The Many Faces Of PDAs
A Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), also called a palmtop computer, is a handheld computer. Being the size of a palm, it is compact and easy to carry wherever one goes. It carries out all the basic functions of a computer also. It can be used as web browser, a media player and mobile phone. Availability of Wi-Fi or Wireless Wide-Area Networks allows many PDAs to access the Internet, extranets or intranet.
Business organizations as well as government organizations make use of PDAs in many ways. It is common to find that PDAs are deployed and used in package delivery and supply chain management in warehouses, facilities maintenance and management, medical treatment and record keeping in hospitals and ‘wireless waitress’ applications in restaurants and hospitality venues. It also finds applications in meter reading by utilities, parking enforcement, route accounting, access control and security, and capital asset maintenance. Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) devices like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Bar Code, Smart Card Readers, voice recognition, magnetic stripes, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and biometrics are finding its way into PDAs. These applications identify objects, collect data about these objects and enter the data automatically.
Initially the PDAs featured simple Personal Manager Applications. These usually included diary, scheduler, appointment calendar, a notebook program, address and phone book, some games, To-do list, Calculator, Organizer, Alarms, and World time. Later simple camera, text readers, editors and game emulation were included. Further such programs as handwriting recognition software, common reference material, Notepad, Drawing application, Finance software, File manager, Voice recorder, Data synchronization and Printer connection were included. With many areas became enabled with Wireless Wide-Area Networks or Wi-Fi, web browsing and Email became possible along with all other things that one can do with the Internet such as online purchase, online banking, e-book downloading and many more. Other software programs such as Word processor, Spell checker, Custom dictionary and Spreadsheet added to its functionality.
With more functionalities being incorporated, the PDA market is zooming. Newer and more sophisticated but user friendly models are being launched. Some of the PDAs in the market are Palm TX, PalmOne M515, Pharos 535e Traveler, Palm Z22, Palm TX Handheld, HP iPAQ 111 Classic Handheld, Nokia N810 Portable Internet Tablet and Palm Tungsten E2 Handheld. You can search for Palm TX review in the Internet for details on Palm TX.
The applications in PDAs and their role in varied activities related to our work and life in general have made PDAs a critical tool to better our efficiency and effectiveness. Convergence of technologies and functions make it possible to carry out and manage activities related to our homes, purchases, finances, education, businesses, and health amongst others.