Kyocera Sheds Light on Mobile Innovation with the Solar-Powered Smartphone

Solar Prototype

For the second year in a row, Kyocera captivated technology enthusiasts by demonstrating a prototype for a smartphone with a solar-power-generating display at the world’s largest trade show for the mobile industry, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

At last year’s MWC, Kyocera unveiled an early-stage version of the technology but it required two hours of sun exposure to generate only 15 minutes of talk time, leaving it far from the efficiency we considered necessary for commercial viability. What a difference a year makes. Together with partner Sunpartner Technologies, we made great strides in the evolution of the technology since that first demo. This year’s head-turning prototype was (forgive the pun) light-years ahead, requiring only three minutes of sun exposure to generate one minute of talk time. Response from the thousands of industry insiders and experts (and media) gathered at MWC was overwhelmingly positive.

Limited battery life is a leading cause of frustration among smartphone users, many of whom struggle to get through even a single day on a charge. This solar technology is not meant to replace batteries or charging; the best analogy may be hybrid cars. While hybrid cars still require gasoline, their electric motors greatly extend the lives of those tanks of gas. Similarly, augmenting a phone’s battery simply by exposing it to light will extend the phone’s battery life between charges. For hybrid-car owners, this means lower fuel costs, while for mobile-phone owners this means less non-mobile time tethered to a wall plug. Additionally, in the case of a natural disaster, blackout or simply the absence of a plug, the phone user could quickly generate enough power to make a call, send a text, post to social media, find/transmit GPS coordinates, etc.

While potentially a benefit to any phone user who spends time outside, this technology is even more ideally suited to Kyocera’s portfolio of rugged, waterproof devices. Whether used for business (e.g., a construction jobsite) or pleasure (e.g., mountain-biking), many of the ideal use-cases for a ruggedized device happen to be outdoors. Like Kyocera’s Smart Sonic Receiver, Glove & Wet Touchscreen Operation, Military Standard 810G certifications and other features, the solar-charging display is yet another Kyocera innovation designed to allow mobile devices to not just survive, but thrive in the most challenging environments.

For regular updates on Kyocera’s rugged lineup please follow us on Twitter (@kyoceramobile).

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. 

Introducing the First LTE-Capable Feature Phone in North America: The Kyocera DuraXE

DuraXE_VoLTE

While at CES, Kyocera and AT&T introduced the DuraXE, a flip-style rugged feature phone with Push-To-Talk (PTT) capabilities to enable communication in tough, harsh work environments. What many people do not realize, however, is that the Kyocera DuraXE is the first LTE-capable feature phone available in North America.

So, what does that actually mean for consumers and enterprise workers? A few crucial things, actually:

VoLTE: With support for Voice-Over-LTE (VoLTE), the Kyocera DuraXE enables HD voice, which means sharper, crisper audio, a capability that is especially important for workers at noisy construction sites or loud factories. According to Sascha Segan at PC Magazine, “VoLTE, which can include ‘high-definition’ voice and rich calling services such as IM and voice calling, will eventually replace standard voice calling on all four major networks.”

Smartphone-like functionality: Running on an open-source operating system and featuring a Qualcomm® Snapdragon processor with 1.1 GHz quad-core CPUs, the DuraXE offers functionality typically reserved for smartphones, including creation of Wi-Fi hot spots and support for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) software from industry leaders like SOTI. SOTI and its flagship product, MobiControl, provide needed tools to more than 15,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide, allowing enterprises to optimize and secure their mobile workforces across all platforms to support both corporate-liable and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. DuraXE is the first ruggedized feature phone to run MobiControl.

Enhanced PTT: For the enterprise PTT user on AT&T’s Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) network, life just got a little better with enhanced performance over LTE, including higher capacity and faster response time. Kyocera already builds its rugged devices with out-of-the-box support for a range of PTT services and platforms, and includes enhanced sound quality for speaker and microphone, dedicated walkie-talkie-style side-buttons and superior battery life, while partnering with a wide range of optimized accessories for rugged environments and applications. Now instant one-to-one and one-to-many communications are even easier and more reliable with the backing of an LTE network.

Better service: Running on AT&T’s LTE network, DuraXE offers superior connectivity to rival 3G feature phones. That means better signal wherever you are and the ability to (almost) always be connected, as well as fewer dropped calls. Plus, DuraXE can function as a mobile hotspot.

At Kyocera, we see LTE becoming pervasive in feature phones, and we’re thrilled to lead the charge and be the first to deliver an LTE-capable feature phone with VoLTE capabilities. For only $13.50/month for 20 months, $49.99 with a two-year service agreement and purchase of Enhanced Push-to-Talk service (CRU only), or $270 without contract, the rugged, waterproof DuraXE is leading the way for feature phones, be it HD Voice, Enhanced PTT or simply LTE connectivity that you need.

