8 Reasons the Construction Industry Should Go Rugged in Choosing a Mobile Device

Whether you’re a construction business owner or a worker, you need mobile devices that are durable, secure, rugged and that offer software applications that are applicable for use in the field. Rugged devices have been used for years by businesses and workers that rely on teams out on job sites. However, these niche devices were often cumbersome, they required specialized technology and equipment, and they were usually very expensive.

More recently, advanced technology has made rugged mobile devices–such as the Kyocera lineup of smartphones and feature phones–widely available to the masses, for both business and consumer use, at an affordable price without compromising on features. Here are eight reasons why construction businesses and workers need to consider rugged devices:

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Verizon Releases Kyocera DuraForce PRO with Sapphire Shield Crystal Display and Super Wide-View HD Action Camera

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The DuraForce PRO is the latest Android smartphone in Kyocera’s ultra-rugged lineup, and it is now available on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. Offering all of the protections that users expect from a Kyocera device, the DuraForce PRO is shockproof, drop-proof and dustproof, with certifications for IP68 (waterproof up to 30 minutes, up to 2 meters deep) and Military Standard 810G to defend against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, rain, low pressure, solar radiation, humidity, immersion, and temperature shock. Further enhancing its durability, DuraForce PRO on Verizon also features Kyocera’s Sapphire Shield display – made with sapphire crystal that is second only to diamond in its hardness and strength – protecting the touchscreen against coins, keys, rocks, and other abrasions that can compromise the durability of a display.

While tough and rugged have long been distinguishing characteristics of Kyocera mobile devices, DuraForce PRO is further differentiated with its all-in-one camera capabilities. DuraForce PRO is the only 4G LTE smartphone currently available with an integrated super-wide-view HD (1080p) action camera, providing outdoor enthusiasts, professional photographers, and construction, safety and security workers with the ability to capture live video and still images from any environment – be it from great heights or even under water. The main camera captures at an impressive 13-megapixels and is accompanied by a separate 135-degree wide-angle action camera lens, plus a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Rather than having to carry a separate, dedicated action camera, DuraForce PRO builds the functionality right into the phone. DuraForce PRO also allows users to toggle between different enhanced camera-mode options for underwater, sports, slow motion and time-lapse, just to name a few.

The Most Durable, All-in-One Device
Kyocera DuraForce PRO was designed to lend simplicity to users, while delivering an all-in-one mobile device for myriad consumer and business applications. A fingerprint security sensor has been added the phone’s power button for biometric and one-touch authentication, supporting popular mPayment/ mCommerce protocols. With Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation, DuraForce PRO also can be navigated with wet or gloved hands, and is fully operational while underwater. The device can enable seamless one-to-one or one-to-many communications with a dedicated side button for Push-To-Talk (PTT), which can also be programmed by non-PTT users for one-touch access to a favorite feature (such as the action motion camera) or another frequently used application.

Offering impressive specs at a competitive price point, DuraForce PRO is equipped with a large 5-inch Full HD display and a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ octa-core processor, and 32 GB of expandable memory. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the rugged smartphone features a long-lasting 3240 mAh battery and supports both wireless charging and Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0.

Kyocera works with leading accessory and software manufacturers to provide solutions that customize DuraForce PRO for specific industries. The device also is certified for use in hazardous locations where concentrations of flammable gas, vapors or mists are not normally present in explosive concentrations but may exist (Non-incendive Class I, Division 2, Group A-D, T4).

Whether you’re an adventurous consumer with an active lifestyle or you work in demanding industries like manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and oil and gas, DuraForce PRO brings you the performance you demand, the versatility to capture your experiences and the durability to derive maximum value from your smartphone investment.

Kyocera DuraForce PRO by Verizon Wireless is now available to both consumer and business users, priced at $17 a month for 24 months on Verizon device payment ($408 retail).

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

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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 Business of Building Demands Construction-Grade Mobility

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Like most industries, construction has been largely transformed by mobile technology. After all, this is a business whose decision-makers and front-line workers are heavily dispersed, yet they must collaborate (often in real-time) on high-dollar projects with tight deadlines and budgets, with many interdependencies and moving parts. The ability to connect those in the construction industry and provide instant access to back-end data, plans, procurement and models is empowering a wave of productivity across the supply chain and, to the benefit of builders, architects, engineers and subcontractors alike.

