Gylling Data Management, Inc.
Providing Research Software Solution Since 1982!
 

 

What is the Tablet Data Collector?

ARM Tablet Data Collector (TDC) is a Windows 10 touch tablet computer plus the Tablet Data Collector add-in running within ARM version 2016 or newer. Use TDC to record all trial information at the trial site directly into the actual ARM trial.
 
Features include:
  • Software display is optimized for collecting assessment data.
  • Includes integrated touch number keypad.
  • Takes pictures directly into ARM trial.
  • Renames pictures as "trial ID_treatment number_assessment date_plot number".
  • Records GPS coordinates of trial.
  • Accepts all trial site details, even summary and conclusions.
  • Offers immediate data quality checks, graphs, full statistical analysis.
  • Conveniently sized hardware that is readable in direct sunlight.
  • Quick-saves trial changes automatically to backup SD card after the last assessment for each plot.
  • Trial is saved into a temporary folder on the SD card, so trial can be recovered if the tablet should ever be damaged or fail after entering assessments.
  • Saves backup of trial and all pictures to SD card after clicking Save in ARM.
  • Includes a "smart" USB to USB transfer cable with built-in transfer software to copy ARM trials and images between your main PC and the tablet. The transfer software is an easy to use transfer method that runs without requiring administrator permissions, and is supported by GDM. (We currently use "Cables to Go 39941 USB 2.0 Windows Driverless Transfer Cable".)
  • Includes WiFi to connect tablet with a wireless internet connection, which is required to keep TDC, ARM, and customizations up-to-date.
  • Includes Bluetooth and a standard USB connection, thus providing you with other self-supported methods you may use to connect the tablet with other devices or your network of choice.
 
ARM trial management software is sold separately by Gylling Data Management, Inc. (GDM).
 
For more information go to the Tablet Data Collector page or the Tablet Data Collector brochure (pdf).
 
 

What do I receive with a Tablet Data Collector?

The Tablet Data Collector includes:

  • A Windows 10 Professional tablet
  • ARM software
  • Your ARM license installed, and ST license (if applicable)
  • USB sync cable to connect your main PC with TDC
  • 64 GB microSD backup card
 
 

Why does GDM only sell TDC on certain tablets?

We reviewed available Windows 10 Professional tablets in January 2016, and selected the Juniper Systems Mesa2 Tablet for these reasons:
  • Good battery life of 8 hours use before recharging, and can expand to 12 hours with optional Extended Battery with Hot Swap capability.
  • Good outdoor screen readability.
  • Smaller 7-inch screen size and included hand strap reduces fatigue when using for an extended period of time.
  • Camera exceeds minimum effective resolution requirement of 5 megapixels.
  • Screen resolution is sufficient to support "Aero Snap" of camera so it displays on the same screen as ARM

    (tablets with less than 1366 pixel horizontal resolution cannot).
  • Does not have vents or a CPU cooling fan so is no issue with dust or pollen getting pulled inside the tablet while in the field. It also works to put TDC in a "zipper" type plastic food storage bag to protect from rain, dust, or pollen during data collection.
  • The manufacturer is a global company with an excellent track record.
  • Good value for the price.
  • Durability is second-to-none (military-spec certified even when ports are in use; also similar to the original Psion LZ and Workabout).
 
GDM and GDM Representatives will continue to review Windows 10 Pro tablets, so there may be additional choices for future field seasons as tablet manufacturers release new models.
 
 

What can TDC do that ARM alone or Workabout Pro with Enhanced Rating Shell cannot do?

Feature TDC* ARM w/o TDC WAP w/ERS**
Collect and modify all supported trial information at trial site Yes Yes No
Take pictures with built-in camera Yes Depends on the tablet No
Automatically link picture to the associated plot, and rename
attached picture to associate with trial, treatment, plot, and assessment date
Yes No No
Ensure typed assessment values are in a valid range, such as 0-100% Yes, from
Rating Unit or
ARM Action Code 
Yes No
Single key press to enter 1 digit assessment scale values (0-9) Yes No No
Embedded touch number keypad for data entry Yes No No
One-touch shortcut keys to enter 100, 0, mark missing data, or
copy down the same value as above
Yes No No
Optimized assessment data entry with:
- zoom for improved visibility in bright sunlight
- simplified assessment header and plot description
Yes No No
Defaults to "blind" assessment by hiding treatment number during data entry Yes No No
Wizard to set cursor order across columns, so pressing Enter
key advances cursor to next logical assessment data entry cell
Yes No No
Perform data quality checks immediately after data entry
AOV Means Table
Mean Comparison
Box-whisker graph
Assessment Map
Heterogeneity
and
Normality checks
Yes
Treatment mean
and
Standard deviation
only
Directly record GPS coordinates of trial corners Yes No No
Offer full ARM dictionaries so valid data entry codes are used Yes Yes No
Uses same interface as ARM Yes Yes No
Automatically saves assessment data at end of each plot Yes No No
Automatically copies trial to SD backup card at trial close Yes If configured by user No, must
manually backup
Includes stylus (pen) Yes Depends on the tablet Yes
Includes built-in WiFi, integrated GPS, USB port Yes Depends on the tablet No
Rated usage time on a full battery charge 8 hours Depends on the tablet 8-14 hours
Water resistant and dust-proof
Yes
Depends on the tablet Yes
Operating temperature range
-20° to 50°C
(-4° to 122°F)
Depends on the tablet
-10° to 50°C
(14°F to 122°F)
Ruggedized unit or case Yes Depends on the tablet Yes
Requires ARM license Yes Depends on the tablet Yes
 
*TDC = ARM Tablet Data Collector
WAP w/ ERS = Psion Workabout Pro with Enhanced Rating Shell
**This unit is obsolete and not supported, but is used for comparison.
ARM = Standard ARM without the Tablet Data Collector add-in
 
 

Why not just install and use ARM on my own Windows tablet for data collection?

