Airlines and MROs are increasingly hopping on the paperless bandwagon, but as tablets become a fixture in the field, how can their usage be optimized for outdoor industrial applications? Startup Qore Performance—which has already broken into the aviation industry with its temperature regulation solutions for MRO and ground support staff—is preparing to release the latest version of its IceCase solution to prevent extreme temperatures from interfering with mobile tablet performance.
IceCase 2 is a rugged case for tablet computers that uses a phase change material component dubbed IceBloq to provide hours of conductive cooling while protecting electronics from condensation and moisture. According to Justin Li, co-founder and CEO of Qore Performance, the technology was originally developed in cooperation with quick service restaurants where employees take orders outdoors—an environment in which tablets regularly overheated in approximately 15-30 mins.
“This is a common and expensive problem for companies because every time a device overheats, it must be placed into cool storage, rebooted and recharged,” says Li. “This downtime is expensive, especially since operators have no control over when the downtime will hit or how long it will last.”
Li says the IceCase 2 not only prevents tablets from shutting down due to overheating, but it preserves and extends battery life, which gives users “significant improvements in uptime and productivity which directly impact the bottom line via asset utilization and profitability.” The IceBloq cooling materials can quickly recharge in a freezer, refrigerator or ice water bath and be used repeatedly. According to Qore Performance, IceCase prototypes kept tablets operational for more than two hours during beta testing in 107F temperatures. Li says IceBloq can be replaced with a heating element for cold weather use.
The company also made design tweaks during beta testing to optimize IceCase’s ruggedness with a closed cell foam structure covered with a hard-shell moldable plastic for impact protection. The case features both a camera port and a lightning port for charging, so a tablet’s full functionality is maintained.
IceCase 2 will be on sale at the end of this month for the iPad Mini and iPad 9.7. Li says the line can easily be expanded to other device types if there is market demand.