According to Autodesk, 75 percent of construction dollars are spent in the field, yet less than 10 percent of technology spending is allocated there. Companies rely on sophisticated software to manage the end-to-end construction process, and now, mobile devices are the primary method for gaining remote access to business-critical systems and information. Consequently, construction companies are extending the footprint of their in-house technology investments to improve communications, decision-making and response times in the field.

Mobile devices are helping deliver efficiencies across the following construction industry practices:

  • Project & Field Management – Smartphones and tablets are helping manage the entire lifecycle of a construction project, connecting the various people responsible for the information, processes, employees, subcontractors and suppliers. And because mobile devices come in many different flavors and with enterprise-management capabilities, different users are armed with the most appropriate devices and feature sets for their job requirements.
  • Communications & Connectivity – Feature phones and smartphones are being used to facilitate instant voice, text and email communications between jobsite workers and the main office. Push to Talk (PTT) capabilities also empower workers, subcontractors and suppliers with one-touch walkie-talkie style communications for instant communications to individuals or groups about safety conditions, deliveries, change requests and other time-sensitive events.
  • Materials & Resource Management – Materials are often procured and purchased at the corporate office, but supplies are delivered directly to the jobsites. As construction companies increasingly leverage Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for improved materials management, mobile devices can help automate this process with on-the-ground scanning capabilities and the ability to trigger instant notifications in the event of order shipment errors. In addition, these devices can provide project managers with remote-surveillance camera access to keep watch on potential theft or employee productivity when they are absent from job sites.

Rugged Devices Maximize Mobility Investments

Construction personnel at all levels are tapping mobile devices to improve communications and streamline efficiencies across the planning, designing and building phases of projects. A study by Engineering News Record estimates that 93 percent of general contractors and 87 percent of subcontractors use some sort of mobile device at construction sites.

These devices come in many flavors to accommodate virtually every type of worker and organizational budget. Feature phones and smartphones offer the greatest portability for laborers and their feature sets can be customized to user type, while larger-screen devices provide the convenience of a data-friendly display and are ideal for superintendents and project managers who require remote access to plans and 3D models, and who are more likely to interface regularly with back-end business systems.

Despite both the user and device type, rugged design is one requirement that should be inherent to every mobile device used in the construction industry. Along with support for virtually all Android-based productivity apps, Kyocera’s rugged devices are intentionally built to withstand construction jobsite conditions, which may include dusty, dirty, wet environments, as well as the threat of drops from heights. Kyocera’s rugged line is also designed with superior audio technology to facilitate loud, crisp and clear voice communications, even in the presence of noisy equipment and machinery.

Additional features offered by Kyocera’s rugged devices include:

  • Dust-proof and impact-resistant to maintain optimal performance and operational integrity;
  • Waterproof with the ability to survive immersion in up to 6 feet of water for up to 30 minutes;
  • Highly-durable, scratch-resistant Sapphire Shield display in select devices that protects against incidents and the elements;
  • Continuous productivity with Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation;
  • Certified non-incendive (Nonincendive, Class I, Division 2, Group A-D, T4) for use in some hazardous work environments where concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or mists are not normally present in explosive concentrations but may exist
  • Certified to IP68 and Military Standard 810G ratings for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, high altitude, solar radiation, humidity and water emersion; and
  • Off-the-shelf support for both carrier-supported and downloadable PTT services to facilitate one-touch walkie-talkie style communications to individuals or groups.

According to VDC Research, rugged devices can save 46 percent on overall total cost of mobility in the workplace. Mobile devices enable project managers to remotely oversee multiple projects in various stages of construction, and arm every front-line worker with voice and/or data connectivity. With the ability to share videos, images and information between the construction office and field workers, companies benefit from improved workflows based on the most current data available. And when these organizations choose to go rugged, they are afforded increased longevity and reliability from the mobile devices deployed in the field.

Learn more about Kyocera’s construction-grade mobile devices, and how they are helping power enterprise mobility with our new article on empowering enterprise mobility with rugged devices and PTT.

