Don’t Try This at Home: Kyocera Hydro WAVE Survives 16-Hour Dip in the Ocean

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At Kyocera, we know our rugged devices are built and tested to withstand harsh environments, water immersion, dust and other elements, but sometimes we hear stories from our customers about our devices defying expectations to an extreme. We recently heard from Roberta Espree from Atlanta, GA, whose Kyocera Hydro WAVE really lived up to its aquatic name. It went over a sea wall and took a whopping 16-hour swim in the ocean in Florida, and when she was finally able to fish it out of the water the next day, it was miraculously still working.

To be very clear, we cannot recommend or warranty this kind of treatment of our devices. The Hydro WAVE is certified to a standard called IP57, meaning it is only designed to survive immersion up to 30 minutes in fresh water up to 1 meter deep. Roberta’s story is not typical and if you own a Hydro WAVE, as they say on television, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Roberta is a Convention Services Manager for Embassy Suites in Atlanta. She was visiting the Doubletree on Rocky Point in Tampa Bay, Florida, on a business trip and decided to stay the weekend for fun. You can imagine her excitement when, while standing on the property’s sea wall, she saw a dolphin playing nearby in the waves. Roberta started recording video of the dolphin on her Hydro WAVE, running down the sea wall to get a better shot. A bad step into a hole, however, sent Roberta sprawling and her phone flew off the wall into the water below. As if losing her phone wasn’t bad enough, Roberta also lost the opportunity to record a manatee that surfaced just as she fell. Suffice to say she was dejected.

The next morning, Roberta shared her story with another hotel guest, who suggested that the tide was low and it might be worth trying to recover her phone. She and her friends went down to the sea wall and, amazingly, could see the phone on the ocean floor. With the tide out, it was now only about two feet underwater. With the help of the hotel’s engineering department and a long-handled net from the swimming pool, they were able to reach down from the sea wall and scoop the phone from the ocean below.

Immediately the crowd showered Roberta with advice. “Put it in a bag of rice,” said one friend. “Take out the battery and let it dry in the sun,” said another. Instead, Roberta pressed the phone’s power button. Jaws dropped when the phone sprang to life. Initially the phone’s speaker wasn’t working properly, but that resolved after a few hours on dry land and the phone worked like nothing ever happened. Roberta even watched the ill-fated video she had taken of the dolphin, only to discover that the phone had continued to record video for several minutes underwater after her fall.

“After dropping my phone in the ocean and seeing how the phone still functioned, I will not use anything but a Kyocera device,” Roberta said. When she went in to MetroPCS to get another phone recently, she “elected to remain with the product I could count on.”

Again, Kyocera’s devices are certified to withstand water immersion only according to their IP certifications, and are not designed to withstand extended periods of time underwater. With that said, this isn’t the first crazy story we’ve heard about our devices defying the odds and won’t be the last. We’re thrilled that Roberta’s phone survived and grateful for her loyalty to Kyocera.

For more information about Kyocera’s waterproof and rugged mobile devices, visit: https://www.kyoceramobile.com/phones/

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. 

It’s Time for the Transportation Industry to Go Rugged

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Here are the Top 5 Reasons Why

The transportation industry relies on moving parts. Trains, trucks, vans and planes simultaneously move people and goods across the country and the globe. But to successfully execute transportation, a mastery of time and logistics is crucial. A single mechanical malfunction, human error or weather incident can set dominoes in motion that can have far-reaching, negative effects on an entire operation.

The transportation industry was an early pioneer in mobile-communications technology. From shipping companies like UPS and FedEx to regional railways and trucking operations, communications and logistics are keys to successful operations. It’s no surprise that the industry was an early adopter of technology. Early adoption, however, didn’t come cheap.

In the young days of mobile technology, implementing new systems, adopting new technologies and purchasing new equipment was expensive. Additionally, the infant technology grew in leaps and bounds, forcing the industry to keep up with rapid changes. The early investment paid off. Despite the high costs, the transportation industry helped spark a revolution in logistics and communication optimization – and helped mobile technology experience a revolution of its own.

Ironically, many of those early adopters now lag in the adoption of today’s emerging mobile solutions, such as rugged devices. Modern mobile technology can mitigate critical issues and optimize logistics, but it is often delicate – prone to damage and unreliability. Transportation is a rugged business that demands rugged technology. As rugged mobile technology experiences an evolution and becomes more prominently used by various industries, it’s time for the transportation industry to follow suit and go rugged as well.

Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Dynamically Track Vehicles and Cargo

Fleet management – the ability to track shipments, minimize risk, improve efficiency and update schedules – has moved beyond estimation and assumption. Mobile serves as more than a simple communication device; now it is a full-blown data and logistics powerhouse. Packages can be tracked throughout their entire journey, and mass-transit schedules can be predicted down to the second. Cloud-based information hubs work dynamically with mobile devices to create a central, intelligent system that identifies opportunities for optimization – and capitalizes on them.

