Durabook Predicts Emerging Trends for the Rugged Device Market in 2024

Identifying emerging opportunities within the rugged technology sector is always a guessing game. However, as a leading manufacturer of rugged mobile devices, Durabook has a unique insight into the trends that will likely dominate the market for the year ahead.

Having experienced a 20% uplift in sales across various sectors, we have reason to be optimistic for the year ahead. Here, we share some of our observations from the past 12 months, highlighting our top five trends that we expect to see shaping the rugged technology sector in 2024.

Military and Defence Sector Investment Will Remain Strong

Increased aerospace and defense spending budgets have resulted in strong investment in technology. This includes investment in the Internet of Military Things (IoMT) and technology that improves situational awareness on the battlefield.

Durabook experienced an 11% uplift in sales for the military and defense sector, and we expect to see continued requirements and spending across several territories in the year ahead to support the digitization within these sectors. We also anticipate more emphasis on information technology integration for drone, real-time imaging, telemetry and surveillance applications.

Utilities and Natural Resource Demands Will Rise

Last year saw an increased appetite across various territories from the natural resource sector, especially mining and oil-gas industries. This resulted in an uplift in sales of Durabook’s R8 fanless 8” fully rugged tablet with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, which is designed to meet the rigorous challenges of working in explosive and hazardous environments.

Demand also proved strong across the utilities sector, and specifically field service application across the power and marine industries, which we expect to see continue into 2024. Additionally, sectors such as automotive with greater field and in-car testing offer good potential for growth this year. The growing appetite for tech that meets the increasingly complex digital needs of ‘smart factories’ across Europe will also keep the market buoyant.

Public Sector Investment Could Bounce Back

Generally speaking, across Europe, big projects that were linked to public spending have been impacted by wider economic factors in terms of levels of investment. Sector activities where state spending played a significant part, including construction, automotive, light industry and food, have all seen initiatives stalled, but we foresee activity bouncing back in 2024.

More generally, commercial and industrial companies have been affected by increased costs and reduced availability of capital (debt). Manufacturing was also affected by over stocking of component products after the shortages of 2020-22, consequently tying up working capital in stock. We hope to see a positive shift over the next 12 months.

Customization Will Continue

The rugged devices market has witnessed increasing demand for customized solutions that cater to industry-specific needs. For example, some companies require devices that can withstand extreme temperatures, while others need those with extended battery life. Organizations are receptive to the continuous updating of CPU platform technology and the implementation of customized expansion I/O ports tailored for different application scenarios.

In today’s business world, robust equipment is essential. In many industries from hospitality and retail to logistics, employees are becoming more flexible and need robust devices that ensure high performance in adverse conditions in any situation.

5G and Artificial Intelligence Will Wield More Power

The deployment of 5G technology and artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changer for the rugged devices market and spans several sectors. This brings about a whole new level of connectivity and data transfer capabilities, which will only become more prominent over the year ahead.

In healthcare, for example, 5G-enabled rugged devices can be used to transmit patient data in real time, while in logistics and transportation, this technology can enable more efficient tracking and management of goods, resulting in faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction. For construction workers, rugged devices with 5G capabilities can be used to transmit data and images from job sites, allowing project managers to monitor progress and make informed decisions.

The need for rugged 5G smartphones, tablets and laptops will increase in 2024 but another trend in the rugged devices market is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) technology into these devices. AI can assist field technicians and engineers by saving time and costs on process documentation and repair by enabling predictive maintenance. Engineers can implement AI to forecast a system fault and take proactive measures to avoid failure. This can lead to speedier maintenance, improved performance, and less downtime.


As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more rugged devices that are smarter, more efficient, and more reliable entering the market as they become increasingly crucial tools for various industries.

Durabook is committed to helping companies to make informed decisions, choosing the best rugged devices to improve their operations and stay ahead of the competition.

If you have any inquiries regarding our products and services, please contact us.