Kyocera Joins Fire Departments, K9 Units and Special Forces at Blueforce Field Day

Blueforce

From dogs to drones to DuraForce PROs, the Blueforce Field Day—a half-day site exploitation event in June held in Fayetteville, North Carolina—was both entertaining and educational. Blueforce Development Corporation hosts this bi-annual field day with its top partners in order to showcase the power of multi-sensor fusion and how technology can overcome the limitations of detection threshold and vulnerabilities, enable real-time awareness and analytics, and gather information for everything from environmental sampling to physiological monitoring to hazard detection.

The Blueforce Development product platform served as the command center for the day, collecting data from the various demo scenarios, from unmanned vehicles including drones, to K9-mounted cameras, gas sensors and off-leash tracking, to ad hoc unattended ground sensors.

During the event, the Kyocera DuraForce PRO was used in each demonstration scenario as the mini computer combined with specialized communications platforms to include commercial LTE, tactical LTE, mobile ad-hoc networks, and satellite communications allowing for secure sharing of sensor data, pictures, messaging and other collaborative data between mobile users, as well as the command post. Ecosystem partners such as Scott Safety, which provided the Scott Patriot 5510 PAPR/SCBA for CBRN hazard detection and mitigation, and Mission Mobility, which provided the backend portable, scalable network, played a vital role in enabling the demos. Customer attendees, who included military, Special Forces, K9 divisions and fire department representatives, were impressed with the durability, connectivity and power of DuraForce PRO over the course of the day. The solution targets military, Special Forces, and law enforcement tactical defense operations.

During the intensive half day of hands-on field scenarios, DuraForce PRO remained unscathed, with impressive little battery life consumption. DuraForce PRO was used in all scenarios, including weather sensing; K9 remote set-up; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attack mitigation and personal protection; and remotely controlled unattended ground sensors for environmental and imagery data.

Blueforce and Kyocera have been partnering for many years to enable Kyocera rugged smartphones to be motion and acoustic sensors for both underground and unattended sensor scenarios. With slim, affordable and truly rugged devices like the DuraForce PRO, Blueforce can leverage the capabilities of built-in Kyocera smartphones’ accelerometer, gyroscope and microphone sensors for detecting motion, vibration and sound, presenting great opportunity for unattended surveillance. Rapid network formation allows cueing and alerts from a wide variety of sensors, and sharing real-time awareness and analytics greatly shortens decision cycles and allows team members to anticipate friendly and enemy actions.

This year’s Blueforce Field Day showed a sampling of what is possible with the Blueforce Development product platform when coupled with Kyocera’s rugged mobile devices. The future for Blueforce and Kyocera looks very promising, enabling new underground monitoring and sensor solutions to make all of us safer. For more information on the Blueforce and Kyocera collaboration, check out our blog from November 2016 about affordable mobile counterterrorism applications.

Kyocera and Visual Labs Team Up at the National Sheriffs’ Conference

SherriffConference

Public-safety workers, particularly sheriffs and police officers, face some of the most stressful job situations and unpredictable environmental conditions known to man. It’s for this very reason that our team at Kyocera designs our rugged product lineup with public-safety workers in mind. Whether an officer is involved in a high-speed chase or monitoring a riot, we design mobile devices that can withstand virtually any obstacle or challenge. We also partner with software solution providers, like Visual Labs, to integrate industry-specific technologies into our devices that assist with increased productivity and reduced costs for taxpayers.

Next week, we are heading to the 2017 National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference and Exhibition (NSA) in Reno, Nevada, alongside our partner, Visual Labs, to show off the latest and greatest in body-worn camera technologies running on the Kyocera DuraForce PRO ruggedized smartphone. The NSA Annual Conference and Exhibition, which runs June 23-28, is one of the largest of its kind and displays products and equipment relevant to every facet of police work, jails, prisoner transport, and courtroom security. In addition to the Expo, the NSA also hosts more than 60 seminars and workshops covering all aspects of the duties and responsibilities for sheriffs’ offices, including law enforcement, jail operations, service of process, transportation of prisoners, and court and judicial security.

Visual Labs will have a booth at the Expo (booth #914) to showcase its body-worn camera technologies, which have become increasingly important given today’s rise in scrutiny over law enforcement’s use of force. Given Kyocera’s legacy is in creating durable, rugged and cost-efficient mobile devices, we are the perfect hardware solution for sheriffs’ departments across the country. Kyocera will also have a dunk tank in Visual Labs’ booth to show first-hand just how tough our devices are—the DuraForce PRO is built with certifications to IP68 and is waterproof up to 30 minutes, up to 2 meters deep.

