class learning experience for students through rich interaction via tablets. Students follow directional cues provided on screen, take notes or sketch with white-board features, interact and collaborate with their fellow students through notes and chat.

4. Common Information Kiosks
The other step that many museums have taken is the introduction of touch screen kiosks. These kiosks placed at common areas are an interactive way for the visitors to view exhibit details and offer them self-help options. These kiosks are also used to gather information about the visitors like their e-mail id and feedback about the whole experience of their visit.

Issues and challenges
Use of tablets in museums bring up challenges like:

  • Misuse by visitors in the form of tampering of settings
  • Ensuring device uptime
  • Managing large number of deployed devices
  • Updating exhibit details, services and content on the devices

Solution
Managing large number of devices and updating content remotely can be achieved using mobile device management (MDM) solutions. While most MDMs provide functionality to manage device, they lack features to prevent device misuse and tampering of device settings. Preventing misuse of devices and tampering of settings can be achieved using device lockdown solutions. Museums need a combination of device lockdown and device management to solve the above mentioned issues.

Many organizations the world over use SureLock from 42Gears for their device lockdown requirements. SureLock works seamlessly with SureMDM which is an MDM solution from 42Gears. The National Trust of Australia have used SureLock to set up visitor guide for one of their exhibitions using Android tablets which proved to be a huge success (read here). SureMDM offers extensive device management functionality along with the ability to update content, application settings and services.

42Gears also offers comprehensive solutions for video playing kiosks and web kiosks which could perfectly fulfil the requirements of museums. To know more about the solutions for museums and other similar set-ups, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com.

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24Apr/150

CloudTags Blends Digital and Physical Experience for Retail Customers with Help from SureFox and SureMDM

cloudtags_headerCloudTags is an Atlanta-based data start-up working with brick-and-mortar retailers to connect their digital and physical customer experiences. CloudTags' technology allows in-store customers to create digital collections of everything they interact with by using location based devices that are provided by the retailer.

CloudTags uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow shoppers to digitally interact with physical products using tablets provided in the store, delivering product information, reviews and recommendations as the shopper browses. This means a tablet with internet access in the hands of shoppers. Tablets and smartphones with all their features and connectivity to internet are susceptible to misuse, often compromising the device security.

CloudTags' primary requirements were protecting the tablet settings from intentional and unintentional changes by the shoppers, ability to track and locate a device and lock it remotely in case it was stolen from the store.

After rigorous verification and testing, CloudTags chose SureFox and SureMDM for the pilot phase. CloudTags was happy with the features and performance of the products and decided to deploy them across all customer locations.

The intuitive workflows of SureFox and SureMDM ensured that there was a very small effort in learning and subsequent deployment of CloudTags solution. The solution has ensured that while CloudTags' customers benefit from innovative use of tablets, they do not have to put in a lot of effort to protect deployed tablets from misuse. They are now empowered to focus on the core business than worrying about safety and uptime of devices.

For more details, refer to the case study:

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_cloudtags.html

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22Apr/150

Using SureMDM Web Console with Google Chrome

Applies to:
Product SureMDM
Platform All

SureMDM Web Console works best with Firefox 26.0+ or Internet Explorer 9+ and we strongly recommend all users to use these browsers to make maximum use of the features.

However, if you want to use SureMDM Web Console with Google Chrome, you may get a prompt to install Microsoft Silverlight. (like image shown below).

download_silverlight_chrome

You get this prompt because of the latest update in Google Chrome. To avoid getting this prompt every time you access SureMDM Web Console, we have a workaround. Once you complete following one time steps, you would be able to seamlessly access the console.

1. Open a new Chrome browser window and access  chrome://flags/#enable-npapi

2. Under Enable NPAPI, click on Enable

3. Click on Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the page to complete

If the issue persists and require further help, you can reach out to our tech support team at support@42gears.com.

You can also chat with one of our representative, using our Contact page.

 

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22Apr/150

SureLock helps Ever Africa in its Fight Against Crime in South Africa

ever africa

Ever Africa invests in ventures in the ICT space in Africa, with an emphasis on applications that have a positive social impact in the telecoms, media and security sectors. Their latest mobile app Namola, is a security application which aims at use of mobile technology to fight crimes in City of Tshwane. This free application has empowered GPS enabled Android smartphone or tablet users to directly send alerts to the nearest Tshwane Metro Police armed responders and request for assistance.

