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Personal Digital Assistants, also known as Handheld computers, have been around for a number of years. However, in recent years the technology improved to the extent that complex applications and system can be designed to run on them. In South Africa, there exists a vast market of untapped potential for applications making use handheld computers. Due to the rugged nature of these devices, they are very suitable for use in harsh environments, providing a longer useful life for the devices, ensuring a better return on investment.

Fischer Consulting developed a number of applications and systems making use of handheld computers. Fischer Consulting developed applications that can easily be customised for various clients detailed below.

Medical Consultation

Fischer Consulting developed a software application on a handheld computer for the use by medical practitioners to assist with capturing patient consultation data. The choice for the handheld computer was specifically made for practitioners that perform their duties in remote places and outdoors. The application was designed to allow for the location and time of the contact to be recorded by making use of the GPS receiver on the device. It further provides complete audit functionality for each consultation allowing for the transfer of information to contactless Smart Cards for each patient. In addition the application can also capture the digital signature of the healthcare practitioner for each consultation.

REMCOM application

REMCOM™ is the roadside module of TRAFMAN™ that assists traffic or police officers at a roadblock or roadside. The need for such a system arose due to the large percentage of offenders ignoring traffic notices and summonses to appear in court. Fischer Consulting demonstrated our capability to integrate and query multiple data sources or databases displaying driver or vehicle information as obtained from eNatis, and for the issuing and printing notices /summonses or scanned warrants of arrests at the roadside where applicable.

The REMCOM™ eliminates the need for cumbersome hardware previously associated with roadblocks and provides a traffic officer with a fully portable solution capable of performing the same tasks as in previous versions on a fully portable platform. The system is a fully wireless system, making use of GSM, WiFi or Bluetooth to connect to servers, printers and other accessories, further enhancing its portability.

Water and electricity meter readings

Fischer Consulting developed a product that is designed to work on any Windows Mobile handheld computer that contains a GPS and an imager for use by meter readers to capture meter reading data for water and electricity meters. The system is designed to preload the specific meters that a reader should visit, capture the details including a photograph and GPS coordinate to verify the validity of the reading. The system interfaces with a server that can download the data to the billing or accounting system of a municipality. The system is currently in use by two major Metropolitan municipalities.

Parking meter management

The system comprises of state-of-the-art parking terminals using the latest modern technologies to collect the payments for parking bays. Furthermore, the system maps the status of parking bays on a back end system and by means of a GIS it can direct law enforcement directly towards parking bays where transgression occurred. It also assists the Traffic Warden to identify unoccupied parking bays. The Traffic Warden is equipped with a hand held computer to issue the AARTO 31 notice in respect of an unattended vehicle where a parking transgression occurred.