KYOCERA DURAFORCE PRO EARNS CES 2017 INNOVATION AWARD

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As we kick off the new year, we are proud to announce that our latest ruggedized smartphone, the Kyocera DuraForce PRO, has been chosen as a CES 2017 Innovation Awards Honoree in the “Wireless Handsets” category. The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is one of the largest (and busiest!) consumer technologies shows in the world, and the CES 2017 Innovation Awards* is a prestigious awards program created to acknowledge outstanding design and engineering in consumer electronics across 28 product categories. For our newest Kyocera device to be regarded amongst the top mobile handsets in the world is an honor and a true testament to its standout combination of performance, durability and affordability.

Products entered in the CES Innovation Awards program are judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media. They are evaluated on their engineering, aesthetic and design qualities, intended use/function and user value, unique and novel features, and how the design and innovation of the product compares to other products in the marketplace.

According to the Consumer Technology Association, products chosen as CES Innovation Honorees reflect innovative design and engineering in some of the most cutting-edge tech products and services coming to market. DuraForce PRO, which is the latest among the durable smartphones in Kyocera’s leading portfolio of rugged, military-grade and waterproof devices, offers an affordable, durable and dependable smartphone for both business users and consumers alike. DuraForce PRO is certified against shock/drops, water immersion, vibration, high altitude, extreme temperatures, dust and humidity. It can be submerged in up to 6.5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes and, for peace of mind, it comes with a standard two-year limited warranty. On top of its durability and reliability, it comes equipped with industry-leading, high-quality photo and video capabilities, including three front-and rear-facing cameras, and the industry’s first super-wide-view HD action camera in a smartphone.

DuraForce PRO will be on display along with other award winners during CES, January 5-8, 2017 in the Innovation Awards Showcase at The Venetian, Level 2, Ballroom E/F. If you are attending CES, come by and check it out! Or, if you can’t make it, check out DuraForce PRO on our site. For more information about the CES Innovation Awards, visit their website.

John 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. 

*The CES Innovation Awards are based upon descriptive materials submitted to the judges. CTA did not verify the accuracy of any submission or of any claims made and did not test the item to which the award was given.

From Vegas to the Mainstream: Our Expectations for CES 2017

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December can be a busy and stressful month, whether preparing for the holidays or for next month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Both events are fueled by an intoxicating level of excitement, with one being the perfect opportunity to gift this year’s “must-have” technology gadgets, and the other a launching pad for what are sure to be 2017’s hottest consumer technology trends.

In just a few weeks, CES will kick off in Las Vegas (January 5-8) with a dizzying array of innovative new products and technologies. While many products from 2016 are expected to return with great fanfare, consumers can expect tangible and newsworthy advances in the categories of wearables, drones and virtual reality, as well as more affordable and user-friendly options. The major theme across CES 2017 will likely be the evolution and refinement of consumer technologies that are more palatable to and attainable by the mainstream public.

No matter what your technology sweet-spot is, CES 2017 will be the perfect place to get your fix. Here are a few of the anticipated trends that will pique our interest at CES 2017:

  • Rugged’s Star Will Continue to Rise: According to analyst firm VDC, 96% of people who try ruggedizes smartphones say they will never go back to anything different. The demand for ultra-rugged mobile devices continues to explode because, when the success of a business depends on uninterrupted functionality, rugged mobile devices are imperative. Kyocera has become the leader in rugged mobile solutions, especially among devices with IP68 and military-standard certifications for water-, dust- and temperature-proofing and more. You can expect to see more rugged devices showcased during CES.
  • AR and VR Get Real: During 2016, augmented and virtual reality got real for the mainstream consumer. Securing more than 20 million active users in its first two weeks of release, Pokemon Go bridged the gap between concept and usability for augmented reality – exposing a new landscape for businesses to connect with potential buyers and establish greater levels of brand affinity. CES attendees can expect to see new VR headsets and smarter more visually stunning televisions, many of which will be equipped with AR and VR capabilities, as well as some surprises in the realm of AR applications.
  • Robotics Take Flight:Piggybacking on last year’s success, advances in drones and robotics are certain to soar to new heights at CES 2017. This next generation will likely feature more compact solutions with extended battery lives and flight times, as well as integration with external devices as remote controls. For example, Cleo will debut a pocket-sized drone described as “the first selfie drone,” which resembles a donut or UFO in shape and is equipped with HD video-recording capabilities. The Cleo will take panoramas and selfies or record full 360-degree videos, and will be controlled exclusively by a downloadable smartphone app. While Cleo plans to announce the cost of its pocket drone at CES, the price-point is expected to be quite affordable and its usability high, priming it for success with beginners who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on their first drones.
  • Wearables/IoT for Every Lifestyle: The wearables market has been heavily dominated by fitness and healthcare, but this year companies will be broadening their focuses to include wearables for pets and everyday items, such as luggage. Link AKC will debut a smart dog collar that guarantees to be both fashionable and functional. The collar is a smart device that comfortably fits a dog’s neck with an accompanying smartphone app that helps pet owners stay connected with their dogs via GPS and location monitoring. It will also offer features to better manage a dog’s wellbeing via activity tracking, temperature notifications, and vet reminders. Another cool device bordering the wearable category will be available for travelers to help them find lost luggage. Bibelib has created a suitcase cover with an integrated tracking system that allows people to pinpoint and identify luggage in case of theft.
  • Connected Vehicles That Drive Us: Our CES trends hit list would not be complete without mentioning what’s anticipated in the world of connected vehicles. Cars of the future are certain to be a driving force at CES, with self-driving car tech companies Delphi and Mobileye having already announced plans to debut a platform called the Central Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) system, which promises to advance autonomous motoring. In addition, Faraday Future’s recent tweets have hinted toward the unveiling of a new driverless car at CES 2017.

