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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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. 

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.

Rugged for the Military: Kyocera Heads to Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association West 2017 Show

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Kyocera prides itself on making rugged devices for business and consumers that face some of today’s harshest environments and situations. I think it’s safe to say that the U.S. military faces some of the toughest and most brutal conditions in the world—from extreme heat and dust to sand, blowing rain and wind. It’s for this very reason that we are heading to The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Show West (AFCEA) this week in our own backyard here in San Diego.

AFCEA is the premier conference and exposition of its kind on the West Coast, and brings together military and industry leaders with technology providers to network, demonstrate and discuss technology solutions that can assist our military. The show, which is attended by more than 7,000 professionals in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, will feature speakers including the Pacific Command and Pacific Fleet commanders, the U.S. Fleet Forces commander, Systems Command commanders and local three-star commanders.

Kyocera will have a booth at this year’s AFCEA West (booth #549) in an effort to learn more about the military’s unique needs for mobile solutions, and to educate this important group of influencers about the power of our rugged-device lineup and key attributes that can help them be more effective on the job. Kyocera’s rugged lineup includes:

  • Offering certified IP68 and Military Standard 810G protection from hazards including water, drops, vibrations, extreme temperatures and much more
  • Eliminating the need for a protective case saving money on accessories and preventing damage from a drop or accident
  • Providing certified Hazardous Location protection (Non-incendive, Class I, Division 2) for use in work environments where concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or mists are not normally present in an explosive concentration (but may actually exist)
  • Leading security features including Android for Work, biometric fingerprint authentication, FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module (includes AES 128/192/256) with NSA Suite B security, and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) APIs to allow flexibility in defining restrictions and configurations
  • Supports advanced Virtual Private Network (VPN), Secure Boot, TrustZone® for Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and leading EMM solutions
  • Affordable and available off the shelf from the nation’s leading wireless service providers
  • Designed with Push-To-Talk (PTT) in mind, including a large side button, extra loudspeakers and 3240mAh long-lasting battery
  • Support for LMR (Land Mobile Radio) interoperability, complementing existing networks
  • Support for a full ecosystem of app solutions and accessories to accommodate the needs of the military, including MDM (mobile device management) solutions

We look forward to a successful and productive week at AFCEA West, as well as sharing some recent successes we’ve had in the public safety arena with our partners like Blueforce Development and Visual Labs. If you are at the show please stop by the Kyocera booth (#549) to learn more about how our rugged devices can help our military be more efficient, productive and safe, or follow us on Twitter (@KyoceraMobile).