Expanding features of a mobile device via accessories isn’t a new idea. LG tried something similar with the G5 last year, and so did Motorola with Moto Z.
Google’s – originally Motorola’s – Project Ara shared similar goals as well, going as far as allowing for an exchangeable camera and processor module. Google abandoned the project as it failed to commercialize it as a consumer product.
Though, that’s Android, and the HP Elite x3 is a Windows 10 Mobile device. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s mobile operating system does not possess enough market share to be relevant for the average consumer. However, it still has its appeal for the enterprise – mostly thanks to HP’s aforementioned device.
The Elite x3 is not a unique device by itself, but it’s ability to run the standard x86 Windows application – like the Office Suite – is unique.
Of course, Microsoft plays a vital role in that – Continuum is, after all, a Windows 10 Mobile feature – but HP built the entire cloud service that makes the feature possible.
HP has launched a new accessory for the Elite x3. The Elite x3 Mobile Retail Solution is a peripheral that clips onto the phone and adds a barcode scanner to it. Additionally, there’s some extra padding to protect it from the occasional drop.
In other words, the phone can now act as a barcode scanner, making it quite unique once again.
Interestingly, HP is solely focusing on the hardware, relying on 3rd party applications for the software to process the barcode information. The scanner itself has a range of up to 16 inches and is rated for IP67, protecting it from the dangers of our environment.
If interested, you can read the detailed specifications over here.
HP is one of the very few OEM’s still trusting Microsoft with Windows 10 Mobile.
Their next device, hopefully, will focus on something more relevant to an average consumer in the current times.