iPhone applications take to the road

Dedicated iPhone applications enable field service personnel with an ever-growing array of functionalities. Here are two solutions for technicians to take on the road.

Dedicated iPhone applications enable field service personnel with an ever-growing array of functionalities. Here are two solutions for technicians to take on the road.

PAYware Mobile, www.paywaremobile.com, is a mobile phone electronic payment acceptance solution suitable for field service contractors. The hardware and software application turns a 3G or 3GS iPhone into a secure payment portal, swipe card, and signature capture device, opening up field payments to contractors who have no dedicated payment acceptance device yet in place. The solution uses an ergonomic card encryption sleeve that slips over the iPhone and plugs into the iPhone dock connector. A built-in stylus enables the customer to sign off on the card swipe. Because the application allows field personnel to process payments directly, the contractor is able to avoid high-cost "card-not-present" fees.

Technicians can specify the percent tax for each sale. The solution supports both credit card and "check" card transactions, and credit card transactions are posted immediately. While the application does not include a receipt printer, the user can configure customized receipts and e-mail them to customers. A record of the transaction is accessible for viewing and printing in the application and at the PAYware Connect online portal. The receipts contain all the necessary information required by payment processing regulations and can bear customizable headers and footers.

The PAYware Mobile card reader uses a secure magnetic stripe read-head and firmware certified to the Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS 140-2. Card details are encrypted immediately during the card swipe process, so that no sensitive data reaches the payment application itself, points out the developer, eliminating the possibility of compromise on the iPhone or when data is transmitted over WiFi or cellular wireless.

If a call is received during a payment transaction, the user can answer or decline the call. After an answered call is completed, the user re-enters the password for the application and the transaction can be resumed.

The payment solution uses VeriFone's PAYware Connect, www.verifone.com, payment gateway to process payments and is available through existing bank acquirer and ISO channels as well as directly from VeriFone.

HVAC Toolkit for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch is a compilation of seven iPhone software applications from Carmel, www.carmelsoft.com, that quickly analyze a wide variety of HVAC-related processes. The solution is also compatible with the upcoming Apple iPad tablet computer.

HVAC Duct Size allows a user to performer quick and simple duct sizing analysis. The user specifies the total airflow amount, the aspect ratio and the velocity of air or the friction loss per 100 feet, either by inputting the values directly or using a slider control to increment/decrement the values by a set amount. Results update instantly and include the exact and rounded height and width or diameter and the calculated velocity and friction loss, and other data.

HVAC Psychrometric Plus allows a user to easily perform single-state and mixed-air HVAC psychrometric calculations for a wide range of barometric air pressures by inputting the dry-bulb temperature and the wet-bulb temperature or 22 additional combinations of inputs. There are two separate input modes: "single state," allowing for specifying two psychrometric parameters for a single stream of air; and "mixed air," for specifying two psychrometric parameters for each of two air streams. For both modes, users can quickly toggle through 23 different combinations of the two input parameters and instantly view the calculated results on the same screen.

Steam Tables enable the user to calculate the properties of saturated or superheated steam by specifying two input properties and is also used by the HVAC Pipe Sizer — Steam module. The application accommodates interpolation of all possible input values.

HVAC Pipe Sizer — Liquid module allows a user to size a hydronic pipe run for many different types of liquids (or fluids), pipe material and fitting types. Users can provide inputs for a number of properties, including fluid flow rate, pressure drop, pipe diameter and more.

HVAC Pipe Sizer — Steam utilizes the Steam Tables module and allows a user to size a steam pipe run. If analyzing a new steam pipe system, there's an option to input the initial steam pressure, flow rate, and one of either loss, diameter or velocity. If analyzing an existing pipe system, there's an option to input the existing pipe internal diameter, initial steam pressure and one of either pressure loss or steam velocity parameters. The results immediately update and include the nominal diameter, steam velocity and total pressure loss.

HVAC Pipe Sizer — Gas Low and HVAC Pipe Sizer — Gas High allow the user to quickly size a simple low or high pressure gas piping system by inputting a number of piping and gas properties. Users can take advantage of slider controls for quick increment or decrement of input values and can specify different types of gases, pipe material types, fitting quantities, min and max ranges, and step values.

Bill and Patti Feldman are freelance writers for magazines, trade associations, building product manufacturers and other companies on a broad range of topics. They can be reached at [email protected].