Don’t Try This at Home: Kyocera Hydro WAVE Survives 16-Hour Dip in the Ocean

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At Kyocera, we know our rugged devices are built and tested to withstand harsh environments, water immersion, dust and other elements, but sometimes we hear stories from our customers about our devices defying expectations to an extreme. We recently heard from Roberta Espree from Atlanta, GA, whose Kyocera Hydro WAVE really lived up to its aquatic name. It went over a sea wall and took a whopping 16-hour swim in the ocean in Florida, and when she was finally able to fish it out of the water the next day, it was miraculously still working.

To be very clear, we cannot recommend or warranty this kind of treatment of our devices. The Hydro WAVE is certified to a standard called IP57, meaning it is only designed to survive immersion up to 30 minutes in fresh water up to 1 meter deep. Roberta’s story is not typical and if you own a Hydro WAVE, as they say on television, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!

Roberta is a Convention Services Manager for Embassy Suites in Atlanta. She was visiting the Doubletree on Rocky Point in Tampa Bay, Florida, on a business trip and decided to stay the weekend for fun. You can imagine her excitement when, while standing on the property’s sea wall, she saw a dolphin playing nearby in the waves. Roberta started recording video of the dolphin on her Hydro WAVE, running down the sea wall to get a better shot. A bad step into a hole, however, sent Roberta sprawling and her phone flew off the wall into the water below. As if losing her phone wasn’t bad enough, Roberta also lost the opportunity to record a manatee that surfaced just as she fell. Suffice to say she was dejected.

The next morning, Roberta shared her story with another hotel guest, who suggested that the tide was low and it might be worth trying to recover her phone. She and her friends went down to the sea wall and, amazingly, could see the phone on the ocean floor. With the tide out, it was now only about two feet underwater. With the help of the hotel’s engineering department and a long-handled net from the swimming pool, they were able to reach down from the sea wall and scoop the phone from the ocean below.

Immediately the crowd showered Roberta with advice. “Put it in a bag of rice,” said one friend. “Take out the battery and let it dry in the sun,” said another. Instead, Roberta pressed the phone’s power button. Jaws dropped when the phone sprang to life. Initially the phone’s speaker wasn’t working properly, but that resolved after a few hours on dry land and the phone worked like nothing ever happened. Roberta even watched the ill-fated video she had taken of the dolphin, only to discover that the phone had continued to record video for several minutes underwater after her fall.

“After dropping my phone in the ocean and seeing how the phone still functioned, I will not use anything but a Kyocera device,” Roberta said. When she went in to MetroPCS to get another phone recently, she “elected to remain with the product I could count on.”

Again, Kyocera’s devices are certified to withstand water immersion only according to their IP certifications, and are not designed to withstand extended periods of time underwater. With that said, this isn’t the first crazy story we’ve heard about our devices defying the odds and won’t be the last. We’re thrilled that Roberta’s phone survived and grateful for her loyalty to Kyocera.

For more information about Kyocera’s waterproof and rugged mobile devices, 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 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. 

Public Safety: Rugged Technology for Critical Moments

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Our public-safety institutions are charged with the most important responsibility – keeping us safe – and in some cases, saving our lives. When tragedy strikes, timing is of the essence and errors are unforgiving. Everything needs to go right. While many things are out of our control, our equipment is not. Traditionally, communication devices for public safety have been rugged and reliable – CB radios, walkie-talkies, etc. The evolution of mobile technology, however, now offers public safety professionals an incredible array of features to help them do their jobs in a more efficient and effective fashion. There is a downside to emerging technology though – it’s often delicate, making it unreliable in challenging conditions. Enter rugged mobile.

This week, Kyocera is headed to the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2017, the annual convention for communications tech professionals and two-way radio manufacturers. Manufacturers like Kyocera are revolutionizing mobile devices, combining the full technological power of the modern smartphone with rugged designs that stand up to the harshest conditions, providing unprecedented reliability when it matters most. From police officers to EMTs to Park Rangers, going rugged can help optimize operations – and keep the public safe.

The Move to Mobile

Rugged and reliable communication devices like two-way radios have served the public-safety sector well for decades. They allow for clear, immediate communication in critical moments, and their rugged designs stand up to the elements and the often-rough situations in which public safety officers find themselves. For these reasons and more, the public-safety sector has lagged in adopting mobile technology. The rapidly expanding benefits of mobile technology, however, are convincing the industry to adapt and adopt. A report from the Federal Communications Commission states that, “Today’s channel allocations in public safety communications bands can handle limited data applications, but emerging applications demand higher data rates and broadband capabilities for communications among first responders and public safety agencies. First responders in emergencies are beginning to recognize video applications and visualized location-based services as mission critical.”

It’s All About Information

In times of crisis, information is the most critical resource. And in the digital age, information is readily available – if you can access it. Smartphones and cell-enabled tablets put real-time information in the hands of public-safety officers, allowing them to respond and react to changing circumstances in real-time. Information is collected across multiple systems. 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. Armed with information, public-safety officers can gain a full understanding of the situation at hand, and act accordingly. Access to information can speed response, eliminate mistakes, and ultimately, save lives.

