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Enfora Fast Track to Affordable Wireless Mobile Tracking

供稿:百信企业有限公司 2007/9/4 15:23:00

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As specialists in affordable wireless data solutions, Enfora produces some of the best mobile tracking devices on the market. The company Spider MT is an in-vehicle "transceiver" that employs the RabbitCore RCM2020 core module as its processor, helping make it the most economical wireless Internet Protocol (IP) mobile tracking device available.
As specialists in affordable wireless data solutions, Enfora produces some of the best mobile tracking devices on the market. The company Spider MT is an in-vehicle "transceiver" that employs the RabbitCore RCM2020 core module as its processor, helping make it the most economical wireless Internet Protocol (IP) mobile tracking device available.
Since its release last November, the Spider MT has become one of Enfora best-selling products. But to get the device to market quickly, the Plano, Texas-based firm had no time to waste. With a major customer anxiously waiting on an advanced order, Enfora looked to Rabbit Semiconductor to help speed development time.
"We had a customer who wanted several thousand units, but we did not have a solution readily available for them," says Doug Bohls, Enfora director of product development. "Because development time was crucial, we chose to go with the Rabbit processor. It proved to be the right choice, as we had a working prototype within two weeks."
Wireless IP, also known as cellular digital packet data (CDPD), is a technology that enables remote supervisors to easily track and communicate with their fleet vehicles. The Spider MT is a GPS/CDPD transceiver that first relays coordinates to a tracking system. Then, utilizing any web-ready device, the user can access the vehicle location, speed, and direction of travel.
In designing the Spider MT, Enfora engineers hoped to maximize functionality while minimizing size. The Rabbit compact dimensions and four serial ports helped them meet their goals. "When we saw the Rabbit had four serial ports, it met our block diagram architecture very well," says Bohls. "And we are utilizing all four ports in the Spider MT."
The RabbitCore Development Kit, featuring the Dynamic C development system, helped Enfora designers meet tight hardware and software deadlines simultaneously. "Since we had such a short development cycle, we could not wait for the hardware—it was being developed at the same time," says Bohls. "So we had to do all of our development on the kit that Rabbit supplied; then we simply hardwired over to our existing modem. We just plugged a couple existing pieces together with the RabbitCore and that was our development platform."
Dynamic C highly developed software libraries saved the engineers even more time. "With all those libraries built in, we did not have to develop any of the low-level functionality on the processor," says Bohls. "We got the core module, and within a day or two we were doing some significant work." The spider MT brings together the power of wireless data and location awareness, giving drivers in-vehicle access to communications tools that help them do their job faster and better. "What is unique about this product is that it can be used by the person in the vehicle and as a remote tracking device at the same time," says Bohls. "On both sides you have Internet and GPS access. The driver can receive e-mails, search the web, or get information from the corporate network via the Internet. With a laptop or PDA and GPS mapping software, the user can get location-based services and plan delivery points."
Meanwhile, the RabbitCore gives users a lot of flexibility to make customized mobile tracking applications. "The fact that we are able to upgrade the Rabbit in the field makes it possible for us to meet a lot of our customers feature enhancement requests," says Bohls.
The Rabbit processor also provides advanced functionality that allows users to perform such tasks as locking and unlocking doors and turning lights on and off—all from the convenience of a hand-held device. And while the GPS/wireless IP combination gives fleet managers a real-time look at their mobile assets, the Rabbit I/O capability permits even more comprehensive monitoring of mission-critical data.
As an affordable and convenient mobile tracking package, the Spider MT is well positioned in the fast-growing automated vehicle location industry. "We had strict design goals to meet our overall production cost targets," says Bohls, "and the economical RabbitCore helped us meet this price budget."


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