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18 June 2012

UPS rolls out latest DIAD terminal

Just over twenty years after pioneering the use of handheld data capture terminals by parcel delivery drivers, carrier UPS has started rolling out a new generation of terminals worldwide. It says it will have 100,000 in use by 2013.

The latest model, which has been developed by Honeywell, is said to be the first in the industry to use Gobi radio technology, which allows instant switching between mobile network carriers if the primary carrier’s signal is lost.

UPS is still using the name DIAD to describe the terminals (it stands for Delivery Information Acquisition Device). The name helped to establish the concept in an era when they were a novelty, though these days such terminals are almost universal in the parcels industry.

In UPS terms, this latest version is the DIAD V. It replaces DIAD IV, which was rolled out between 2006 and 2007, and was developed by Symbol – the company taken over by Motorola at around the same time.

UPS says the new model is around half the size and weight of the DIAD IV, is more durable and holds more data. It has a clearer and larger display, a versatile barcode scanner and faster Wi-Fi support (65 mbps) to allow larger and richer content downloads such as training videos.

Other features are reported to include a multi-dimensional imager that can decode many symbologies, including existing UPS linear barcodes and the UPS MaxiCode; and expanded memory to support driver training and future applications including navigation.

UPS has used various manufacturers to produce its DIAD terminals over the years. Before Symbol was appointed to produce the DIAD IV, there were reports that a version by Palm was being developed (this was in the days when Palm was still a contender in the PDA market).



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