Next-Gen Video

 A picture is worth a thousand words. In public-safety environments, pictures can inform an approach and expedite the resulting actions. Mobile technology is increasingly focused on enhancing the quality and speed of photo and video transmission, allowing users to stream live video information. The possibilities are endless. The rise of apps like Periscope and Facebook Live have demonstrated what streaming video is capable of. Anyone armed with a smartphone can bring viewers into a live atmosphere. Media has been particularly adept at using the technology, broadcasting live from protests, rallies, natural disasters and more. This technology in the hands of public safety officers is invaluable, advancing situational awareness and amplifying information sharing.

IoT

 The Internet of Things has been talked about in technology circles for some time. But what started as more of a theory than a readily available application is finally coming to fruition. According to VDC research, 2016 saw multiple IoT cloud platform rollouts across large organizations. VDC predicts that IoT development will advance in 2017, focusing on everything from platforms as a service to security against botnet attacks. What does this mean for public safety application? Potential. From centralized monitoring of equipment and movement to reporting and surveillance, public safety will reap the benefits of emerging IoT applications. Many IoT platforms will rely on mobile devices, and applications in environments not hospitable to typical electronic devices are driving the demand for rugged devices to previously unseen levels. In order for IoT’s benefits to be fully realized, raw data – and sensitive data – must be aggregated and parsed over time. Mobile will allow for the easy flow of this data by acting as a conduit, as well as offering analytics functionality. IoT data lives in the cloud. Mobile can both upload and download this data anywhere, anytime, enabling public-safety officers to make real-time, critical decisions.

Security

One of the reasons public safety has been slow to adopt mobile solutions is a fear of security issues. Public safety organizations – particularly law enforcement – often communicate sensitive information. A security breach could conceivably have serious consequences. While the worry over security is not unfounded, the mobile industry is constantly evolving its security measures to thwart hacking attempts. With the US military making significant investments in mobile-communication solutions, security development is quickly evolving to meet the needs of the most security-concerned organizations. 

Rugged

Mobile technology often must be treated with kid gloves. Just look at the thriving market for smartphone insurance and aftermarket protective cases for consumers. In public safety environments, delicate devices are a non-starter. That’s where rugged mobile comes in. For most of the mobile era, truly rugged devices were available only to enterprise organizations – and at a significant cost. Companies like Kyocera, however, are bringing rugged to the masses with military-grade, affordable rugged devices that meet the needs of a wide variety of organizations – including public safety. Of course, not all rugged solutions are created equal. The emergence of rugged has resulted in devices that claim they are “rugged,” but don’t meet industry standards, certifications and benchmarks for rugged devices. Truly rugged devices – like the Kyocera DuraForce Pro – are designed to meet IP68 for dust and water immersion (up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes) and Military Standard 810G for protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, thermal shock, icing and freezing rain, humidity and water immersion. These are the conditions in which public safety workers often find themselves. These critical conditions – in critical moments – require durable, rugged and reliable mobile solutions. Kyocera answers the call.

Rugged Devices and Two-Way Radio Technologies: Kyocera Attends the International Wireless Communications (IWCE) Expo 2017

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Kyocera understands the importance of rugged, durable and dependable mobile devices. We’ve designed our phones to be all of these things—ensuring people can communicate when they need it the most. We’ve also bridged the gap between cellular communications and traditional two-way radios by offering interoperability with Push-to-Talk (PTT) services in our ruggedized smartphones, making them ideal for industries that need rapid and effective connections, such as public safety, construction and utility. In some cases, an instant two-way connection can mean the difference between life and death.

Starting Monday, Kyocera will attend the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas, which is the leading 40-year-old event for two-way radio communication technologies. The conference portion of the show runs from March 27-31st, while the exhibition runs from March 29-30th. IWCE attracts more than 7,000 attendees from various industries – business/enterprise, government/military, public safety, utility, transportation and more – that use communication technologies or two-way radios on the job.

Kyocera will have a booth (#2507) at this year’s show, and we’ll be showcasing our lineup of rugged devices, which are uniquely designed with features such as programmable PTT buttons to enable quick and effective radio communications. Additionally, some of Kyocera’s operator partners, PTT solutions partners and accessory providers will be showcasing PTT services (via Land Mobile Radio/LTE) as well as accessories that are compatible with Kyocera devices. These partners include AT&T (#2900), Sprint (#2413), Kodiak (#2700), ESChat (#3000), Advancetec (#3014), Millicom (#2612), Savox Communications (#469), Stone Mountain (#666) and Klein (#330).

Kyocera will also have a speaker at IWCE this year. Dr. Muzib Khan, Director of Corporate Planning for Kyocera International Inc., will be participating in a panel session called, “Device Roundtable: Ruggedizing, Hardening, Performance and Security.” This session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th, from 2:30-5:30pm in room S225 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Muzib and the other panelists will be discussing device options and comparisons between smartphones, two-way radios and newer LTE-enabled devices.

We are looking forward to a successful week at IWCE this year. If you are attending the show, please stop by the Kyocera booth (#2507) to learn more about our PTT-equipped rugged devices, and attend Muzib’s panel session on Tuesday from 2:30-5:30 p.m. in room S225. You can also follow us on Twitter (@KyoceraMobile).

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.

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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