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Bluebird Pidion BIP-6000

Versatile, highly configurable rugged handheld runs Windows CE/Windows Mobile OR Android
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

The Pidion line of rugged and industrial handhelds is made by Bluebird, a Korean company that has been in the mobile computer hardware business since 1998. Specializing in products serving enterprise mobility (AIDC) and payment industries, Bluebird's offerings also include bardcode scanners, RFID readers, and printer-integrated handhelds. The BIP-6000 described on this page is the company's entry into rugged industrial handhelds with optional gun-style handle.

The Pidion BIP-6000 is a PDA-style ruggedized handheld computer that also comes in a pistol grip/RFID reader version (called the BIP-6000MaxID) for data capture-intensive applications. Offering exceptional versatility in terms of optional configurations, the BIP-6000 is a bit larger than it looks, but it's still a fairly compact device. Its resistive touch screen measures 3.5 inches diagonally (same as an iPhone), and, interestingly, is listed as coming either with full 480 x 640 pixel VGA or just 240 x 320 pixel QVGA resolution. The 6000 also has two keyboard options, one a shiftable 29-key numeric, the other a 49-key QWERTY thumb-type design. Each also has scanner buttons as well as phone answer and hang-up buttons.

On the technology side, the Pidion is built on mature vertical market mobile computing hardware (though it holds a surprise in software). For processing power, the BIP-6000 relies on the powerful 806MHz version of the competent Marvell PXA320 chip. This is the fastest and most comprehensive version of the PXA processors that have been used in Pocket PCs and Windows Mobile handhelds for many years. On the software side, the 6000 Series comes standard with Windows Mobile 6.1, but you can also get the slightly more modern Windows Mobile 6.5 and—surprise—Android. Yes, this relatively venerable platform appears to be capable of running Android, even though Android, like Apple's iOS, is really designed for capacitive touch screens, and not resistive ones.

The picture above shows the BIP-6000MaxID version of the platform that includes a pistol grip for comfortable extended scanning, and also a separate UHF or LF RFID reader. Standard versions of the BIP-6000 include either a 1D/PDF417 Class II laser scanner or a 1D/2D CMOS imager, with a high density imager optional. The device also comes with an integrated 3-megapixel auto-focus camera with an illuminator light, and an extra-bright LED flash optional. This won't replace a dedicated digital camera, but can be used for close-ups and asset condition documentation.

For wireless connectivity, the BIP-6000 comes with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and either single band 802.11b/g or dual band 802.11a/b/g WiFi. Optional 3.5G wireless broadband and integrated GPS allow both real-time voice and data communication as well as fleet management, route accounting and other GPS-assisted applications.

The BIP-6000 is a rugged device that can handle multiple six-foot drops onto steel, has an unusually wide operating temperature range from minus 22 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, and carries IP65 sealing, which means it is totally sealed against dust an can also handle low-pressure water jets from all directions. The unit's Li-Ion battery packs a powerful 16.3 watt-hours, with an even punchy 19.25 watt-hour extended battery also available.

Bluebird designed the BIP-6000 as an all-purpose ruggedized handheld that can handle scanning and data capture as easily as voice and data communications, RFID reading or GPS-based applications. And now it even serves as a test bed for using this type of device with the Android operating platform.

As of February 2016, the BIP-6000 is listed as an active product on the mypideon.com website, but Android is no longer listed as an OS option.

Specifications Bluebird Pidion BIP-6000
Added/changed Added 02/2012, updated 02/2016
Form-factor Rugged handheld computer
CPU Speed Marvell PXA320/806 MHz
OS Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1; optional: Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
RAM/ROM 256MB/512-1024MB
Card slots 1 user-accessible micro-SDHC (up to 32GB), 1 SIM, 1 SAM
Display type Backlit TFT with 262k colors
Display size/res 3.5"/240 x 320 pixels, or
3.5"/480 x 640 pixels
Digitizer/pens Analog resistive touch
Keyboard/keys 29-key numeric or 49-key QWERTY
Navigation touch, stylus, keypad
Housing Plastic/rubber
Operating Temp -22° to 140°F (-30° to 60°C)
Sealing IP65
Shock Multiple 6 foot drops to steel surface
Vibration MIL-STD 810F, Method 514.5, Procedure I&II
Altitude MIL-STD 810F, Method 500.4, Procedure I, II & III, 15,000 ft at 23°C/73°
Size (WxHxD) 3.1 x 6.9 x 1.4 inches (80 x 160 x 36 mm)
Weight 14.4 oz. (407g) with standard battery
Power Rechargeable 3.7V/4,400mAH Li-Ion; extended 3.7V/5,200mAH Li-Ion available
Interface USB 2.0 host and client, RS232, Ethernet (via cradle)
Wireless 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g WiFi (Cisco CCX v4 certified), Bluetooth Class II v2.1 + EDR, IrDA 1.2, GSM /GPRS /eGPRS /UMTS /HSDPA, optional A-GPS
Camera 3.0-megapixel autofocus with illuminator
Sensors Integrated G-sensor
Scanner 1D Class II laser scanner or 1D/2D CMOS imager; optional high density imager
Safety Unknown
EMI Unknown
RF Unknown
ESD Unknown
Price Inquire
Product brochure BIP-6000 specs (PDF)
Web page www.mypidion.com