Rugged for Everyone: Five Distinguishing Features of the Kyocera Brigadier

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Most manufactures don’t target specific demographics or industries when designing their phones. At Kyocera, we absolutely do. All of our ruggedized mobile devices are built to serve the unique needs of users who demand a phone that can withstand tough work environments and the adventurist lifestyle.

But as all users become even more reliant on their phones, which now also serve as mini-computers, cameras, contact managers and ewallets, the benefits of durability and longevity that come with rugged device ownership are increasingly attractive among general consumers and traditionally non-rugged buyers. Be it the college student whose phone is either a mainstay in his back pocket or buried in his backpack, or the busy working parents with a herd of young and curious children, these users would be better and longer served by a device that offers a superior feature set with usability in mind, built to survive virtually anyone’s non-delicate lifestyle.

Whether the motivation for durability is personal or professional, the Kyocera Brigadier at Verizon Wireless serves up a powerful smartphone with five distinguishing features that make it practical and attractive to both rugged and everyday users:

  1. Sapphire Crystal display: The Brigadier was the world’s first mass-market phone to utilize Sapphire Shield technology in its display. Made from a synthetic sapphire crystal that is surpassed only by diamond in its hardness and strength, the display offers superior protection against coins, keys, rocks, sand, dirt, concrete and other abrasions that can crack or scratch a standard display. The Brigadier also encases its sapphire display in a raised, rubberized bezel perimeter that further protects the ultra-durable touchscreen in the event of shocks and drops.
  1. Glove and Wet Touch Screen Operation: Because the Brigadier is waterproof too, it can withstand water submersions for 30 minutes in up to six feet of water! Even when wet, operation of the Brigadier touchscreen is highly responsive. This also remains true with hands in gloves up to 3 mm thick. While this feature is of obvious benefit in industries where workers are required to wear gloves and the potential exposure to water and moisture are constant, such as in construction, manufacturing, shipping and logistics, it is also a seasonal reality for much of the general public who must navigate their daily lives in rain, sleet or snow – when cold, they too wear gloves. So while support for Glove and Wet Touch Screen Operation intuitively benefits rugged workers, it offers that same level of convenience and ease of use to the everyday user who braves the elements.
  1. Large physical buttons: For some, the ritual of accessing frequently used applications or simply accepting a call can be non-intuitive and/or time consuming. The Brigadier features large, dedicated buttons for the camera, volume and power, and a programmable button that can be customized to initiate one-touch Push to Talk services, or dedicated to a user’s favorite app or flashlight.
  1. Wireless charging: The Brigadier is one of the few Android devices at its price point that offers support for wireless changing built on the Qi standard. While it features a large 3100mAh Lithium ion battery with up to 26 hours of talk time, when charging is needed, users have the option of opening the bottom-most port to connect and charge the device, or to do so wirelessly by simply laying its back plate on any Qi-compatible charging mat. Wireless charging helps further maintain the Brigadier’s rugged integrity by keeping ports securely fastened, a requirement to ensuring ingress protection for liquids or dust.
  1. Crisp, loud audio: The truth is that many mobile phones simply lack in both audio quality and performance, which can be a nonstarter when the phone is used in the outdoors or on loud jobsites, and when exposed to extraneous environmental or workplace noises. The Brigadier’s superior audio is created by the duality of Smart Sonic Receiver technology and 100+dB front-facing speakers. With Smart Sonic Receiver, normal sound is augmented by vibrations that are emitted throughout the entire screen assembly and carried by the body directly to the eardrum, eliminating ambient noise and delivering clearer audio. And with extra-loud front-facing speakers, the Brigadier’s crisp audio gets even louder in speaker mode, an attribute that makes it a popular phone among construction, event and security, and manufacturing workers who constantly operate in the presence of heavy background noises.

The Kyocera Brigadier is a full-featured, affordable smartphone whose toughness and ease-of-use is as equally appealing to general consumers as it has historically been to rugged professionals, athletes, outdoorsmen and adventure-seeking enthusiasts. The Brigadier is now available to both consumer and business users from Verizon Wireless.

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.