Appareo released a new product, the Appareo Grip iPad controller, that enables more seamless interaction between iPad displays and off-road equipment. The Appareo device has completed extensive field testing, is entering production, and is available this year.

As more operators of off-highway equipment have become frustrated with low fidelity displays and poor display performance, they have sought to have smooth interaction between their personal portable electronics and the machinery they operate. Manufacturers are responding to this interest with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi interfaces and companion apps for machines. These apps connect with the machine in real time and allow operators to receive information from, and interact with, their machinery. Unfortunately it can be very difficult to interact effectively with touch screen devices because gloved hands cannot create responsive button presses on iPads, and the vibration of the machine makes contact with the application buttons or user interfaces challenging. Moreover, long hours of operating the equipment during peak periods of equipment use, when these supporting devices may be needed most, often exhausts the iPad’s battery life.

The Appareo Grip iPad controller overcomes these challenges by:

• providing convenient direction pad and finger button interfaces that provide inputs to the app over Bluetooth, allowing gloved operators to interact effectively with iPad capacitive touchscreens;

• delivering a surface for steadying the operator’s hand while interacting with the display during machine operation;

• possessing a sun shade to improve device visibility in sunny conditions;

• effectively securing the iPad under vibratory load while furnishing a standard mounting pattern for interface to all manner of ball/socket or suction cup mounts;

• charging the iPad during use.

“Appareo strongly believes that portable electronic devices like iPads and smartphones have a strong role to play in the operation of, and interaction with, off-highway equipment. We all have smartphones and tablets at the intersection of our personal and professional lives. They carry our email, or social networking, our photos, our presentations, et cetera. As much as we expect these devices to interface and interact with our personal lives, our professional lives, and our automobiles, increasingly operators expect these devices to interact with their machinery as well," said David Batcheller, President & CEO of Appareo.

Appareo Grip is designed to work effectively with Appareo’s award-winning line of telematically-enabled electronic control units (ECUs) or as a stand-alone device.