Mobile computers have been around for at least the last 30 years. Essentially they are a slimmed-down version of a computer with a bar code scanner built into the top of the device. The old clumsy versions ran a slimmed-down version of MS-DOS, while the current versions now run a new version of Android.
These devices are used virtually in all industries, from food to transportation and logistics, to automatically capture information and transmit the relative data either wirelessly or by batch to a host application for further processing.
Originally Symbol was the main manufacturer and supplier of mobile computers. Then Symbol was bought out by Motorola and then later bought out by Zebra Technologies. Now companies like Honeywell and Datalogics also have strong product lines.
A new player on the scene, Keyence, now has a competitive offering that is quite attractive with a very good price point. Keyence is also one of the few manufacturers that actually have products in stock. Lead times are typically 3—6 months otherwise.