Many police departments, on the other hand, have experimented more with laptop and tablet technologies, and thus have drawn more attention from commercial vendors offering applications and hardware packages. In order for fire department units to take advantage of the more cost-effective consumer-grade tablet device, we will need to see a stronger ecosystem of apps develop to further the utility of these devices when firefighters bring these devices into the field.
One FD IT department we spoke with expressed the challenge this has presented for their department in deploying tablets. This unit explained that they would likely deploy Android tablets – largely because the application Streetwise CADlink™ is currently available for this OS. The Streetwise CADlink™ was developed by Hangar 14 Solutions – a company led by firefighting veteran Phil Kouwe.