In addition to the booth at the Expo, Kyocera’s Dr. Muzib Khan, General Manager, Kyocera Business Center, will be participating in a presentation with Alex Popof, Visual Labs’ CEO, entitled, “What You Need to Know About Body-Worn Camera Technology.” The presentation will be held Sunday, June 25, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. in room A13, and will focus on how to use new technologies to enhance officer safety and increase operating efficiencies. The discussion will also touch on the latest trends and technological innovations with body cameras, including advances in both hardware and software; officer safety features such as situational awareness via live streaming and positional awareness via GPS/Cellular Triangulation; and video geo-location, which is the ability to display maps that simultaneously correspond with body camera footage, and the ability to search for videos geographically.

If you plan on attending the 2017 NSA Annual Conference and Expo, please stop by the Visual Labs booth (Booth #914), and attend our collaborative presentation on Sunday, June 25. You can also learn more about our lineup of rugged devices or follow us on Twitter (@KyoceraMobile) and LinkedIn (Kyocera International- Communications Equipment Group).

Kyocera Fuels Innovation in Mobile Health

BloodFlowSensor

A few months back Kyocera announced the development of one of the smallest known optical blood-flow sensors, designed to measure the volume of blood flow in subcutaneous tissue through contact with the ear, finger or forehead. The sensor is an integrated module with a laser diode and photodiode included in a single package, and uses the laser doppler method to measure blood-flow volume beneath the skin. With the sensor, Kyocera is researching a variety of mobile health (mHealth) applications such as monitoring stress levels or preventing dehydration, heat stroke and altitude sickness by studying trends or changes in blood-flow volume and developing algorithms for detection. The technology has strong potential for the mobile health (mHealth) industry and for health-conscious consumers.

The first prototype device from Kyocera to use the blood-flow sensor is a set of earphones. PCMag tested these earphones at the HealthCare IT 2017 trade show in April, and wrote about them in a recent article. While the potential applications mentioned in the article are still being researched, the article concludes that the future of wearable fitness trackers may be inside the ear or other small areas of the body, rather than on the wrist as is common today. Kyocera’s pioneering work is helping to drive that new reality.

Along with its mobile-phone business, Kyocera provides a wide range of components for smartphones and wearables and has been focused on developing and experimenting with thinner, smaller components that support high functionality in compact devices. With the global mHealth market rapidly expanding, the company is utilizing its expertise in components to address a wide range of healthcare applications. The optical blood-flow sensor used in the prototype earphones, which will become available soon from Kyocera, is only 1mm high, 1.6mm long and 3.2mm wide, and is highly reliable, which makes it ideal for use in wearable devices, mobile phones and medical equipment.

For more information on Kyocera’s optical blood-flow sensor, read the related press release on our web site.

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.

Got Rugged? These Industries Do.

RuggedIndustries

While industries like transportation and logistics have been using rugged devices for years, advances in technology, combined with more attractive price-points, have made rugged mobility accessible for more industries – and many are taking advantage of the benefits. From optimized logistics to accessing and parsing big data to cloud computing in harsh environments, more and more industries are realizing the power of rugged mobility – including manufacturing, government, transportation/logistics, public safety and more. As the modern economy continues to lean on mobiles devices to execute more and more business functions, a growing number of industries are deploying mobile as a strategy. As a result, the demand for rugged devices is rising. Businesses are implementing rugged devices both to protect their investments in technology from damage, and to ensure that downtime is minimized.

Facilities Management and Field Services

Corrigo – a leading mobile facilities and field services management platform for facilities managers and service providers – teamed up with Kyocera in 2015 to deliver its unique SaaS-based solution to the building- and facilities-management industries. Corrigo’s cutting-edge platform helps transform operations, from tracking work orders to asset management and end-to-end process data analytics. Kyocera rugged devices – including the DuraForce PRO – are perfect vehicles to deliver these services. With features like Push-to-Talk (PPT) and a dedicated large side button, loud speakers, powerful battery life and optimization for Corrigo’s mobile app, the Kyocera-Corrigo collaboration is enhancing the customer experience – and the business operations – of a variety of companies across this industry.

