HANDHELD PARKING ENFORCEMENT NEW MOBILE TREND IN PARKING ENFORCEMENT
29 Jan 2014
GTECHNA REINVENTS THE MODERN MOBILE EXPERIENCE FOR PARKING ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
Plattsburgh, New York, January 28, 2014. In the past few months several parking enforcement agencies have been gravitating toward Android™ platform devices rather than the rugged Windows® handheld solution when upgrading parking management software. Agencies like the City of Niagara Falls, City of Clarington and City of Galveston are choosing the new Android™ platform for two major reasons: ease-of-use and cost. “We are delighted with our new parking solution using the Android™ Samsung Galaxy S® 4 as an enforcement device.
Our Parking Enforcement Officers (PEOs) like it because it is easy to use, reliable and reduces the amount of equipment to carry; the Galaxy also offers the municipality a more affordable alternative for handheld parking enforcement, with significant savings over manual systems or traditional dedicated handheld units” stated Anne Greentree, Deputy Clerk for the Municipality of Clarington, Ontario.
A growing number of cities are including Android™ devices on their technology road maps. The city of Niagara Falls, Ontario is another such client embracing this trend with the Samsung Galaxy Note® 3. “We believe this device will be a great enforcement solution because of the variety of other possible applications. With all the free apps—e-mail, texting, phone, stylus etc.—enforcement personnel will be empowered to enter new frontiers in parking enforcement”, commented Sergio Mastronardi, gtechna Chief Technology Officer.
gtechna’s existing customers such as the Washington D.C. Parking Enforcement and Management Administration (PEMA) and Pittsburgh Parking Authority are slowly incorporating Android™ technology within handheld parking enforcement services while customers like Baltimore are preparing to add Android™ in the next few months. PEMA in Washington D.C. are currently using an Android™ mobile application for e Ticketing running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab® 2 7.0.
The Android™ operating system (OS) has made inroads into the commercial marketplace making waves in a sector traditionally dominated by Microsoft’s Windows™ mobile operating system. The decline of portable PCs has hastened the arrival of a replacement market with mobile devices. Technology think tank IDC, now predicts that tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year. The far-reaching influence of durable consumer grade mobile devices has spilled over into a typically rugged commercial domain creating a paradigm shift in commercial sectors such as Parking Enforcement, an industry where rugged devices have historically gone unchallenged. In the past, rugged handheld devices used scaled down versions of Microsoft Windows® making them—for all intents and purposes—an extension of the portable PC. As a result, the user experience has been impacted by the constraints of form over function.
Increasingly, agencies are requesting prosumer devices like the Samsung Galaxy S® 4 Active™ or consumer Smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note® 3 which have ample screen real estate. “gtechna is decoupling the need for agencies to buy software and hardware together. We offer all customers the possibility to buy prosumer or consumer devices directly from their carrier, that way they get the best possible deal”, commented Mike Bourre Vice President of Sales & Marketing, further adding that “another trend we are seeing is cities wanting more than one type of enforcement solution. For example, PEOs might have a tablet or standard enforcement device while managers use a Smartphone device—specific devices for specific needs.”
The new generation of mobile OS developers has identified a gap in the quality of user experience in a mobile context. Having excelled and, arguably, perfected a more intuitive mobile computing experience has not only allowed mobile OEMs to overtake the portable PC market, mobile OS developers are now serving a new segment, the commercial user, with rapidly growing success.
“These business apps are built from the ground up. End-users can immediately sense that this is a native mobile app. The Officer™ user experience brings the familiarity of the Android™ consumer device to a professional enforcement environment that feels at once natural and, more efficient than older iterations of mobile computing. Ergonomic swipe, pinch and multi-touch gestures cut learning curves and training to almost nothing” commented Michel Guay president and CEO at gtechna. “The new mobile OS players have provided gtechna with a platform to showcase the extent to which Officer™ Parking offers a feature-rich modern experience for parking agencies and end-users.”