Kyocera’s Rugged Mobility for the Connected Truck Driver on Display at the Great American Trucking Show

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Trucking and transportation professionals share a passion for being on the road—all 3.5 million of them in the United States alone. That’s a lot of drivers, a lot of hours and a lot of miles, all requiring a lot of focus from the trucking community. While our primary mission at Kyocera is to provide these drivers with the best rugged mobile devices on the market, it is equally important for us to help ensure their safety by minimizing distractions, providing easy and simple communication links with dispatch, and enabling the ability to stay connected with family on long hauls. Road safety is critical to delivering on this goal, and Kyocera is committed to making life as safe as possible for the “Connected Truck Driver.”

It is for these very reasons you’ll find Kyocera at The Great American Trucking Show (GATS) August 24-26, 2017, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. GATS is an interactive and all-encompassing public convention of trucking professionals that attracts more than 500 exhibitors, representing truck, trailer, engine, component and parts manufacturers, among many others. It exists to create an interactive, energizing environment entirely focused on improving the trucking industry—a perfect fit for the Kyocera rugged phone lineup.

During GATS, Kyocera will be exhibiting (booth #11047) and showcasing our rugged lineup, proven to continuously operate in harsh environments where truckers may experience extreme heat and cold, rain, dust or continuous vibration while on the road. Our latest rugged Android device, the Kyocera DuraForce PRO, can perform as the device hub for meeting the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate by downloading a compliant “Hours of Service” application from the Google Play store. At the same time, using compatible hands-free accessories will help with continuous connectivity without distraction and provide safety for drivers. Kyocera is working particularly closely with two partners during the show, including AdvanceTec – a global leader in the design and manufacturing of communications products and solutions for the wireless telecom, two-way radio industry – and TA/Petro Travel Centers, which will also be selling Kyocera’s DuraForce PRO and DuraXV+ (a rugged flip phone) from its booth (#15022) on the show floor.

Showcased in Kyocera’s booth will be AdvanceTec’s Pro-Installed Hands-Free Car Kit and a demonstration of a remote, low-energy Bluetooth Push-to-Talk (PTT) button that can mount on a steering wheel or dashboard to facilitate easy two-way radio communication. Push-to-Talk is a service option for cellular phone networks that enables subscribers to use their phones like walkie-talkies between individuals or groups, all with virtually unlimited range, which is necessary when driving the distance. Meanwhile, the AdvanceTec kit includes a wireless charging cradle, an external speaker that improves sound quality, and, with an optional Palm Mic, allows drivers to use PTT like they use CB radios.

If you plan on attending the show, please stop by our booth (#11047), where Kyocera will be offering special discounts on all of our Connected Truck Driver accessories. Our rugged device lineup is now available in all major cellular carriers. For more information about Kyocera, please visit http://www.kyoceramobile.com/business/ or follow us on our social-media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube).

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.

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).

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. 

What You Get When You Take Kyocera Devices, SAP applications and Android for Work

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A Rugged Solution for all Enterprise Workers

In the age of instant information availability, companies and employees use multiple methods of communication with both corporate-liable and individual-liable devices. Management teams using tablets or computers, and field-force workers using corporate-liable dedicated rugged mobile devices, need to be able to communicate instantly using the same data, creating a need to support the same set of applications running on multiple platforms. This introduces an increasing level of complexity for IT departments, particularly with the rapidly growing universe of enterprise applications, security concerns and data management.

On Android devices, this need to support similar applications on multiple platforms creates a lot of work for enterprise application vendors and IT departments, as they need to check application compatibility on different devices due to variations in Android implementation by different OEMs. Enterprise applications running on different Android devices often have a different set of issues and, therefore, OEMs and application providers must work together ahead of time to at least establish a baseline level of compatibility testing.

Google finally attempted to solve that problem with Android for Work, with which an application can utilize the same set of pre-defined APIs on any Android for Work-enabled device. This significantly reduces the number of issues with enterprise applications running across different Android devices and platforms. Much to the relief of IT managers, the work environment also ensures that IT approves deployed enterprise applications, which means applications are thoroughly vetted before deployment, especially if they require additional capabilities such as remote access using secure VPN, additional encryption, Kiosk mode, etc. This is often done as part of carefully controlled trials, where the device OEM and application vendor work with a customer’s IT team and end-users to support the trials.

Recently, Kyocera and SAP started collaborating to test SAP mobile apps on rugged devices running Android for Work. The characteristics built into Android for Work are closely aligned to what Kyocera and SAP focus on when creating devices and enterprise mobility management solutions, respectively. Don Coop is a Product Manager from SAP who worked on test SAP apps on Kyocera devices. He commented that SAP customers would value the ease of use on Kyocera devices.

For workers who need devices that are rugged, reliable and secure, a Kyocera device running SAP apps on Android for Work enables a best-in-class experience for enterprise workers. From construction to fleet management to public safety, users can be assured that their devices are:

Secure: Kyocera devices have built-in security and encryption to keep sensitive data protected using FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module for full device and SD card encryption, as well as advanced VPN capabilities providing security for data at rest (DAR) and data in motion (DIM). Coupled with SAP’s Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) security expertise, users can securely store and share files without worrying. In addition, Android for Work enables IT departments to remotely differentiate between personal and corporate data on a device, allowing the latter to be locked or wiped remotely without affecting personal data.

Productive: Tapping into SAP’s longstanding leadership in both business productivity apps and enterprise security, Android for Work on Kyocera devices allows workers to use their enterprise apps such as SuccessFactors, SAP Jam and SAP Fiori mobile apps anywhere, anytime and across devices. This means that employees can access critical business apps on the go to maintain high productivity levels. With app and file integrity as well as device and content management, mobile devices now have fewer limitations in terms of what they can do. 

Durable: Kyocera specializes in devices that are built to last. One particular device that SAP tested is the recently introduced DuraForce XD, part of Kyocera’s portfolio of military-grade waterproof and ruggedized devices, built to withstand the toughest work environments. While Kyocera makes sure its hardware can endure the tests of time and the elements, SAP brings its expertise in software to meet the demands of running large-scale, multinational businesses with dozens to thousands of employees.

Rich Mobile Experience: As Kyocera (and others) continue to introduce new form-factors and increasingly larger screen sizes, including large-screen “phablets,” the mobile experience becomes more immersive. Android for Work and SAP help make it even more so with a robust app marketplace, featuring specialized apps for enterprise customers.

With SAP as a leader in enterprise applications and Kyocera as a leader in rugged devices, both companies are excited to show how Android for Work can revolutionize technology for both the workplace and for life in general. Kyocera and SAP are at the forefront of testing the latest devices to ensure that all hardware, software and applications are optimized to bring workers an exceptional Android for Work experience. Now, businesses with a field force have an affordable option to equip their employees with productivity-driving devices that are designed to function in every work environment. The result? A single, long-lasting rugged solution for enterprise workers meets all their needs, both professionally and personally.

For more information on Kyocera devices, visit our Business Solutions page.