12 million meters to be read using handheld devices


Warrington, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 10, 2006 – E.ON Energy Services has awarded a contract to Hand Held Products, a provider of image-based data collection solutions, for hundreds of Dolphin® 9500 mobile computers, which were sourced and supplied by Spirit Data Capture Limited.

The utility reads gas and electric meters in over 12 million UK households each year. Its Metering Services section recently started to explore alternative data capture devices.

“We wanted a rugged device to which we could add complementary technology,” said David Collard, Head of Technical Support, Data Retrieval. “It also needed to be easy to maintain.”

E.ON’s procurement team appointed Spirit Data Capture, an independent consultancy specializing in automated data collection, as its supplier. Spirit proposed the Dolphin 9500 mobile computer from Hand Held Products. It incorporates state-of-the-art wireless technology with a triple-radio design that offers real time data collection.

“We opted for the Dolphin following our meter reader evaluation trials,” said Collard. “We like its robustness, its ergonomics, and the processor it uses. It also works well with our meter reading software. The trial group thought that it was well designed, and that the screen was both clear and responsive.”

E.ON will be rolling out several hundred Dolphins over a three-year period. Meter readers will initially use modems to transmit data from the Dolphins, but GPRS will be used to transmit data instantly from the field in due course.