Kyocera Provides Honda’s Official Ultra-Ruggedized Smartphone for Dakar Rally for Second Year in a Row

Kyocera Torque G02 Dakar Rally

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

APCO_PTT

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. 

Rugged for Everyone: Five Distinguishing Features of the Kyocera Brigadier

BrigadierFeatures

Most manufactures don’t target specific demographics or industries when designing their phones. At Kyocera, we absolutely do. All of our ruggedized mobile devices are built to serve the unique needs of users who demand a phone that can withstand tough work environments and the adventurist lifestyle.

But as all users become even more reliant on their phones, which now also serve as mini-computers, cameras, contact managers and ewallets, the benefits of durability and longevity that come with rugged device ownership are increasingly attractive among general consumers and traditionally non-rugged buyers. Be it the college student whose phone is either a mainstay in his back pocket or buried in his backpack, or the busy working parents with a herd of young and curious children, these users would be better and longer served by a device that offers a superior feature set with usability in mind, built to survive virtually anyone’s non-delicate lifestyle.

Whether the motivation for durability is personal or professional, the Kyocera Brigadier at Verizon Wireless serves up a powerful smartphone with five distinguishing features that make it practical and attractive to both rugged and everyday users:

  1. Sapphire Crystal display: The Brigadier was the world’s first mass-market phone to utilize Sapphire Shield technology in its display. Made from a synthetic sapphire crystal that is surpassed only by diamond in its hardness and strength, the display offers superior protection against coins, keys, rocks, sand, dirt, concrete and other abrasions that can crack or scratch a standard display. The Brigadier also encases its sapphire display in a raised, rubberized bezel perimeter that further protects the ultra-durable touchscreen in the event of shocks and drops.
  1. Glove and Wet Touch Screen Operation: Because the Brigadier is waterproof too, it can withstand water submersions for 30 minutes in up to six feet of water! Even when wet, operation of the Brigadier touchscreen is highly responsive. This also remains true with hands in gloves up to 3 mm thick. While this feature is of obvious benefit in industries where workers are required to wear gloves and the potential exposure to water and moisture are constant, such as in construction, manufacturing, shipping and logistics, it is also a seasonal reality for much of the general public who must navigate their daily lives in rain, sleet or snow – when cold, they too wear gloves. So while support for Glove and Wet Touch Screen Operation intuitively benefits rugged workers, it offers that same level of convenience and ease of use to the everyday user who braves the elements.
  1. Large physical buttons: For some, the ritual of accessing frequently used applications or simply accepting a call can be non-intuitive and/or time consuming. The Brigadier features large, dedicated buttons for the camera, volume and power, and a programmable button that can be customized to initiate one-touch Push to Talk services, or dedicated to a user’s favorite app or flashlight.
  1. Wireless charging: The Brigadier is one of the few Android devices at its price point that offers support for wireless changing built on the Qi standard. While it features a large 3100mAh Lithium ion battery with up to 26 hours of talk time, when charging is needed, users have the option of opening the bottom-most port to connect and charge the device, or to do so wirelessly by simply laying its back plate on any Qi-compatible charging mat. Wireless charging helps further maintain the Brigadier’s rugged integrity by keeping ports securely fastened, a requirement to ensuring ingress protection for liquids or dust.
  1. Crisp, loud audio: The truth is that many mobile phones simply lack in both audio quality and performance, which can be a nonstarter when the phone is used in the outdoors or on loud jobsites, and when exposed to extraneous environmental or workplace noises. The Brigadier’s superior audio is created by the duality of Smart Sonic Receiver technology and 100+dB front-facing speakers. With Smart Sonic Receiver, normal sound is augmented by vibrations that are emitted throughout the entire screen assembly and carried by the body directly to the eardrum, eliminating ambient noise and delivering clearer audio. And with extra-loud front-facing speakers, the Brigadier’s crisp audio gets even louder in speaker mode, an attribute that makes it a popular phone among construction, event and security, and manufacturing workers who constantly operate in the presence of heavy background noises.

The Kyocera Brigadier is a full-featured, affordable smartphone whose toughness and ease-of-use is as equally appealing to general consumers as it has historically been to rugged professionals, athletes, outdoorsmen and adventure-seeking enthusiasts. The Brigadier is now available to both consumer and business users from Verizon Wireless.

