Rapid advancements are under way today in the field of mobile computing in policing. The first generation of mobile data terminals has been replaced by successive generations of more capable mobile data computers. Today, mobile data are quickly moving toward handheld wireless devices such as tablet computers and smartphones, many of which are more portable and functional than laptops for police officers in the field.
Mobile applications for identifying pharmaceutical drugs, language translation, blood-alcohol calculators, and many others relevant to police officers are already available, with new applications emerging at a staggering pace. The potential to place these resources in the hands of police officers in the field is vastly increased by the emergence of smartphones and tablets.