SXPad Pro handheld GPS receiver
There are lots of handheld GPS receivers on the market, but the Geneq SXPad Pro is unique in that it uses high-accuracy GPS corrections from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wide Area Augmentation System better than any other available handheld. The result is that it will deliver 60-centimeter (around 2 feet) accuracy in real-time anywhere in the United States, without post-processing.
“We squeeze as much from WAAS that is humanly possible,” said Jean-Yves Lauture, product engineer at Geneq. “We use specially designed algorithms to get the best accuracy and consistency from WAAS that we can think of.”
This capability really helps for mapping infrastructure like utility poles when high-accuracy is important and productivity is critical. Another special feature is the ability to continue using WAAS corrections even when the WAAS satellites are blocked by trees or buildings.
The Pro has the same mapping accuracy as Geneq SX Blue II GPS, which also goes down to 60 centimeters in precision. The Pro has features that users will appreciate, like its bright outdoor-readable screen, 5-megapixel digital camera, SD card slot, and onboard software utilities.
“It’s probably the brightest outdoor display screen I’ve seen,” said Lauture. “It’s tactile and although we include a stylus, you can use your finger or other screen-friendly stylus.”
The screen is one of the largest available among handheld GPS receivers, coming in at a diagonal 3.7 inches, but keeps with the smallness of the device overall. Lauture says the Pro can easily slip into a pocket or tool box for transporting to a work site. It also comes with a polycarbonate carrying case.
The SXPad Pro runs Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro, which includes Mobile Excel and Word.
“We chose Windows Mobile because within the GIS world, there aren’t many GPS/GIS data collection softwares for iOS or Android yet,” said Lauture. “Eventually there’ll be more, but the market isn’t ready yet for a similar handheld running another OS.”
The Pro’s 5-megapixel camera lets users record video or images of areas that are being mapped. The recordings can be tagged to a GPS coordinate within GIS software, which improves database quality. So users can reference site-specific issues and geographic features before going out for servicing.
Rounding out the SXPad Pro are features including an IP65 rating, which means the SXPad Pro is waterproof, but full submersion isn’t recommended. The device is drop-resistant. Data are stored on the Pro’s 512-megabyte memory, which can be expanded by adding an SD memory card. For downloading data, there’s an included USB cable. But on the device itself, the Pro uses a lemo connector.
“A lot of GPS handheld receivers have USB connectors with rubber flaps,” said Lauture. “They break off or get lost. The lemo connectors we use are weatherproof.”