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).

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.

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.

Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO Lends An Assist to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

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Not surprisingly, body-worn cameras are becoming an increasingly valuable piece of equipment for law-enforcement agencies across the United States. Laws and regulations governing the use of body cameras by law enforcement vary significantly from state to state, but many agencies are in the process of issuing body-worn camera equipment to officers while on the job.

To address this increasing demand and a need for high-tech, cost-effective options, Kyocera and body-worn camera software provider Visual Labs have worked closely to provide smartphone-based camera solutions to a growing number of police departments and sheriff’s offices across the United States. Along with video record and playback, the combined functionality of the smartphone and software also provides real-time GPS-based positional awareness, geo-fencing capabilities, and a remote-activation feature that can be operated by command staff or authorized dispatchers.

After extensive testing of traditional body-worn cameras, the Yuma County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office recently opted instead to outfit its Patrol and Detention divisions with the Visual Labs solution running on Kyocera’s new DuraForce PRO rugged smartphone.

According to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office, one of the key selling points of the Visual Labs/Kyocera DuraForce PRO solution that differentiated it from other options was the added functionality of the smartphone compared to traditional stand-alone body cameras. In particular, the solution’s GPS functionality allows the department to analyze geographical data to assess the effectiveness of patrolling certain “hotspot” areas in its jurisdiction.

The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office believes these smartphone-based cameras will significantly benefit the community and the Office. “Body worn cameras will not only offer us the opportunity to provide the District Attorney’s Office with audio-video evidence in criminal cases, but also are a useful measure of transparency, and a means of more thoroughly addressing any potential complaints against staff from citizens and inmates,” said Sheriff Chad Day. “And beyond that, we’re excited to have the ability to share positive and encouraging interactions with our community.”

All of us at Kyocera are incredibly proud of our partnership with Visual Labs and the solutions we have been able to offer public-safety workers. For more information on Visual Labs visit: https://www.visuallabsinc.com, and for details on Kyocera’s rugged smartphone lineup, 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 17 years – 14 of those years in-house and three 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 Kodiak Demonstrate Push-to-Talk Gateway Technology on Kyocera DuraForce PRO at the 2017 DistribuTECH Conference

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We’re off to another trade show this week, and this time it’s conveniently located in our North American headquarters of San Diego. The annual DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, a leading electric power transmission and distribution conference, begins today. Kyocera and our partner Kodiak are working together to showcase advanced Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications on Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO smartphone in our booth. The solution we’re demonstrating can help utility companies reduce cost and improve communication in the field.

Kodiak is a Push-to-Talk solution provider that not only offers PTT over 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi, but also developed a “gateway” technology to integrate with the existing Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks that many utility companies use. This integrated PTT service can be used on regular PTT-enabled mobile devices, such as Kyocera’s rugged smartphones that feature programmable buttons.

Kodiak’s gateway technology combined with Kyocera PTT-enabled smartphones is an effective solution for utility companies and various public agencies that need expanded 2-way communications capabilities without adding significant cost. This implementation is easy to set up, costs much less than adding new LMR sites or new frequencies, expands capacity and network reach, and provides low latency connectivity.

If you’re at DistribuTECH this week, be sure to visit Kyocera and Kodiak at our booth (#4232) to learn more about PTT solutions and Kyocera’s rugged device lineup. For more information on DistribuTECH, visit http://www.distributech.com/index.html.

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.