Military computer manufacturer Black Diamond Advanced Technology has released its ultra-rugged wearable PC and communications kit as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system. Adaptable to a range of specialist missions, the Modular Tactical System (MTS) system is - as the name suggests - not just a pack containing a computer. Components are split-up are and integrated into different parts of the soldier's uniform and equipment so that mobility isn't compromised, and it's designed to make the transition from computer operation to direct combat engagement in seconds.
Updated October 2, 2006 The prospects of one day having our computers all able to withstand the hostile environment that is the real world moved a step closer this week when rugged electronic systems specialist Black Diamond Advanced Technology
announced the SwitchBack PC
, the world's first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer). The SwitchBack made its debut at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston
this week and utilizes a 1.0 GHz Intel Celeron M processor, 1GB of 400 MHz DDR2 and can run Windows XP, CE, Mobile or Linux, packing the power of a desktop PC in a lightweight, handheld rugged form factor. The SwitchBack has all the features of today's rugged handheld tablet PCs, but it's smaller, more powerful and it has another significant differentiator ... a detachable/attachable Module on the back which can be used to extend functionality by adding additional hardware, devices or connector interfaces. Examples of modules that can be added include an additional processor, hard drive or battery, custom I/O options (data transfer, interface extensions), a fingerprint reader, an RFID, Barcode Scanner or Mag Stripe Reader, terrestrial radio(s), digital camera, GPS receiver, breathalyser and a Laser Range Finder.