While big news in the world of smartphones is not anticipated at CES (many mobile manufacturers will postpone their big splashes for the more targeted Mobile World Congress trade show in February), we at Kyocera will be at CES meeting with our partners, customers, reporters and industry analysts. CES provides us the opportunity to keep a strong pulse on the upcoming trends, particularly those affecting mobile users and the devices upon which they rely.

We hope to see you at CES for what is certain to be another fantastic showcase of what’s to come in the new year – be it in the palm of your hand, on the road, in the sky, or wherever our imaginations can take us.

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. 

KYOCERA AND INTREPID NETWORKS SUPPORT SECURITY OPERATIONS DURING THE 41st MARINE CORPS MARATHON

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Security has become critically important at large-scale events, like marathons, throughout the U.S., especially since the tragic events at the Boston Marathon in 2013. Mobile security solutions have become key in providing law enforcement and first responders with real-time situational awareness and communication tools that are vital for enabling quick, coordinated responses to emergencies.

For the 41st Annual Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA, which was held on October 30th, Kyocera and our partner Intrepid Networks, which develops situational-awareness software for the Public Safety sector, provided the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) with dozens of ultra-rugged, military-grade Kyocera smartphones loaded with Intrepid Networks’ STING® mobile solution working with the STING® Tactical Suite. The Marine Corps Marathon is the 4th largest marathon in the U.S. with 30,000 runners and thousands of spectators stretched in and around many national assets. Security was of utmost importance and required an integrated approach with multiple agencies using the best combination of hardware and software to support the operation.

With our rugged Kyocera smartphone using Intrepid Networks’ STING 9.0 software and running on Verizon Wireless’s 4G network, the on-the-ground security and law-enforcement teams at the Marine Corps Marathon were able to create a live, common operating picture for all responders to view on their devices, and enabled them to share data including maps, GPS and photos, as well as text-to-voice and voice-to-notes functionality. This ultimately allowed them to simplify communication, better connect responders with each other, and speed up potential response times.

Kyocera’s devices, which are certified to Military Standard 810G and “HAZLOC” (hazardous location) Class I Division 2, combined with STING’s latest situational-awareness software, created a great demonstration of the performance of our ruggedized devices operating in dynamic and sometimes hazardous environments, and working seamlessly with a leading public-safety software solution. Kyocera makes devices ideal for first responders, military and workers who need a smartphone that can stand up to challenging environments and its elements, including shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, blowing rain, dust, low pressure, solar radiation, salt, fog and humidity.

We were proud to have participated in the Marine Corps Marathon where Kyocera’s military-grade hardware and Intrepid Networks’ powerful software helped protect the safety and security of tens of thousands of runners, spectators and first responders. We look forward to continued collaboration with Intrepid Networks and law-enforcement agencies on similar projects in the future. For more information on Intrepid Networks, visit its website.

John 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.

Kyocera Provides Honda’s Official Ultra-Ruggedized Smartphone for Dakar Rally for Second Year in a Row

Kyocera Torque G02 Dakar Rally

What do you get when you mix off-road endurance racing, the harshest environments and rugged smartphones? On January 2-14, 2017, we find out, when, for the second year in a row, Kyocera provides the official smartphone for the Honda Racing Corporation’s “Monster Energy Honda Team” at the Dakar Rally 2017.

The world-famous Dakar Rally originated as the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1979 and today is an intense long-distance endurance ride throughout some of the toughest environments in South America, across Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. Top drivers and riders venture on a long-distance rally raid starting at Base Aerea Nu Guazu, Argentina, passing through La Paz, all the way to the finish line in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the race, the team will pause in the highest-altitude capital in the world in La Paz.

In 2017, Kyocera will be providing 30 rugged mobile handsets to the Monster Energy Honda Team. The Kyocera Torque G02 ruggedized devices will provide telemetry and communication support, allowing them to monitor the status of motorbikes and send critical performance data and log information to the crew and mechanical experts.

