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Alright... here's praying this is the right place for this question. Frankly, I think it straddles the border between a number of different categories, but maybe ServerFault will embrace it as their own? I've already asked it on StackOverflow and was directed to SuperUser where I didn't get a very complete solution and was again asked to take a hike.

Anyway, here goes.

Our company develops for iPhone, Android, etc, and we're getting to the point where "the drawer" approach is becoming a problem for storing and tracking our test devices.

We have about 20 different devices, and 20-30 people who use them for testing.

Does anyone know of a good physical solution for this? Something better than a sign out sheet next to a row of chargers? I'm envisioning some sort of charging station product with either a built in system for "checking out" a device, or an add-on solution of some sort for that part. Ideally it should be relatively secure (not the pentagon, but something).

I've read the FAQ and, while a specific product would be great, if you feel like that goes against the guidelines, a description of the system you have in place to manage this situation would be great too.


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I think this would be considered off-topic here, as well. However, one idea that comes to mind is, could you develop an app that requires your users to log in when they take one of the devices? So they're all sitting in one area, when you pick one up you have to give a username before it'll work (some simple unlocking), then that name gets registered. –  Ward Dec 20 '11 at 2:58
@Ward - As I commented on the answer, this wouldn't really work unfortunately. That said, I'm less concerned about logging access than I am about the physical solution for charging and securing the phones. Thanks though, good idea! –  DougW Dec 20 '11 at 18:14

1 Answer 1

No-one's voted to close, so I'll make my comment into an answer:

Why not run the check-out on the devices? Since you write apps, write one that locks the device until a user logs in. I wouldn't think it needs to be very secure, since it's being used in-house. To check a device out, the user simply takes it, logs in, and the app can transmit the fact that the device is in use and who's got it.

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Thanks, that's an interesting thought. Unfortunately it wouldn't work for devices like iPhones without jailbreaking them, since they have a hardware button that will exit any running application. –  DougW Dec 20 '11 at 18:13

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