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).

The Reason for Rugged

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At Kyocera, we like to talk about our phones as being “Rugged for a Reason,” but saying “a reason” is a tad misleading. There’s more than a single reason for going rugged – and every business and individual has reasons of their own. From performing reliably in harsh environments to withstanding events that would normally lead to damage to the screen, battery and beyond, rugged devices are changing the way we think about mobile devices – and changing how we use them. As technology marches forward, our world shrinks. Increasingly, it is shrinking right into our pockets. It wasn’t that long ago that smartphones were a luxury. Today, they’re close to a necessity.

According to Pew Research, more than 75 percent of Americans now own smartphones. We rely on these devices for everything from keeping in contact to accessing information to mapping a route to taking pictures, video and beyond. We seem to spend more time with our smartphones than we do with anything – or anyone – else. These often-fragile devices, however, are traditionally unreliable when it comes to taking on the bumps and bruises that come with constant usage, and with life itself. But rugged devices are on the rise, and Kyocera is leading the way with a portfolio of devices that aren’t just built to survive where other phones fail; they’re built to thrive.

There are many reasons to go rugged, including:

Rugged for Harsh Environments

 Not everyone works behind a desk or a counter. Industries like construction, manufacturing, transportation and law enforcement work in harsh and unpredictable environments every day. For these industries and others, rugged devices are a critical tool for executing everyday business, and have been for some time. Rugged devices have been around for years but, until recently, they were typically built specifically for enterprise organizations, and required a large-scale investment. In the last several years, however, a new generation of devices brought ruggedized features into more attractive devices sold by nationwide carriers at prices comparable to standard mobile phones. In other words, rugged is available to everyone today.

While technology has changed, the reasons for utilizing rugged devices in harsh environments have not. Businesses and workers require devices that can not only withstand the environmental challenges they face every day, but also continue operating at full force without missing a beat. Every second of downtime costs businesses money. That’s why companies rely on dependably rugged Kyocera devices to ensure business moves continuously forward. Kyocera’s rugged devices are designed to meet IP68 for dust- and waterproofing and Military Standard 810G for protection against hazards like dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, thermal shock, icing and freezing rain, humidity and water immersion. Devices like the Kyocera’s newest rugged smartphone, the DuraForce PRO, don’t just survive, but thrive in challenging environments with features Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation and Underwater Mode.

 Rugged for Business

Industries that involve harsh environments aren’t the only ones taking advantage of deploying rugged devices to enhance field operations. From optimizing logistics to utilizing big data to make informed, real-time decisions, rugged devices are opening new doors for a variety of businesses. In the modern economy, data is king. Collecting, distributing, parsing and acting on data drives the decisions of businesses every day, in real time. Mobile devices are the conduits for the flow of information. It is imperative that they stay connected – and functional – 24/7. Kyocera rugged devices make sure they do, with long battery life, 4G LTE connectivity and rugged designs able to stand up to what life, and business, throw at it. 

Rugged for Life

Life is full of obstacles and people are clumsy. That’s the reason mobile-device insurance and repair businesses are booming. At some point, just about everyone dunks his or her phone in the toilet, drops it on the concrete or submerges it in the mud. We’ve become so accustomed to having a smartphone in our pocket at all times that we tend to treat them more like a leather wallet than an expensive computer. And considering we use our smartphones more than we use our wallets (in fact, some people use their smartphones as their wallets), our devices are in grave danger every single day. It may seem hyperbolic, but it’s true.

Aftermarket cases and plastic screen protectors can help blunt the damage from short drops and bumps, but the amount of protection they offer is often tied directly to price and sacrifices usability. Strong cases typically approach (or even exceed) $100 and often hinder accessibility to buttons and ports. Truly rugged devices like Kyocera’s offer similar protection right out of the box, without the cost of a clunky case or the sacrificed usability.

Rugged for Adventure

Life wasn’t meant to be lived sitting down. The desire to get outside and play is wired into our DNA. Whether you’re mountain biking in the Rockies, skydiving over the Mojave or hiking the Appalachian Trail, certain rugged devices – like the Kyocera DuraForce PRO – are built for adventure. With a 13-megapixel camera and a super-wide-view HD action video camera, the DuraForce PRO enables adventurous users to capture the excitement and relive memoires for years to come. There’s even a case available for DuraForce PRO that lets it mount to today’s most popular action-camera mounting systems, so users won’t have to worry about holding the phone as they bomb down the mountain or reel in the trophy fish. And of course, active consumers should always make sure their devices have the rugged features built to withstand the harshest environments, to be confident that their smartphones will survive the adventures, regardless of how perilous they may be.

When it comes to rugged devices, everyone has a reason. What’s yours?

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.

