Rugged smartphones for heavy-duty businesses, such as oil driller, mining, excavating and construction are starting to pop up everywhere. We just reported on two new ultra rugged Sonim smartphones – the XP7 and XP6 – debuting in Canada this month and next. There is a real need for this type of device that can work in those types of environment and it looks like Motorola Solutions – not Motorola Mobility that makes the Moto X – is set to come out with their own solution for those type of work environments on October 21.
A teaser video (see below) was sent out and it is very vague. It mentions catch lines like: 'Your Frontline, to a Smarter Enterprise,' 'Business Tough, User Focused,' 'Solutions Focused on the Long Haul,' 'Android-Fortified for the Enterprise,' 'The Right Device Makes all the Difference.' Then it tells us that we will find out more on October 21, 2014 and you can register for the event now.
They call the device an 'all-touch mobile computer,' although the video makes it look like a handheld smartphone – probably just capable of handling some specific business applications. It is certainly not the type of device the average person would want to lug around, and it will most likely only be sold directly to businesses through business channels. It could be preloaded with businesses applications design specifically for the type of work related business in which you are engaged.
These types of smartphones generally use the Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature where you can get almost instantaneous voice communication – very important out in the work environment where seconds can sometimes save a life. They are usually built beyond military specs and can sustain a fall or drop in the water – the Sonim XP7 I mentioned earlier can even be driven over by a truck with no damage to the phone, as well as be under 2 meters of water for 90 minutes. They are generally very shock-resistant, impervious to extreme cold or hot temperatures, and can be used with rugged gloves or even oily fingers.
This is the type of device that will be announced and then forgotten a day later by the techie types – it will be of only interest to the business communities, but it is interesting to see what the rest of Motorola is up too and what devices are available.