This central system, however, is dependent on the individual parts working together – including mobile devices. Most mobile devices are delicate and prone to damage from dirt, drops, temperature and water. That’s where rugged comes in. Built to meet military standards for ruggedness, manufacturers like Kyocera offer a full line of both personal and commercial rugged devices that ensure cargo and transit arrive on time and uninterrupted. Running fleet-management solutions, rugged devices can help transportation companies quickly identify and respond to potential issues and undertake key maintenance tasks, from any location.

  1. ROI

The transportation industry – like every industry – expects return on investment for every product or service it purchases. Rugged technology and communication systems have traditionally carried a heavy price tag – but times have changed. The rise of rugged has led to lower costs for rugged devices for both consumers and enterprises. According to VDC Research, the overall market for hazardous-rated-certified rugged handheld and tablet mobile computers was estimated at almost $70 million in 2015 and is forecasted to reach $111 million by 2019.

This rapid adoption of rugged mobile technology has created opportunities for both new industries to take advantage of the efficiencies mobile offers, and for established industries like transportation to take advantage of rugged technology with the benefit of expedited ROI. With new mobile services, solutions and applications that offer more efficient, exact tracking mechanisms to accurately predict deliveries, record routes and track drivers, coupled with a lower total cost of ownership for the rugged mobile devices themselves, transportation companies using rugged devices come out on top.

Mobile technologies like Push-To-Talk (PTT) can simplify operations and cost savings, and applications like Google Maps offer a navigational route overview, which is especially effective for drivers on larger-screen rugged devices. As the Department of Transportation releases new transportation regulations and requirements, mobile devices can easily unlock and add new applications to have drivers and companies quickly and effortlessly comply.

  1. Meets Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

In an effort to boost safety for both truck drivers and those with whom they share the road, new Department of Transportation (DoT) “hours of service” (HoS) regulations limit how much truck drivers drive, and when they drive. These requirements detail the length of time truckers can drive in a single day and single week, and when they must take mandatory breaks. As of February 2016, fleets are required to use electronic logging devices (ELD) to report hours of service. While ELDs will help save millions over paper-based reporting in the long term, the initial investment poses a challenge for fleets. Fixed hardware ELDs are effective, but can be expensive and limiting.

That’s where rugged mobile devices come in. Rugged mobile devices that double as ELDs reduce initial investment for fleets, and allow for adaptability going forward. With fixed ELDs, fleets run the risk of having to undergo changes in process and equipment every few years as technology evolves.

Rugged mobile devices are multi-functional and familiar – truckers won’t have to get used to new systems and processes – and are the perfect vehicle to easily incorporate new technology and new reporting regulations as they emerge. For example, Kyocera customer Success Logistics utilizes the GeoTab Drive mobile software solution — an all-in-one driver platform for Hours of Service, Driver Vehicle Inspection Recording and Driver ID — on a Kyocera DuraForce XD rugged smartphone, which offers a larger screen for the driver that is usable with wet hands or with gloves on. Rugged mobile devices can perform ELD and communication functions, and operate in the often-harsh environments that truckers experience.

  1. Agility

The emergence of logistics solutions, coupled with expanding cities and new regions of operation, have created an opportunity for the transportation industry to rethink how it does business, reallocate its assets to capture larger market share, and rethink its technology to optimize its operations. Rugged mobile devices can serve as a conduit for new strategies and technologies, and help companies be agile with resource allocation. Rugged devices from Kyocera are compatible with most Android and cloud-based logistics programs, and can help transportation organizations quickly pivot from an outdated approach to new strategies.

Just about every American is intimately familiar with mobile devices. Using these devices to execute information and logistics programs eliminates the lengthy learning process normally associated with shifts in strategy and platform. Rugged mobile also allows for seamless shifts in future strategy, so that transportation organizations can identify and exploit opportunities in the market at the moment they occur. And the best rugged devices come with Military Standard 810G certification, so that drivers are ensured that the device is protected wherever they may be traveling – against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, water immersion. 

  1. Value

The world is simultaneously growing and shrinking. Populations are growing and cities and suburbs are expanding – but information and access is attainable in an instant for more people. These competing realities are forcing the transportation industry to identify and create value in an atmosphere of enhanced competition. Whether it’s a government transit organization or a private shipping company, competition is on the rise, forcing organizations to react. Rugged mobile devices are a simple, cost-effective and reliable solution that will help transportation organizations make the transformation to a fully digital environment, and take advantage of the opportunities that real-time information can provide. Drivers need devices that are reliable, durable and constantly connected to provide information at the touch of a finger. That means battery life of rugged devices is a very important benefit when it comes to transportation – the drivers are on the road for long stretches and need constant power and connectivity.

The transportation industry is driving forward at a rapid pace, with new regulations, innovations and technologies around every corner. Rugged mobile devices can help transportation companies and drivers stay a step ahead, especially when it comes to fleet management, hours of service tracking, ROI, agility and value – and focus on the changes to come.

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

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.