Panasonic launches new 3-in-1 handheld tablet for logistics market

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A new handheld tablet, the Toughpad® FZ-N1, has been released by Panasonic for the Australian transport and logistics market – an industry worth almost nine per cent of Australia’s GDP and employing one million people.

Touted as the world’s lightest fully rugged three-in-one handheld tablet, the Toughpad is reportedly designed to meet the increasing demands placed on workers by boosting productivity while guarding against impacts on employees’ health.

The military-grade device functions as a mobile barcode reader, phone and tablet, built to protect against drops, heat and cold, vibration, dust and rain.

In a statement, Panasonic wrote that businesses are increasingly seeking out technology advances to help them reduce costs, increase speed and better serve customers, whilst being mindful of staff health.

“These trends are being seen around the world and, fuelled by a boom in online spending and shipping volumes, some workers can be scanning hundreds of barcodes a day,” said Stuart Buxton, Senior Product Manager, Toughbook, Panasonic. “Clearly technology must continue to innovate to support the productivity of Australian workers. It’s actually estimated that a 1 per cent increase in supply chain efficiency can deliver a $2 billion benefit to Australia’s economy.

“The FZ-N1’s ergonomic angled barcode reader has been created for ease of use and has the potential to increase efficiency and at the same time provide greater comfort for workers.”

The launch follows the release of a Panasonic research study that revealed the health of UK mobile workers is suffering due to poorly designed mobile barcode scanners. It reported that over half of workers surveyed in the field suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury and 63 per cent experience wrist or arm aches and pains.

The new Toughpad suits a wide variety of applications, such as inventory management, shipping and receiving, delivery routing and parcel tracking, and retail store queue busting.