15 November 2021

As rugged devices continue to grow in popularity across a variety of sectors, manufacturers also continue to grow and develop their device capabilities. Rugged devices are becoming more intuitive, have better cameras/scanners, operate at a quicker speed and become smaller where needed, such as in some handheld devices.

If manufacturers keep progressing with demand, rugged devices will continue to change in the future. So, what are our predictions for the future of rugged devices?  

Mobile connectivity  

As 5G networks continue to roll out across the country, it’s likely that 5G will soon become the standard in mobile connectivity. In line with the growing 5G network, we’ll see manufacturers increase their supply of 5G compatible devices to meet the growing demand across different sectors.

Not only will 5G become more popular, but it’ll also help a lot of businesses stay better connected. 5G connectivity will also allow workers to be better connected and potentially streamline their day-to-day processes; the increased network speed could allow for the implementation of intelligent warehouse solutions that enable workers to monitor workflow progressions from production to dispatch and delivery. The faster connections will be pivotal for streamlining existing processes and optimising the capabilities of current technology.  

Internet of Things  

Internet of Things (IoT) works to connect objects and technology to exchange real-time data. This data can take different formats like images and videos, and IoT helps to better analyze and monitor this information. IoT can be widely adopted to enhance systems such as supply chain management, in addition to the performance of devices and applications, including rugged devices.

Capturing images and other data in harsh environments and transmitting them in real-time can be crucial for some sectors. By increasing the development of IoT in rugged devices, more industries could benefit from being better connected and able to transmit necessary data even quicker than they do now.  

Operating system  

Although the Windows CE operating system was once king, ever since Microsoft phased out support in 2018, Android is quickly becoming the chosen leader of rugged operating systems. For businesses choosing to migrate to Android Enterprise for their operational needs, many are experiencing the benefits that it offers, including:

  • Regardless of the device manufacturer, the end-user will enjoy the same familiar experience.
  • Designed to support multiple work profiles and managed devices at once.
  • Highly customizable interfaces and uses across a variety of sectors.

Any migration from Windows to Android must be considered carefully, looking at both hardware and software requirements, as well as app strategies. Management solutions must also be thought through to fully leverage Android’s capabilities and allow businesses to maintain high levels of productivity.  


The reliability of rugged devices across all sectors is essential to productivity, and if a device encounters a technical issue, productivity is impacted. This makes device analytics even more crucial for IT departments in order to empower businesses to proactively monitor and enhance device uptime.

With advanced analytics on devices in the future, businesses will be able to adopt emerging trends such as artificial intelligence (AI) to automate manual tasks such as simplified decision-making processes. Also, businesses will be better adapted to anticipate and take precautions before any issues take place on rugged devices and applications, providing a better overall user experience when they need it the most.      

Find out more

At TouchStar, for the past 30 years, we’ve been providing businesses with the latest devices and software to help them stay productive and connected. And we will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Get in touch today to speak to one of our expert team about how we can best help your business now, and in the future.



Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001.  Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries. 

In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.

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