Ever Africa faced challenges with the misuse of devices given to the armed responders. Android smartphones given to the police were powerful general purpose devices which had numerous applications for information, fun and entertainment. This caused shift in responders' focus to unwanted activities on the devices rather than the task at hand. The data connectivity on the device if misused would result in huge mobile bills. To overcome these challenges, Ever Africa did an extensive search for a solution and found SureLock to be the perfect product for locking down the armed responders' devices. Users were given access to only applications that were required to perform their tasks.

SureLock gave Ever Africa a comprehensive solution to ensure that all the devices were used only for intended purpose. It was key to the success of their project and helped them take a major step towards making a positive social impact.

For more details, refer to:

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_ever_africa.html

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21Apr/152

5 Ways Hospitality Industry is Embracing Tablets to Enhance Customer Experience

hospitality

Hospitality Industry is always on the lookout for ways to enhance customer experience. This industry can truly exploit the potential of tablets and smart devices, thanks to the number of touch points it has with customers. Smart mobile devices in Hospitality Industry provide the opportunity to go green, increase efficiency and make guest experience memorable.

Through our interaction with players in the Hospitality Industry, we see the following trends in which benefits are being drawn from the use of Tablets:

1.  Menus in Restaurants

Many upscale restaurants make use of tablets for menu. The menus are made interactive by putting pictures of how the dish looks and how it is prepared. For example, customers have the option of choosing how they want their meat to be cooked. Once the order is placed, customers get to know the estimated time in which the food will be served.

2.  At Front Desk

Many hotels place a tablet on the front desk for guests to know about the hotel facility while they are waiting for check in formalities to be completed. This is a good way of using the wait time and sharing information with guests. Good video content and interactive information sharing leave the guests impressed.

3.  Infotainment During Hotel Stay

Guests are given tablets at the time of check in. These tablets have options like room service, menu details, applications to book appointments for various facilities within the hotel like spa, taxi booking, request concierge for a print-out, schedule wake-up calls among other things.

4.  At Lobby

The lobby of a good hotel or a restaurant sees a lot of traffic. The norm has been to place newspapers and magazines for the waiting visitors or customers. However, this experience is immensely enhanced by placing tablets in the lobby. Videos and offers are shown on it for effective marketing.

5.  As Feedback Forms

Customers in restaurants are being asked to share their feedback on Tablets. Filling physical forms is passé. A touch screen seeking inputs is a joy and customers are more than willing to rate the service.

Issues and challenges

The above use cases are beneficial and contribute to customer experience. Use of tablets in organizations bring up challenges around their misuse by the staff, tampering of settings by the users and the constant need of ensuring their uptime. Managing a large number of devices deployed across a facility is a big challenge.

Solution

The challenges of device misuse and tampering of settings can be solved using device lockdown solutions. Organizations the world over widely use SureLock from 42Gears for their device lockdown requirements. SureLock works seamlessly with SureMDM which is a platform for managing mobile devices remotely. Together, these products have been deployed by many organisations in the Hospitality Industry.

To know more about attending to challenges related to mobile device lockdown and management in the Hospitality Industry, contact us at enquiries@42gears.com .

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13Apr/150

How to play videos from URL on Android kiosks using SureVideo?

Applies to:
Product SureVideo
Platform Android

url_playlist_surevideo1.5SureVideo gives you a platform to turn your Android devices including Android TV into a video playing kiosk in no time. SureVideo’s robust lockdown is accompanied by easy to configure playlist and arrays of complementing features. However, if you have multiple of these devices at multiple locations and their playlist changes often, it may be an extensive process to add a new video in the device and then to the playlist.

One solution to this is to host video online and use the link instead of a local file while configuring the playlist in SureVideo.

To use this feature, host video online and follow below mentioned steps:

1. Launch SureVideo Admin Settings password prompt by tapping screen 5 times within 3 seconds

2. Use your SureVideo Admin password to login

login_surevideo_admin_settings

3. On SureVideo Admin Settings screen, tap on SureVideo Settings

surevideo_admin_settings

4. On SureVideo Settings screen, tap on Configure Playlist

configure_playlist1

5. On Playlist screen, tap on Add Playlist

add_playlist

6. On Configure Playlist screen, tap on Add Media File/Folder/URL

add_media_file

7. On Add File/Folder/URL screen, tap on Add URL

add_url

8. Enter the URL in Set URL For Video Streaming field

enter_url_surevideo

9. Tap on OK to complete

Once you exit Admin Settings, SureVideo will start playing the specified video from the link.

