One of the main concerns of our clients with using iPads or tablets in the field is the risk of damage to the devices. While there is not much that will save an iPad (or anything else) if it is run over by a haul truck or loader, a good cover and taking reasonable care will go a long way to protecting the asset.
One of our clients has been using iPads for underground training and assessments for over a year. They have 20 iPad minis in Otterbox defender cases and all are still going strong. Recently, one of the iPads was tested when it was spotted by a curious dingo. The dingoes at this site are quite tech-savvy having managed to “borrow” many smartphones as well as wallets, crib bags and my leather work boots.
The iPad was “borrowed” from near the training office and despite a thorough search on the day, could not be found. A week later, it turned up abandoned outside a nearby contractor’s building covered in dingo saliva and tooth marks where the dogs had tried to get into it. It would probably have been quite entertaining to watch them as every time they touched it the screen would have lit up until going flat.
The cover was taken off, cleaned up and stretched out and the device was recharged. The iPad is absolutely fine and now back to full-time use. Even the cover was reinstalled and is still being used despite carrying the marks of its adventure. So while we can’t guarantee that the tablets will never be damaged, we can be pretty confident that they are dog proof and pretty robust, even in the mining environment.