Kyocera and Verizon Take to the Slopes

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Official Partners of the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association’s National Championships

From time-to-time, working in the mobile industry and being the leader in rugged mobile devices affords our team the opportunity to attend some really fantastic, unique events in some of the world’s most interesting and beautiful places. Last week, we brought Kyocera’s ruggedized smartphones to the slopes of Copper Mountain, Colorado, where Kyocera and Verizon participated as Official Partners, as well as Presenting Sponsors of the Mobile App, for the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA)’s National Championships.

The USASA National Championships, which runs from April 1 through April 12, 2017, is the largest snowboard and freeskiing competition in the United States and brings more than 1,900 top athletes from across the country to compete for the National Championship title, along with 30,000 spectators to join in the fun with them. Snowboarders and freeskiers have some of the most adventurous lifestyles and have to do their job in some of the most extreme weather conditions known to man. It’s for these reasons that Kyocera is participating in the USASA’s National Championships for the third year in a row. We believe our rugged smartphone lineup is best suited to serve the needs of these adrenaline junkies, and gives them a device that can withstand all kinds mishaps, including an inadvertent drop in snow or water.

During this year’s event, Kyocera and Verizon are sharing a booth, where we are showcasing Kyocera’s rugged DuraForce PRO smartphone, the “Official Handset” of USASA, running on Verizon Wireless’ network. There has been a ton of buzz from spectators and competitors visiting the booth who are very impressed by the DuraForce PRO’s rugged, waterproof design, the Super Wide-View HD Action Camera for high-quality photo and video recording, the incredibly tough Sapphire Shield display and Kyocera’s two-year device warranty, which combined make the DuraForce PRO ideal for avid and novice skiers and snowboarders alike. To make things even more fun for the participants and spectators, we even raffled off some of these devices for several lucky attendees and conducted a social media contest as well.

To learn more about Kyocera’s lineup of rugged, ski-and-snowboard-friendly devices, including the Kyocera DuraForce PRO, visit: https://www.kyoceramobile.com/phones/

Joelene Murphy is a Senior Marketing Manager at Kyocera currently supporting the Verizon account. She has been a member of the Kyocera sales and marketing team for 11 years. While away from the office, Joelene and her husband are very active with their family and enjoy traveling, music, and sporting events.

Public Safety: Rugged Technology for Critical Moments

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Our public-safety institutions are charged with the most important responsibility – keeping us safe – and in some cases, saving our lives. When tragedy strikes, timing is of the essence and errors are unforgiving. Everything needs to go right. While many things are out of our control, our equipment is not. Traditionally, communication devices for public safety have been rugged and reliable – CB radios, walkie-talkies, etc. The evolution of mobile technology, however, now offers public safety professionals an incredible array of features to help them do their jobs in a more efficient and effective fashion. There is a downside to emerging technology though – it’s often delicate, making it unreliable in challenging conditions. Enter rugged mobile.

This week, Kyocera is headed to the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2017, the annual convention for communications tech professionals and two-way radio manufacturers. Manufacturers like Kyocera are revolutionizing mobile devices, combining the full technological power of the modern smartphone with rugged designs that stand up to the harshest conditions, providing unprecedented reliability when it matters most. From police officers to EMTs to Park Rangers, going rugged can help optimize operations – and keep the public safe.

The Move to Mobile

Rugged and reliable communication devices like two-way radios have served the public-safety sector well for decades. They allow for clear, immediate communication in critical moments, and their rugged designs stand up to the elements and the often-rough situations in which public safety officers find themselves. For these reasons and more, the public-safety sector has lagged in adopting mobile technology. The rapidly expanding benefits of mobile technology, however, are convincing the industry to adapt and adopt. A report from the Federal Communications Commission states that, “Today’s channel allocations in public safety communications bands can handle limited data applications, but emerging applications demand higher data rates and broadband capabilities for communications among first responders and public safety agencies. First responders in emergencies are beginning to recognize video applications and visualized location-based services as mission critical.”

It’s All About Information

In times of crisis, information is the most critical resource. And in the digital age, information is readily available – if you can access it. Smartphones and cell-enabled tablets put real-time information in the hands of public-safety officers, allowing them to respond and react to changing circumstances in real-time. Information is collected across multiple systems. Whether it’s information on a potential suspect, GPS location tracking, traffic information or dispatch communications, mobile technology is the conduit through which information is distributed. Armed with information, public-safety officers can gain a full understanding of the situation at hand, and act accordingly. Access to information can speed response, eliminate mistakes, and ultimately, save lives.