Although ARM may install on a particular Windows tablet, there are a variety of things to consider before using a Windows tablet for data collection:
  • One ARM license may be installed on one computer. Tablet Data Collector hardware does not count towards this limit, allowing for an additional installation of your ARM license without an additional license purchase.
  • Image auto-capture to automatically link pictures to plots is only on Tablet Data Collector.
  • Automatic capture of GPS is only available on Tablet Data Collector.
  • Automatic trial save after entering the last value for each plot is only available on Tablet Data Collector.
  • The tablet may not include integrated GPS (many tablets do not).
  • With Tablet Data Collector there is a GDM-supported and easy to use method to copy ARM trials and images between your main PC and the tablet, through a "smart" USB to USB transfer cable that has built-in transfer software which can be run without administrator permissions.
  • The tablet may have the RT version of Windows, not the Windows 8+ Professional required to run Windows desktop programs such as ARM.
  • If your tablet has Windows 7, ARM runs noticeably slower than on a Windows 8+ tablet. Windows 8+ support touch at the operating system level, so touch works more smoothly and consistently across all programs. Attempting to upgrade a Windows 7 tablet to Windows 8+ may not be supported by the tablet manufacturer, or even prevented by the hardware.
  • Tablets with less than 1366 pixel horizontal screen resolution cannot dock the Windows camera app beside ARM, which is a very convenient and efficient way to take plot pictures.
  • GDM cannot provide support for hardware or data transfers to and from a user-configured tablet, that is available on Tablet Data Collector.
 
See Can I use a tablet computer as my primary ARM PC? for information to consider before using a tablet for all ARM tasks.
 
 

Will GDM activate Tablet Data Collector features on a tablet that I purchased myself?

Hardware requirements for GDM to install TDC on a client-purchased tablet computer are:
Required features:
  1. Windows version 10/8.1/8.0.
  2. Is a touch screen computer.
  3. Supports ARM backup configured on a 32 GB or larger SD card, or comparable always-connected external storage such as a low-profile USB.
Recommended features:
  1. Rear facing camera at least 5 MP resolution: if computer does not have a camera, then TDC will not support Tablet Image Capture.
  2. Built-in GPS: if computer does not have GPS, then TDC will not support Tablet GPS.
TDC units sold by GDM include all five of these hardware features.
 
GDM will provide support on software and hardware questions during the tablet computer expected life, which is 2 years for a tablet with a 1 or 2 year hardware warranty, or 3 years for a tablet with 3 year hardware warranty - see TDC End-User License Agreement (EULA) (pdf) for details.
 
Many tablet units will continue to work beyond the GDM support period, however they no longer have free TDC support from GDM. As long as the ARM license is current, then there is no TDC renewal fee on the original hardware, and TDC features continue working on that hardware after the support period ends.
 
You can purchase one (1) Tablet Data Collector for each Full or Technician ARM license that you own.
 
 

How many Tablet Data Collectors can I purchase to use with my ARM license?

You can purchase one (1) Tablet Data Collector for each Full or Technician ARM license that you own. The TDC will be configured with your ARM license.
 
 

Will the Tablet Data Collector be offered for Apple or Android tablets?

Tablet Data Collector (TDC) software is based on ARM, which is developed using programming tools that are only supported on Windows computers. Thus, only computers that run Windows operating system can run Tablet Data Collector software.

 

Porting TDC and ARM to Apple or Android operating system would take many person-years of development. With the number of clients who have currently expressed interest, an Apple or Android version of TDC would cost at least 10 times more than a Windows version.

 
 

Can I check email and/or install other programs on the TDC?

Yes. All TDC tablets include a Windows Professional operating system, which allows other programs, such as Microsoft Office products or other mail clients, to be installed on the tablet. A limitation to which programs on your main PC can also be installed is how much free space the hard drive has on the tablet.
 
Although it is possible to install these other programs, there are some things to consider before planning to use the TDC tablet for anything more than data collection and light internet and/or email use. See Can I use a tablet computer as my primary ARM PC? for more information.
 
 

What is the 'Mobile broadband' option for TDC?

'Mobile broadband' is an optional add-on to the tablet hardware for a Tablet Data Collector that allows the tablet to connect to the Internet from any location where cellular service is available, similar to a smartphone. Click here for more information about mobile broadband from Microsoft's website.
 
This feature allows the researcher to use a browser at the trial site to find information about making a certain type of assessment, or identifying a target pest or crop stage. After making the assessments, the researcher can also immediately upload the trial and pictures to cloud storage (such as Dropbox), or email the updated trial and pictures back to their office.
  • If a smartphone that offers "Hotspot" capability is available, it works to use the smartphone as a hotspot instead of buying Mobile Broadband for the TDC. The tablet can be connected to the smartphone via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a USB cable to provide this functionality.
 
Select the 'Mobile broadband' option on the Order Form to include this feature when ordering a Tablet Data Collector. The researcher configures Mobile Broadband after they recieve the unit from GDM. Please note that this requires a mobile broadband subscription from a provider such as AT&T or Verizon.
 
 

Tablet Data Collector Brochure

The Tablet Data Collector Brochure (pdf) describes general features of Tablet Data Collector software. Use our order form to order a Tablet Data Collector.