For more information on the Kyocera DuraXE, visit AT&T or at Kyocera Mobile.

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. 

Live from Mobile World Congress: Kyocera and its Partners Demo the Future of PTT, Mobile Enterprise Management and More

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Hola from España. Kyocera is in Barcelona this week for five days and nights of eating paella, drinking sangria, and, of course, defining the future of the wireless industry at the 2016 Mobile World Congress. We’re excited to be here with the movers and shakers of the mobile industry, including many of the partners with whom we collaborate closely to enable the future of ruggedized mobile devices.

Kyocera will be showing off our latest mobile phones and devices, including the recently announced DuraXE and DuraForce XD, and featuring our devices in the booths of some of our partners, including Qualcomm, SOTI and Mobile Tornado. If you’re on the ground in Barcelona, be sure to stop by their booths and see how we are working together to bring dependable, rugged devices to enterprise customers worldwide, and enabling new levels of connectivity, security and enterprise management.

Qualcomm (MWC 2016: Hall 3, Booth 3E310): Kyocera and Qualcomm share a long, rich history, as Kyocera’s North American mobile-phone business was formed through the acquisition of Qualcomm’s handset business in 2000. The relationship and partnership remain strong to this day. The companies’ offices are separated by a few miles and Kyocera continues to use Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon processors in our devices.

SOTI (MWC 2016: Hall 5, Booth 5B40): Kyocera and SOTI have partnered to bring Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) software to rugged devices worldwide. Kyocera recently launched North America’s first LTE-capable feature phone, the DuraXE, which runs on an open-source operating system and uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 1.1 GHz quad-core CPU, typically used in smartphones. This is allows the device to support SOTI’s flagship product, MobiControl, so that enterprises can enable, optimize and secure their mobile workforces across all platforms, for both corporate-liable and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) polices.

Mobile Tornado (MWC 2016: Hall 5, Stand 5E81): Mobile Tornado provides leading professional Push To Talk over Cellular (PoC) and Wi-Fi solutions, and Kyocera partners with Mobile Tornado to deliver the highest-quality PTT solutions, particularly for wireless operator TELUS in Canada. Both companies ensure that Kyocera rugged devices are tested and certified for compatibility with the Mobile Tornado PTT client. This means better business connectivity and continuity in order to solve issues like latency, responsiveness and screen operability in extreme conditions.

MWC 2016 is sure to be full of innovative solutions for the wireless and mobile industry, and at Kyocera, we look forward to seeing how enterprise functionality and ruggedized design will continue to evolve. We look forward to seeing you on the show floor.

Lane Paxton is the senior director of marketing at Kyocera Communications. An industry veteran of 18 years with experience in marketing, product management and product development, Lane has been with Kyocera since July of 2008. Prior to Kyocera, he was responsible for product marketing and product planning for the U.S. and international business units at Gateway. Additionally, Lane was a co-founder of a successful software company and was a key driver in taking a wireless startup through IPO. When not working or shuttling his two kids to their activities, Lane likes to ride waves and mountains sideways…right foot forward.

 

Kyocera Named Official Smartphone of Honda Racing Corp. for Dakar Rally

DakarRally

Kyocera prides itself on being a world leader in rugged mobile devices, supporting all types of enterprise verticals and consumers who work, perform or play in the harshest environments. It’s for those very reasons we were the official smartphone of Honda Racing Corp. (Team HRC) for the Dakar Rally 2016 last month in the motorbike category. The Dakar Rally is an intense off-road endurance race, which took place January 3-16 in traverse, grueling environments across Argentina and Bolivia.

The world-famous Dakar Rally originated in 1979 and is a long-distance rally raid that covers various off-road environments including deserts, jungles and mountainous areas. This year, the rally took top drivers and riders from Buenos Aires, Argentina north through Bolivia and back down to the finish line in Rosario, Argentina.

Kyocera supplied ruggedized devices, including the Kyocera Torque, to Team HRC for telemetry and communication purposes. The devices were carried by the team throughout the race, allowing them to monitor the status of the motorbike and send critical performance data and log information to the crew and mechanical experts.

“The Kyocera Torque exceled for Team HRC in the extreme heat and dusty conditions of the Dakar Rally. This was a high-impact, grueling course and the Torque played an important role in facilitating our team’s communication,” said Taichi Honda, Team HRC Rally Project Leader. “Not only did the device survive, but it never missed a step, especially with rugged features like Glove Touchscreen Operation. Torque passed this torture test with flying colors.”

Kyocera was proud to support Team HRC in the Dakar Rally 2016, and even more proud that the same rugged Kyocera products and technologies used in this ultimate endurance race 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 web site or follow us on Twitter @kyoceramobile.

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.