... while Pocket PC proves versatile

US police are carrying the day’s wanted list in their pockets, mining industry personnel can refer to daily drilling reports out on the road, and researchers are throwing away paper survey forms.

These developments are not only the result of faster processing and increased memory in hand-held computers, they also are a direct consequence of one man’s public sector appointment.

As Commissioner for WorkSafe WA, Neil Bartholomaeus became increasingly aware of the need for mobile computer support across a range of industries.

“There was very little substantial support in the field for workers in mining, construction or agriculture and on factory floors,” Mr Bartholomaeus said.

“People had to leave their information support behind.”

So, in late 1998, Mr Bartholomaeus set up CreativityCorp to develop software for mobile computing applications. Against a plethora of personal organisers, the company set out to produce a ready supply of business and industry applications.

At first the company produced custom-made applications using C++, but soon realised the programs were expensive to develop and could not be adapted by an industry user without C++ programming skills.

As a result, Pocket PC Creations was launched earlier this year, to offer software that non-programmers could use to develop their own applications.

Mr Bartholomaeus believes not only that the software is unique, but the service to potential customers is as well, as it enables them to download a free training program and trial software from the Pocket PC website.

Certainly there have been plenty of takers for both the pre-packaged physiotherapy and breathalyser applications, as well as those that can be custom built by the end-user.

Large international mining companies are looking at potential applications, the Princess Margaret Children’s Medical Research Foundation is using the software to replace paper survey forms, and traffic and crime police are creating mobile databases with it.

And there has been no shortage of marketing partners willing to jump on board. Physiotherapy International, WorkSafe International, Q Technology and Occupa-tional Safety International are partners, while Mr Bartholomaeus said both Compaq and Microsoft WA had shown “strong interest”.

Q Technology general manager Barry Hatton described the software as “revo-lutionary”, saying Q Technology not only promoted and marketed the software but also assisted companies to integrate their hand-held applications with their desktop computer networks.

Mr Bartholomaeus is not surprised at the interest. “Customers can build as many applications as they like and on-sell these. Any buyers just need to purchase our software,” he said.

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