Public Safety & Law Enforcement

Communication and information in public safety are critical. Whether it’s a police officer rushing to the scene of a crime, a firefighter battling a blaze or first responders attending to victims of a disaster, the right information at the right time can make all the difference. Traditionally, public-safety agencies utilized rugged devices like two-way radios to ensure reliable and immediate communication. But with a bevy of new mobile technologies emerging to help enhance the exchange of information in real time and better prepare public-safety officers for critical moments, rugged communication technology looks a lot different than it did 20 years ago. Smartphones provide public-safety officers with access to real-time information, collected across multiple systems, so that they can respond and react to changing circumstances. Whether it’s information on a potential suspect, GPS location tracking, traffic information or dispatch communications, mobile technology is the conduit through which information is distributed. Along with other Land Mobile Radio (LMR) interoperability partners, Kyocera is working with companies like Kodiak and TangoTango to leverage cellular Push-to-Talk to enable public safety and police officers to communicate over smartphones beyond their existing two-way radio networks. In areas like Franklin and Turner Counties in Georgia, the TangoTango app running on Kyocera rugged devices enables law enforcement to communicate with other surrounding counties and agencies for interoperability. And they are doing this at price points similar to consumer PTT rather than bearing the huge cost of expanding and integrating private Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks. Public agencies are making significant investments in mobile infrastructure, including expanded broadband capabilities, to handle ever-increasing data, and rugged devices with the capability to deliver that data.

Transportation & Logistics

 For the transportation industry, every second matters. Every train, bus, truck and plane must be accounted for – and must stay on schedule or risk far-reaching complications. For this reason and others, the transportation industry was one of the earliest adopters of mobile-communication technology. Today, however, mobile technology has moved far beyond the ability to communicate, adding new opportunities such as safety measures and workflow processes when paired with a telematics solution. Using a cloud-based solution such as GeoTab with rugged smartphones in the field, operators can dynamically track vehicles, cargo and hours of service, provide up-to-the-minute scheduling to customers and passengers, cut travel times through GPS navigation and more efficiently share information and data to ultimately improve ROI. Rugged mobile technology has opened efficiencies for the industry, allowing organizations to access and utilize the latest cloud-based SaaS applications to deliver data in real-time, helping address issues coming from a rapidly expanding field of operations.

Recently, Kyocera supported the deployment of DuraForce XD rugged smartphones for Success Logistics drivers, offering a cost-effective, easy-to-use and durable mobile solution. Success Logistics needed an Android device that would run the Geotab Drive mobile app for drivers and that could withstand the many challenges transportation workers face, from inclement weather to vehicle tracking and long hours on the road. After testing out multiple rugged Android smartphones, Success Logistics ultimately decided on the Kyocera DuraForce XD as the “go-to” device to be used with Geotab Drive. The cost savings of switching from an Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) to the DuraForce XD smartphone were significant, presenting a much more economical solution for the Company, along with the numerous benefits of having a fully rugged 4G LTE Android smartphone that could withstand the harshest environments with Military-Standard-810G certification for protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity and water immersion.

Manufacturing

 In a business where precision is imperative to success, every movement, every action and every piece of information is crucial. Existing and emerging mobile technologies are helping the manufacturing industry create new efficiencies, build better products and optimize operations. The ability to collect, parse and act on real-time data has been a boon to manufacturers. Anomalies are recognized immediately, before they can affect the logistics chain. New efficiencies are determined with computing power that could only be dreamed about just decades ago. Technology, however, is delicate. The high-powered smartphones used to move data were not initially built to withstand the manufacturing environment – often full of heavy machinery, dust and moving parts. That’s where rugged complements the industrial workplace. Kyocera rugged devices stand up to even the most intense manufacturing atmosphere, helping ensure that operations do not come to a halt because of hardware failure.

Kyocera is at the forefront of the rugged revolution, with devices that have been engineered for nearly a decade to stand up to the harshest environments. With devices that meet Military Standard 810G for protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, rain, low pressure, solar radiation, humidity, immersion, and temperature shock, more and more companies are turning to Kyocera rugged devices for their fleets. With features that improve in-building coverage, powerful battery life that lasts throughout an entire shift and leading-edge security – a key requirement for most businesses – Kyocera offers a two-year warranty on its newest rugged devices. As more industries realize the power of mobile technology and cloud computing, Kyocera rugged devices are helping companies and organizations protect their technology investments and optimize their operations.

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?