We’ve seen a LOT of new tool-related smartphone and tablet gadgets and apps emerging in recent years. Bluetooth radios and speakers are of a course a big category, but there’s also been Ryobi’s PhoneWorks smartphone-connected tools, Fluke’s Connect wireless test & measurement system, Flir’s ONE thermal imaging camera (and a new one just came out), Seek Thermal’s thermal imaging camera module, Bosch’s Bluetooth-connected laser measuring tool, and Dewalt even just came out with Bluetooth-connected batteries!
Don’t even get me talking about all of the very many apps that are available. Some are aimed at increasing worker productivity, others tap into your phone’s gyro sensors to turn it into a simple leveling device.
A recent discussion with Benjamen, our awesome contributor who recently published his 51st ToolGuyd post – check out all of his posts here – focused on whether or not many professional users use any of these fancy shmancy gadgets and apps.
I’ve used Agilent/Keysight’s Benchvue software on my iPad, to stream realtime signals from my 34461A multimeters, and it worked great, except for a few unresolvable connection glitches. I still control these and other test equipment devices from my iPad from time to time, but mostly just use my desktop these days.
Tools are getting more sophisticated, and there are lots of new gadgets that can tap into your smartphone. Some, like the Seek Thermal and Flir ONE devices, take advantage of smartphones’ displays, cameras, and processing capabilities to create a richer user experience.
There are new gadgets, gizmos, and apps coming out all the time. But do you actually use any of them?
So the big question is this: do you use your smartphone or tablet in any part of your tool-related work or projects? If the answer is yes, please tell us about how they’re a part of your work! And if not, would you? What kind of new innovations would change your mind?