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. 

Kyocera Demonstrates First Ruggedized Android Smartphone Solutions for AT&T Fleet Complete

NAFA

Today, Kyocera is thrilled to announce a collaboration with AT&T and Fleet Complete to unveil the first ruggedized Android® solution to support AT&T Fleet Complete®. AT&T Fleet Complete is a family of GPS-based tracking and management solutions for the transportation industry that collect and send vital information between operations staff, mobile workers, and fleet vehicles. The solution is a perfect fit for the ruggedized consumer for whom we design at Kyocera.

Kyocera, Fleet Complete and AT&T are jointly conducting live demonstrations of the solution in the Fleet Complete booth (#1321) at the NAFA 2016 Expo in Austin, Texas, and will feature Kyocera’s DuraForce and DuraForce XD smartphones running AT&T Fleet Complete, including its integration with AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk.

AT&T Fleet Complete aims to reduce business costs, potentially increase profits, and enable regulatory compliance. Kyocera’s ruggedized smartphones further enhance these cost savings and increase the dependability of the solution. A recent study by analyst firm VDC Research showed that rugged devices in business settings fail less than one-third as often and decrease total cost of ownership by 46 percent when compared to non-rugged devices.

Kyocera’s DuraForce and DuraForce XD, both available from AT&T, are fully ruggedized, extremely affordable smartphones. Users can choose between the DuraForce’s “standard” 4.5-inch display or the DuraForce XD’s extra-large 5.7-inch display, which is ideal for viewing content like forms and maps. Both are certified to Military Standard 810G for dust, drop, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure/high altitude, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity. They also are certified IP68, meaning they are dustproof and can be fully submerged in water up to six feet deep for up to 30 minutes.

Drivers and field teams using Kyocera smartphones with AT&T Fleet Complete can be dispatched more efficiently, enhancing on-time performance and customer service. Mobile workers can use the devices’ data capabilities to manage tasks, access job details and complete clock-in and -out timesheets. And along with standard phone service, AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk enables near real-time communication between individuals or groups. AT&T Fleet Complete is now integrated with AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk. Businesses can communicate even faster and better manage information on the location and condition of their operations staff, mobile workers, and fleet vehicles.

If you’re at NAFA, stop on by the Fleet Complete booth and see AT&T Fleet Complete and Kyocera’s rugged lineup in action. For more information on Fleet Complete, please visit www.fleetcomplete.com, and for more information about the AT&T Fleet Complete solution, visit the AT&T Business Center.

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.

Kyocera’s DuraForce XD Wins Prestigious 2016 Red Dot Award

Reddot

This week, we are thrilled to announce that Kyocera’s DuraForce XD has been selected as a 2016 Red Dot Award winner for outstanding product design in the “Industry, Machinery and Robotics” category. We take great pride in creating tough, rugged mobile devices that don’t sacrifice usability or style, so it is always a great honor when we are recognized for our product design by industry associations, influencers and other third parties.

You might be wondering about the significance of the Red Dot Awards. Let me explain…The Red Dot is a revered international stamp of outstanding design quality. The origin of the award dates all the way back to 1955, and it is organized annually by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen— one of the oldest, most reputable and most active design institutions in the world. Each year they evaluate more than 17,000 professional product design entries globally in three categories: Product Design, Communication Design and Design Concept.

The judging process is very unique and quite extensive, which is why Kyocera is so thrilled the DuraForce XD is being honored as a Product Design winner. A panel of 40 experts appraise manufacturers and designers from all over the world—they dedicate three full days to diving deep into all of the nominated products and focus on criteria like innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. So, you can see why an endorsement like this is such an honor for Kyocera.

We’re obviously very proud of our rugged lineup, specifically the DuraForce XD. Not only is it affordable, but it also includes an extra-large display (5.7”) that bridges the gap between smartphones and tablets, and is capable of surviving the most challenging work environments. It incorporates certified Mil Spec 810G Protection against field-force mishaps like drops, shock and vibration, among others. And with Glove and Wet Touchscreen Operation, as well as Push-To-Talk functionality, it is one of the most versatile, durable and reliable phones available today. Thank you to the Red Dot Awards for this outstanding recognition of the Kyocera DuraForce XD.

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.