Ixonos, a Finnish company which develops wireless technologies, software and solutions, has developed a prototype rugged smartphone aimed at the public safety and security (PSS) community.
The idea is to bring some of the key features and services developed for mass market consumer smartphones into the specialist public safety environment, taking advantages of its much larger economies of scale to provide a cheaper device.
Antti Aumo, Ixonos VP of Marketing, says: ‘But you cannot just transfer the consumer smartphone world to the public safety world. A device like the iPhone attracts developers and builds a large ecosystem, but public safety and PMR has a very limited ecosystem, so there is a more complicated business model. However, it still needs to attract the best app developers,’ says Aumo.
Ixonos is trying to provide an answer to that question with prototype rugged touch-screen smartphone. It has also released the Ixonos PSS Reference Design, which provides potential developers with: a user interface optimized for PSS; LTE mobile broadband data; a platform for controlled distribution of customised content and services to the device; an Ixonos PSS smartphone engine; rugged mechanical concept (IP66); and a secure operating system based on open source Android.
Connectivity options include GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Micro USB 2.0 HS and OTG and NFC. Networks cover LTE 700-2700MHz, WCDMA, GSM quad band 850/900/1800/1900MHz.
Tapani Stjernvall, director for key customer accounts, explains that although it is a touch-screen device it comes with an emergency call button that opens a video stream to the dispatcher. It also has a push-to-talk button familiar to public safety operatives and unlike smartphones, it also has a hot swappable battery to extend shift life.
Ixonos has developed all the hardware itself, but is looking for a manufacturer partner to take it further and that probably requires a customer order first.