What is a PDA and what is it used for?

Five PDAs from Datalogic's Memor10 family

PDAs have become a must in many types of businesses (logistics, storage, retail, etc.). They facilitate and streamline the work that must be done, and offer various functions, so they are useful for different applications within the same company. Being such an essential instrument, it is time for us to know more about what exactly a PDA is, how it works and what it is used for in the professional field.

What is a PDA

The acronym PDA refers to Personal Digital Assistant. It is a portable terminal of small dimensions that combines both the functionalities of a computer and those of a smartphone. It helps automate processes in an agile and productive way, saving time when carrying out the daily tasks of a company.

They have various characteristics that vary from model to model. Among the main ones are the format (basic or batch, telephone or fullscreen, keyboards, wearable, tablet…), the operating system (Android, Windows…), connectivity (cable or wireless) and the level of robustness, which will depend, above all, on the work environment to which it will be subjected.

How a PDA works

These terminals work, at least essentially, like any mobile phone. Thanks to an operating system, all the applications are launched and allow us to use it according to our needs.

The terminal has several features, such as a touch screen, memory card, connectivity through a USB or wireless port (via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, etc.). In addition, it can usually be synchronized in real time with any other device, such as a computer or a barcode reader, even if it is physically distant.

Among the updates that PDAs have experienced hand in hand with the evolution of technology, the voice recognition system (to be used as a hands-free device), the physical keyboard (offers more comfort and speed) and the incorporation of a camera (to collect the necessary images during the working day) stand out. Also, thanks to a reader or scanner that they have integrated, you can scan the barcodes of the products. With the right software, the PDA itself serves as a barcode reader, to help control the company's merchandise.

What is a PDA for?

A PDA can be used like any mobile phone, but it has many more different uses. They are designed to facilitate the daily operational tasks of a business. Among its functions we can find the collection of data and the control and updating of these, in addition to communicating and sharing them instantly. The inventory records will be always up to date and, in fact, using a PDA minimizes the possibility of making a mistake.

That is, a PDA is used in any process that affects the traceability, control and tracking of merchandise, from the warehouse to its sale, including returns.

We can see PDA in many places, such as supermarkets, warehouses, retail companies and transport agencies, among others. In short, it is an indispensable tool for the area of administration and logistics, especially today, many PDAs are used as POS systems, as they also help manage data outside the company.

If you still have questions about PDAs, contact the Logiscenter technical team and they will help you with everything you need.