Partner Spotlight: How to Implement PTT into Your Business (And Save Money!) Using Kodiak

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For the past several decades, Push to Talk (PTT) has been a significant technology in enabling business-critical, two-way communications between individuals and groups for businesses and government agencies, helping connect field-force workers with each other and the main office, and first responders providing emergency services. Recently, we’ve explored how the marriage of rugged devices and PTT over LTE networks can power greater levels of enterprise mobility. We’ve also examined how PTT impacts various industries like transportation, construction and public safety to enable everything from dispatching, security and worksite collaboration, to the coordination of an emergency response in the event of a large-scale disaster.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the evolving PTT ecosystem and how a particular player, Kodiak, is working to bridge the gap between traditional PTT technologies (most notably, Land Mobile Radio or LMR) and Push To Talk over Cellular (PoC) and Wi-Fi networks. At Kyocera, we partner with leading developers to deliver highly dependable PTT services on our rugged mobile devices over ubiquitous communications networks, enabling secure and reliable mobility for workers. Under this approach, we allow organizations to supplement legacy PTT and LMR systems with next-generation PTT, extending the reach of business-critical voice applications while reducing both the total cost of ownership (TCO) and complexities associated with their delivery and management.

Kyocera works closely with Kodiak, which provides one of the industry’s leading purpose-built PTT platform that operates across LMR, LTE and Wi-Fi networks — delivering much-needed performance and interoperability between these historically disjointed communication systems. Kodiak helps enterprises expand the range and capabilities of their instant communications investments regardless of their legacy solution(s) or their current stages of implementation.

PTT Enablement and Cost Savings for Every Organization

In the world of PTT, there are two types of user organizations: those with deeply entrenched deployments and those that are newly discovering how PTT can benefit their businesses. For organizations with legacy PTT investments, the Kodiak platform can augment existing two-way radio networks with additional capacity, geographic coverage and fallback support. For new adopters, Kodiak provides an onramp to PTT enablement without the expense of having to build, lease or maintain LMR networks, equipment and devices.

For both of these groups, the cost savings of the Kodiak platform can be significant, as the annual costs of supporting a carrier-integrated PTT user costs the enterprise 55 percent less than the expense of supporting an LMR user. As we mention in our Push-to-Talk white paper, for organizations that must provision thousands of PTT users, using PTT over cellular networks can generate annual costs savings in the millions.

Kodiak enables organizations to accomplish more with less by extending the number of PTT connections that an existing system can support, and by offering the most advanced platform for organizations seeking to introduce PTT services to streamline one-to-one and one-to-many communications and boost productivity. Using Kodiak in tandem with Kyocera’s rugged mobile devices, enterprises can achieve the following:

  • Unify LMR and Next-Gen Communications Networks – Kodiak powers interoperability between old and new PTT networks, delivering fast, near-zero latency connectivity over 4G, LTE and Wi-Fi. Utilizing a Raytheon ACU series interoperability gateway and Kodiak PoC LMR interoperability cable, Kodiak extends LMR fleets by bridging cellular PTT devices and LMR radios for seamless, interoperable and instant voice communications.
  • Augment, Back Up or Migrate From Two-Way Radio Networks – Kodiak-powered PTT eliminates many of the geographic limitations of LMR radios by providing access to nationwide cellular networks. In addition, the solution allows organizations to increase the number of PTT users supported without making additional investments in dedicated, proprietary LMR towers, equipment and handheld radios. Kodiak not only provides organizations with reliable fallback support for critical voice applications, but also the redundancy and guaranteed uptime for organizations looking to transition away from end-of-life systems.
  • Consolidate Handheld Devices for End-Users – Mobile devices have become standard operating equipment for every level of enterprise worker — from the factory floor to the C-level — providing everything users need in a single device. With a Kodiak-powered solution and rugged mobile devices with dedicated side PTT buttons like those from Kyocera, workers can leverage enhanced Push to Talk directly from their feature phones and smartphones to facilitate one-touch walkie-talkie style communications. Not only are Kyocera rugged devices both more affordable and portable than traditional handheld radios, but they also provide workers with a single mobile device that consolidates one-touch PTT, voice calling, text, video and email communications.
  • Lower TCO – With low-cost, fixed-fee PTT plans and carrier-subsidized Kyocera handsets, PTT powered by Kodiak Networks provides a much-needed, cost-effective alternative to LMR. Unlike handheld radios, mobile phones provide the opportunity to cost-effectively upgrade devices every two years. This allows workers to take full advantage of the latest advances in technology, which is of particular importance for organizations that require enterprise-level security and provisioning, and whose workers rely on an array of productivity applications.

Kyocera’s goal is to deliver one-to-one and one-to-many communications over cellular and Wi-Fi networks, and we design our devices to enhance the PTT experience with loud speakers and a dedicated side button, among others. Kodiak represents a critical partner in helping us revolutionize enterprise mobility. Together, Kodiak and Kyocera’s purpose-built technologies can cost-effectively and reliably augment and even replace many existing land mobile radio (LMR) deployments, while also providing an end-to-end solution for organizations just entering the realm of PTT usage. Kodiak offers greater coverage, reliability and sub-second call set up that can boost organization’s productivity and efficiency. Coupled with Kyocera’s market-leading rugged and waterproof mobile phones, together we stand committed to delivering long-lasting, low-cost PTT solutions to a variety of businesses.

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.