Next-Gen Video

 A picture is worth a thousand words. In public-safety environments, pictures can inform an approach and expedite the resulting actions. Mobile technology is increasingly focused on enhancing the quality and speed of photo and video transmission, allowing users to stream live video information. The possibilities are endless. The rise of apps like Periscope and Facebook Live have demonstrated what streaming video is capable of. Anyone armed with a smartphone can bring viewers into a live atmosphere. Media has been particularly adept at using the technology, broadcasting live from protests, rallies, natural disasters and more. This technology in the hands of public safety officers is invaluable, advancing situational awareness and amplifying information sharing.

IoT

 The Internet of Things has been talked about in technology circles for some time. But what started as more of a theory than a readily available application is finally coming to fruition. According to VDC research, 2016 saw multiple IoT cloud platform rollouts across large organizations. VDC predicts that IoT development will advance in 2017, focusing on everything from platforms as a service to security against botnet attacks. What does this mean for public safety application? Potential. From centralized monitoring of equipment and movement to reporting and surveillance, public safety will reap the benefits of emerging IoT applications. Many IoT platforms will rely on mobile devices, and applications in environments not hospitable to typical electronic devices are driving the demand for rugged devices to previously unseen levels. In order for IoT’s benefits to be fully realized, raw data – and sensitive data – must be aggregated and parsed over time. Mobile will allow for the easy flow of this data by acting as a conduit, as well as offering analytics functionality. IoT data lives in the cloud. Mobile can both upload and download this data anywhere, anytime, enabling public-safety officers to make real-time, critical decisions.

Security

One of the reasons public safety has been slow to adopt mobile solutions is a fear of security issues. Public safety organizations – particularly law enforcement – often communicate sensitive information. A security breach could conceivably have serious consequences. While the worry over security is not unfounded, the mobile industry is constantly evolving its security measures to thwart hacking attempts. With the US military making significant investments in mobile-communication solutions, security development is quickly evolving to meet the needs of the most security-concerned organizations. 

Rugged

Mobile technology often must be treated with kid gloves. Just look at the thriving market for smartphone insurance and aftermarket protective cases for consumers. In public safety environments, delicate devices are a non-starter. That’s where rugged mobile comes in. For most of the mobile era, truly rugged devices were available only to enterprise organizations – and at a significant cost. Companies like Kyocera, however, are bringing rugged to the masses with military-grade, affordable rugged devices that meet the needs of a wide variety of organizations – including public safety. Of course, not all rugged solutions are created equal. The emergence of rugged has resulted in devices that claim they are “rugged,” but don’t meet industry standards, certifications and benchmarks for rugged devices. Truly rugged devices – like the Kyocera DuraForce Pro – are designed to meet IP68 for dust and water immersion (up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes) and Military Standard 810G for protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, thermal shock, icing and freezing rain, humidity and water immersion. These are the conditions in which public safety workers often find themselves. These critical conditions – in critical moments – require durable, rugged and reliable mobile solutions. Kyocera answers the call.

Rugged Devices and Two-Way Radio Technologies: Kyocera Attends the International Wireless Communications (IWCE) Expo 2017

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Kyocera understands the importance of rugged, durable and dependable mobile devices. We’ve designed our phones to be all of these things—ensuring people can communicate when they need it the most. We’ve also bridged the gap between cellular communications and traditional two-way radios by offering interoperability with Push-to-Talk (PTT) services in our ruggedized smartphones, making them ideal for industries that need rapid and effective connections, such as public safety, construction and utility. In some cases, an instant two-way connection can mean the difference between life and death.

Starting Monday, Kyocera will attend the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas, which is the leading 40-year-old event for two-way radio communication technologies. The conference portion of the show runs from March 27-31st, while the exhibition runs from March 29-30th. IWCE attracts more than 7,000 attendees from various industries – business/enterprise, government/military, public safety, utility, transportation and more – that use communication technologies or two-way radios on the job.

Kyocera will have a booth (#2507) at this year’s show, and we’ll be showcasing our lineup of rugged devices, which are uniquely designed with features such as programmable PTT buttons to enable quick and effective radio communications. Additionally, some of Kyocera’s operator partners, PTT solutions partners and accessory providers will be showcasing PTT services (via Land Mobile Radio/LTE) as well as accessories that are compatible with Kyocera devices. These partners include AT&T (#2900), Sprint (#2413), Kodiak (#2700), ESChat (#3000), Advancetec (#3014), Millicom (#2612), Savox Communications (#469), Stone Mountain (#666) and Klein (#330).

Kyocera will also have a speaker at IWCE this year. Dr. Muzib Khan, Director of Corporate Planning for Kyocera International Inc., will be participating in a panel session called, “Device Roundtable: Ruggedizing, Hardening, Performance and Security.” This session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th, from 2:30-5:30pm in room S225 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Muzib and the other panelists will be discussing device options and comparisons between smartphones, two-way radios and newer LTE-enabled devices.