 

To read more about SureVideoclick here

To download a trial version, click here

For any other queries, send an email to info@42gears.com

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6Apr/150

Voting Experience Made Seamless by Election Administrators with 42Gears SureLock

 ea

Election Administrators (EA) LLC is the leader in Mobile Election Technology. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, EA currently services over 180 counties within 14 states across the US. EA aims to provide simple, user-friendly, easy to train, cost-effective software that government employees can use and trust.

EA are the pioneers when it comes to using technology for an easy and reliable voting process. They came up with an Android powered tablet that turns paper voter list to electronic copies. The challenge they faced was to make sure that the participants were focused only on the polling application. The data involved during the polling process are sensitive and EA needed a solution that would secure the tablets and data. They decided to choose SureLock after a lot of deliberation as it provides advanced lockdown of Android devices making it impossible for users to access applications which are not allowed by the administrator.

EA is now equipped to secure tablets with SureLock in very quick and efficient manner. Number of devices and distance are no longer a challenge. With SureLock, EA has been able to take the solution to its various customers and has made the polling process seamless and efficient.

For more details, refer to the case study:

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_electronic_administrators.html

 

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6Apr/150

ABC Supply Co., enhances the process of Proof of Delivery by enforcing safety with SureLock

abc_supply_co

ABC Supply Co., Inc. is the largest wholesale distributor of roofing in the United States and one of the nation's largest distributors of siding, windows and other select exterior building products, tools and related supplies. Since 1982, ABC Supply Co. has grown to become a national organization with more than 450 branches and other facilities in 44 states.

Their large workforce who are on the move delivering supplies to customers use smartphones to stay connected with their co-workers. These smartphones are used to communicate and share work related information through email and other applications. Velocity app is one such application which the associates use to capture Proof of Delivery. However, the company was facing a huge productivity challenge as the associates were able to access applications which were not business related. ABC Supply Co. wanted a solution that would lockdown phones and give access to only the applications needed to perform the business tasks.

ABC Supply Co. chose SureLock and they were able to set it up on devices in no time. SureLock setup is now integrated with existing MDM solution making it more robust. The associates at ABC Supply Co. are more productive with SureLock on their phones. The effort to manage devices and settings has reduced, resulting in reduced costs and increased efficiency for the company.

For more details, refer to the case study

http://www.42gears.com/case_studies/case_study_abc_supply_co.html

 

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2Apr/150

How to setup automatic scheduled reboot of Android devices with SureLock?

Applies to:
Product SureLock
Platform Android

schedule_reboot_header

When your Android device is in lockdown mode with access to only allowed applications and no access to device settings, it is quite possible that after certain period of time with extensive usage, the device may show signs of not operating upto its potential level. Device could become slow, Wi-Fi function may get patchy or worse, high battery drainage and so on.

There could be many such common issues which can be fixed by a simple reboot. A reboot could clear cache to counter the slow processing, close services/applications running in the background that might be eating away the battery life or restore lost WiFi connection. However, if you are using Mobile Device Management solutions like SureMDM to monitor and push jobs to your devices, sometimes they need a reboot for the changed settings to come into effect.

Now, SureLock allows you to schedule a reboot of your Samsung KNOX enabled or rooted device. You can simply create a reboot plan for a specific day and time for your kiosks/field devices/or any Android devices with SureLock.

To enable this feature, follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Access SureLock Admin Settings by tapping on the screen five times within three seconds and entering SureLock Password

login_surelock

2. On Admin Settings screen, tap on SureLock Settings

surelock_settings

3. On SureLock Settings screen, tap on Schedule Reboot

select_schedule_reboot

4. On Schedule Reboot Settings screen, tap on Enable Scheduled Reboot

enable_schedcule_reboot

5. Tap on Change Schedule Reboot Time, to specify a time for the reboot

select_schedule_reboot_time

6. Once done, select the days using listed options under Select Days section

select_schedule_reboot_day

 

7. Tap on Done to complete

Now, your device will automatically reboot on the set time and day without losing the lockdown.

If you want to explore more such features of SureLock, download a trial here.

To read more about SureLock for Android, click here.

To contact us, click here.

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election_administrator_case_study

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