Hazardous area mobile devices are built for safe operation in a variety of challenging environments, e.g. Zone 1/21 and explosion-risk areas, with rugged exteriors capable of withstanding harsh conditions and extreme temperatures.
Brands in this category include BARTEC, whose Pixavi Cam, Pixavi Phone and BARTEC Wireless X Wi-Fi Access Point Enclosure demonstrate the wide range of different applications for hazardous area mobile devices, including mobile telephony and connectivity.
Certification helps to identify where hazardous area mobile devices may be used, and each product's technical specifications will include details of ATEX, IECEx and NIC assessments, along with full labelling under the relevant standard.
Harsh and hazardous area mobile devices are designed to withstand a wide range of operating conditions, typically including temperatures from around -20°C to +60°C without any damage to the device.
When using the device, operators may have a choice between touchscreen control with a bare or gloved finger, or using an attached stylus for even more precise input.
Each of these options ensures that the device can be used in inhospitable environments, without the need to remove protective clothing. The specific methods of control available will depend on the device, and again can be checked in each product's technical specifications and/or downloadable data sheet.
For obvious reasons, it may be preferable to secure mobile devices in hazardous areas by anchoring them to the individual's body or clothing, or to an appropriate external anchor point.
Devices cater for this in different ways. Some include lanyard mounting slots and safety straps, while touchscreen devices may include a tethered stylus which cannot be dropped or lost during use in extreme conditions.
Rugged exteriors ensure that hazardous area mobile devices can withstand reasonable shocks (although these should be avoided where possible), with materials like anodized aluminium, toughened glass and rubber protection on edges.
Decades of development have allowed rugged portable devices to become smaller, slimmer and lighter, and they now measure in at similar dimensions to any mainstream mobile device.
In the example of the BARTEC Pixavi Phone, the tough aluminium case measures just 164 x 84 x 14.5 mm and the entire phone weighs just 293g, yet offers a market-leading 5.5" Full-HD AMOLED display which uses toughened Corning Gorilla Glass.
Lightweight yet durable performance materials used throughout the construction of hazardous area portable devices mean they are more convenient to use than ever before, without compromising on strength, safety or security.
Connectivity is a key characteristic of many mobile devices, especially when you need to transmit data safely from within a tightly controlled hazardous area.
Bluetooth and NFC (Near-Field Communication) work alongside Wi-Fi and 4G (on SIM-enabled devices) to provide a range of connectivity options, with devices like the BARTEC Wireless X to safely provide a Wi-Fi access point for Zone 1 hazardous area equipment.
To find out more about any product in this category, you can read the full technical specifications on each item's page, or download the datasheet for future reference.