If you're in Chevy or Dodge's truck division, this has to be one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. Ford unveiled today its new mobile office system in the custom "General Contractor" F-250 Super Duty on display at SEMA.
The mobile office package, which goes on sale in 2006, is a built-in computer with GPS, wireless broadband, digital camera and printer that is designed to allow a contractor to bid jobs, order and purchase parts and materials, and process payments while 'on location' from their truck.
The centerpiece of the system is a Stargate Mobile ruggedized touch-screen tablet computer mounted in a cradle over the transmission tunnel. A general-purpose Windows XP-based PC, the unit can be easily interfaced with a variety of peripheral devices, including a digital camera, a credit card scanner, GPS (as input to navigation software) and a broadband wireless cellular PCMCIA card. Better still, the computer is easily removed from the cradle to carry with you at the job site.
Technically, there?s nothing remarkable here. What is remarkable is the the integration of the technology into a factory option package - hats off to Ford!