As the leader in rugged mobile devices that support all types of enterprise verticals – from construction to transportation to public safety, as well as consumers who work, perform or play in the harshest environments – Kyocera is a natural fit to provide the official smartphone for the Honda team for the second year in a row. The Dakar Rally is an intense and high-impact course through some of the highest altitudes in the world – to provide some perspective, the lowest altitude found in La Paz is approximately 10,000 feet (3,300m) above sea level – and Kyocera rugged devices help navigate extreme conditions with scratch-proof, dust-proof, waterproof and Glove Touchscreen Operation capabilities.

“The TORQUE G02 smartphones provided by Kyocera have enhanced, robust specifications which allow use without any issues under the increasingly severe environments of the Dakar Rally, for example, running through the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia,” said Taichi Honda, leader of Honda Racing Corporation’s Dakar Rally 2017 project. “The toughness and reliability of Kyocera’s ultra-ruggedized mobile devices have made them indispensable in our racing activities and made Kyocera a key strategic partner for this race.”

Kyocera is proud to support the Monster Energy Honda Team in the Dakar Rally 2017, with the same rugged Kyocera products and technologies that are available today to businesses and individuals around the world. Kyocera’s rugged devices enable all of us to stay connected and productive at work and on-the-go, no matter the challenges we face. For more information on Kyocera’s rugged lineup, please visit our website or follow us on Twitter @kyoceramobile.

The Future of Mission-Critical LTE Communications

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A Recap from IWCE LTE Forum Chicago

Earlier last month, a group of technology professionals, public safety agencies, and enterprise and government representatives gathered in Chicago at the IWCE Critical LTE Communications Forum. The conference explored the challenges and solutions for mapping the transition from voice-centric land mobile radio (LMR) to mission-critical multimedia LTE network solutions.

The key themes of the conference centered on the transition from LMR to LTE, and what technology solutions are needed for mission-critical LTE.

The Transition from LMR to LTE: As mission-critical communication needs evolve from being voice-centric to including multimedia data, including group chats and video applications, there is a need for more sophisticated and reliable LTE networks. An ecosystem of players is gathering to create the solutions and applications for enterprise, government and public safety organizations to transition to LTE networks that provide secure, reliable voice, data and multimedia for emergency services and other mission-critical events.

Technology Solutions for Mission-Critical LTE: Device-to-device communications, focusing on mission-critical data, video and Push-To-Talk (PTT) applications, requires high levels of interoperability and collaboration across multiple industries and groups. From operators to device manufacturers to solutions providers, the ecosystem requires interoperable standards and open solutions for mission-critical LTE to become a reality. And it’s a big opportunity – for example, there are currently more than 3.5 million PTT users who will need to migrate over to mission-critical LTE in a seamless, reliable transition.

During the forum, Kyocera participated in a panel with several key partners who are collaborating to bring the mission-critical LTE ecosystem together. We spoke about Kyocera rugged mobile devices and how they are built to survive harsh environments, drops, water spills and hazardous conditions, all with a lower total cost of ownership. Kyocera phones deliver the features needed for critical communications, from security, to 810G and IP68 certification for protection against dust, water, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures and more, to dedicated PTT buttons, long-lasting batteries and dual front-facing speakers for noisy conditions.

Our partners and co-panelists who are helping to navigate the shift to mission-critical LTE and build solutions that serve multiple verticals, from public safety, to transportation, logistics, utilities and hospitality, included:

  • ESChat: Josh Lober, President and CEO, ESChat
    ESChat (Enterprise Secure Chat) is dedicated to providing solutions for secure PTT voice, group text messaging and live location tracking & mapping. With a focus on the interoperability between communication technologies, ESChat is enabling a more seamless and secure LMR to LTE transition. The ESChat secure communication platform is compliant to the 3GPP’s mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) standards and ensures interoperability between MCPTT vendors on various mobile devices.
  • Blueforce Development: Michael Helfrich, Founder and CEO Blueforce Development Corporation.
    Blueforce Development specializes in providing products and services that enhance safety, increase operational efficiency and enable better decisions, particularly in the defense, law-enforcement and security industries. By transmitting vital, actionable information in real time, Blueforce helps ground teams in making split-second decisions. Mission-critical LTE helps overcome challenges like low visibility and information fidelity, especially when it comes to visuals, and is an important part of the solution in transmitting data quickly, reliably and securely.
  • Visual Labs: Alex Popof, Founder and CEO, Visual Labs, Inc.
    Visual Labs, which calls itself the “the body camera company that doesn’t make body cameras,” specializes in live streaming with body cameras. Solving connectivity limitations faced by traditional body camera solutions, Visual Labs utilizes mission-critical LTE to provide real-time situational awareness via live video feeds, significantly enhancing officer safety in crisis situations.

As key vertical industries, including government, military, municipalities, public safety, school districts and more, look to make the transition to mission-critical LTE, the ecosystem is coming together to support the evolution in the most seamless, secure and reliable way possible. From carrier support to handset manufacturers’ new features and capabilities to solutions providers, critical communications are being upgraded in a major way with real-time location, video, group chat and multimedia applications, as well as rugged, built-to-survive mobile devices.