We went to the end of the Earth...
We went to the Australian Outback to study how field service professionals can be better served by technology and discovered the challenges they face daily. By trekking to the one of the places with the thinnest layer of ozone on earth (and where it just so happens Mad Max was filmed), we learned 3 key needs:
1. Failure is not an option.
Mission-critical jobs take place regardless of the time of day or temperature, and failure is not an option when customers–or lives–are counting on you and your team. Every second counts. Equipment needs to stand up to the rigors of use in the hottest, dustiest conditions without failure due to things like overheating and poor battery life.
2. Grab and go.
Getting to the job starts in the truck, where technology needs to be front and center to answer calls, navigate to the site, and rapidly get the information. When it's time to get to work, the tools need to be readily accessible for action. This is no place for clips, screws, or buckles. And keeping a fully charged battery is paramount when so many interfaces are digital.
3. Keep the fleet fit for duty.
Keeping the fleet ready for action at any time is the goal for fleet managers. Downtime for vehicles is costly. Ensuring that all hardware is compatible, interchangeable, and durable across the entire fleet is of paramount importance.
...AND CAME UP WITH ANSWERS.
We took this insightful experience – and extensive data – back to the shop in Long Beach, California to come up with our most innovative product yet: the X-naut FlexGrip Series.
Drawing on our experience with the X-naut Pilot Series line and the aviation community, we built a 3-part, layered system that brings a first of its kind answer to all of the toughest field service needs. See how it all breaks down:
The X-naut Flexgrip starts with a durable skin.
The skin is engineered to stay on the iPad like any other case and keep it protected from drops, dust, and debris, while ensuring that enough airflow can get to the core areas where iPads get their hottest.
Made of elastomer, the FlexGrip skin resists UV damage and chemical degradation.
At the end of the day, the skin can be taken out of the FlexGrip system and used by itself as a protective case, which is great when writing up service tickets and for simply hanging out at the station awaiting the next call.
FlexGrip Command Center
The brain of the operation is the cooling case.
4 powerful, yet whisper-quiet fans prevent the iPad from overheating. For the harshest heat, the fans activate a turbo mode. Once the iPad temperature drops to the goal, the fans power down with an auto-shutoff sensor.
A built-in, high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery brings up to 24 hours of cooling without draining the iPad's battery. Supplemental power can be given to the iPad and USB-C powered peripherals when needed. A status indicator lets you know how much is in reserve.
A standardized AMPS pattern mount ensures compatibility with mounts across the board, as well as handstraps and kneeboards.
Magpower AMPS & Magpower Grip
MagPower is our most innovative solution yet, and the accessory rail is how the system ties together.
MagPower is 40lbs of magnetic force securing your FlexGrip to the AMPS mount of your choice – while charging it wirelessly. This brings grab-and-go functionality to transition from in-vehicle to on-foot instantly with a full charge each time.
There are two versions of MagPower: the MagPower AMPS Dock mounts to the Command Center, and the MagPower Grip clamps onto the FlexGrip Skin in place of the Command Center.
More About Magpower
We think MagPower is our most exciting feature yet. MagPower provides instant wireless charging and over 40lbs of magnetic force that holds your iPad firmly on even the toughest washboard roads. Military-grade electronic components and precision machining ensure both reliability and a steady charge. When placing your iPad on the mount, these magnetic forces also guide it in place, and a key guide demonstrates a secure fit on the first go.
The MagPower AMPS mounts directly onto the cooling case using the mount pattern, and the MagPower Grip clamps onto the FlexGrip Skin in place of the Cooling Case when iPad overheating isn't a risk.
Best of all, your existing mounts with an AMPS pattern can be converted to MagPower mounts with the addition of the MagPower Receiver. This bolts directly onto the existing mount and has a USB-C input that's automatically converted to provide wireless power.
The beauty of the X-naut FlexGrip Series is that it's built to serve. The individual components can be mixed-and-matched to create the right configuration for your – or your fleet's – needs.
We know it's a lot to take in, but that doesn't mean you need to spend time learning the ins-and-outs to build out the right configuration for your fleet.
To get you started, we've put together starting configurations based on 3 use cases.
For those who are mostly on foot, extra battery life and cooling is essential — as is a way to carry and use it comfortably. In these sitations, the 11,600mAh built-in battery provides ample power for the iPad to stay both charged and cooled throughout the day. The hand strap makes it easy to work with, and the neck/shoulder strap offers versatile ways to carry.
Best for: drive-thru attendants, warehousing and inventory control, environmental field research, forestry and surveying, and similar.
When you're constantly in and out of the vehicle with iPad in hand, you need a solution that keeps the iPad charging and mounted while you're en route to the next site, but keeps the components that make it easy to handle in the field. The cooling case with the Magpower dock is essential, as is the accessory rail with a neck/shoulder strap.
Best for: EMTs, field service technicians, agriculture, construction and maintenance, mining and drilling, road and railway maintenance, and similar.
When the iPad tends to stay in the vehicle most of the time, cooling can be optional for normal city use. If you're working in hot conditions or parking in the sun, the cooling case is recommended otherwise you risk coming back to an overheated iPad. We'll leave out things like the handstrap and shoulder strap in favor of Magpower with a robust vehicle mount.
Best for: firefighters, police officers, air travel, freight and delivery drivers, security services, and similar.
See the Full Flexgrip Line in Detail & Pre-order
Check out our pre-bundled configurations for users on-foot, in-transition, and in-vehicle, or build your own configuration with the individual components. We are now accepting pre-orders for shipment in mid-September 2019.