We are looking forward to a successful week at IWCE this year. If you are attending the show, please stop by the Kyocera booth (#2507) to learn more about our PTT-equipped rugged devices, and attend Muzib’s panel session on Tuesday from 2:30-5:30 p.m. in room S225. You can also follow us on Twitter (@KyoceraMobile).

KYOCERA AND PARTNERS SHOWCASE ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS FOR CONSTRUCTION AT CONEXPO-CON/AGG

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This week, Kyocera, along with our partners AT&T, Kodiak and busybusy, is off to Las Vegas to participate in ConExpo-Con/AGG 2017. ConExpo is the construction industry’s premier international tradeshow, held every three years, which showcases the latest products and technologies for construction business owners, workers and operators. We will be showcasing our latest rugged, military grade, Android-based smartphones enabled with Advanced Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications solutions, which are ideal for use in harsh and hazardous environments including construction jobsites. Our partners will be highlighting the integration of mobile devices with PTT capability over LTE cellular and Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks, bridging the gap between these technologies and enabling seamless radio communications.

First, AT&T and Kodiak will be showcasing their Enhanced Push to Talk (EPTT) “gateway” technology, which integrates existing LMR networks with PTT-enabled Kyocera devices over AT&T’s 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi networks. This gateway implementation is easy and cost-effective for construction companies to set up, costing much less than adding new LMR sites or frequencies, and expanding capacity and network reach while providing low latency connectivity.

Another partner of ours—busybusy—will also be demonstrating their cloud-based Time Tracking and Equipment apps, which are workforce and asset management solutions that gather real-time data. With a monthly paid subscription, they can easily download onto Kyocera mobile devices, offering a total mobile solution that can help contribute to the bottom line of a construction business.

If you’re attending ConExpo-Con/AGG this week please come by during our daily educational demonstrations from 2-4 p.m. at Kyocera’s booth (#G74113), and to learn more about these advanced communications solutions and see Kyocera’s lineup of PTT-enabled rugged devices. For more information about ConExpo-Con/AGG, visit: http://www.conexpoconagg.com.

From the Mobile Mecca: What We’re Expecting to See at Mobile World Congress

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At the start of every year, the mobile industry hops from Las Vegas to Barcelona in a matter of weeks to attend two of the biggest trade shows in tech. With the Consumer Electronics Show behind us, we’re gearing up to “cross the pond” to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress (MWC). This year at MWC, a leading global mobile technology show with more than 100,000 attendees, we expect to see the latest in mobile technology and trends, from the newest and hottest smartphones like our very own Kyocera DuraForce PRO, to apps that drive them, IoT devices and services, and everything in between. Mobile World Congress is the forum in which some of the coolest new mobile technology is unveiled, and we expect this year to be no different.

According to industry analyst firm CCS Insight, Mobile World Congress 2017 will include many new device unveils from a variety of manufacturers across the globe, and a host of new device features. CCS predicts these features will include dual-cameras, devices with smaller bezels and larger screens, as well as biometric fingerprint and iris recognition. An early adopter of several of these trends, Kyocera’s rugged devices, such as the DuraForce PRO, include multiple cameras—three front-and rear-facing cameras, and the industry’s first super-wide-view HD action camera on a rugged device—as well as fingerprint-authentication technology.

Thinner bezels will also be a big theme at MWC. However, as we all know, there’s a tradeoff when it comes to thin bezels. Streamlined phone bodies mean less protection for displays, thus making the devices more fragile and prone to accidents and breakage. This can result in higher total cost of ownership and replacement rates for consumers. Here at Kyocera, we are a firm believer in the power of rugged. Not only can our devices prevent phone breakages, but also they can save consumers and businesses hundreds of dollars in replacement fees or damage repair. Overall, VDC Research found that rugged devices in the workplace save businesses an average of 46 percent on the cost of mobility.

Other trends and topics that CCS Insight is predicting for MWC include virtual reality and 360-degree content for VR devices and mobile phones, big-data analytics, machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence. When it comes to networks, they expect Gigabit LTE to be a bigger focus at MWC than 5G, given that most operators do not find solid business cases for deploying 5G within the next few years.

Kyocera will be attending MWC 2017 to meet with a variety of customers, partners, media and analysts as we show off our portfolio of rugged and waterproof devices, such as the Kyocera DuraForce PRO and the new hand soap and foaming body soap-washable Kyocera rafre from Japan. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @KyoceraMobile for the latest updates, or subscribe to our blog, The Rugged Reporter.

John Chier is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles. When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams.