Motorola's enterprise mobility unit today announced the launch of the MC55 family of enterprise digital assistants (EDAs), which will be displayed during next week's IWCE show in Las Vegas as the replacement to the company's discontinued MC50 line.

Featuring a 3.5-inch color QVGA touch screen and a full keyboard, the pocket-sized MC55 line is Motorola's smallest mobile computer offering. Designed for scan-intensive environments requiring data capture, the MC55 EDAs also enable one-to-one or one-to-many push-to-talk communications enabled by the voice-over-IP (VoIP) client included in the devices' Total Enterprise Access and Mobility (TEAM) Express solution, said Sheldon Safir, director of product marketing for Motorola's enterprise mobility business.

"We're increasing the functionality of the worker with one device that replaces several others," Safir said during an interview with Urgent Communications.

There are two versions of MC55 devices. For workers that are typically indoors, the MC5590 enables 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN connectivity. Employees that need mobile connectivity in the field may opt for the MC5574, which includes wireless LAN connectivity (802.11b/g, but not 802.11a) and wide-area connectivity to GPRS/EDGE networks. Both devices feature Bluetooth v2.0 connectivity.

With 128 MB RAM and 256 MB of ROM, the MC55 devices enable use of database applications and the ability to store data captured by the devices' 1D/2D bar-code scanning capability or the optional, 2-megapixel color camera. While boasting the form factor of consumer device, the MC55 devices are rugged, Safir said.

"It should be rugged enough for public-safety use," he said. "It is not military spec, but it's [designed to survive] a four-foot drop to concrete and IP54 sealed."

In addition to first responders, Motorola believes the MC55 family will be popular with other government employees, healthcare professionals, field-service workers and retail/warehouse personnel.

"We believe there is a great market for this device—partially because of its form factor and partially because of its functionality," Safir said.