Jawbone earpiece makes it easier to love smartphones

This was initially posted on www.thestar.com

Jawbone began making it easier to love Siri, Google Now or other virtual assistants in a hint at the future portrayed in the Oscar-nominated filmHer.

The San Francisco-based company behind sophisticated and stylish wireless ear pieces released a new ERA model packing big technology in a diminutive form and enabling users to speak more naturally with software on their mobile devices.

“I hope they don’t fall in love with their operating systems, but they will at least rekindle a relationship with voice commands,” Jawbone audio product manager Gernard Feril said while providing AFP an early look at the new ERA.

Feril was making a playful reference to the Spike Jonze film Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, who plays a man who falls in love with a personal computer operating system.

Advanced Siri and Google Now software, which combine natural language exchanges with contextual awareness and even anticipating what users might want, have created a place for an ERA ear piece with enhanced technology for speaking to smartphones as one would a person, according to Feril.

Jawbone built in wide-band audio, high-quality microphones, and NoiseAssassinsoftware to block out unwanted sounds to make voice quality closer to what is found in Internet telephone calls than in typical ear pieces.

Being able to speak commands and have spoken exchanges with virtual assistants through the ear piece frees people to either ignore smartphone screens or use them for other tasks, such as e-mail, games or maps.

“This device has become so powerful,” Feril said of the smartphone in his hand, “that holding it to your face limits what you’re doing.”

And, as screen sizes of mobile devices have grown, they become awkward to hold up to faces, he noted.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza that played out recently in Las Vegas was rife with headsets. Jawbone set out to distinguish itself with a tiny, high-quality ear piece crafted with style and brains to complement smartphone lifestyles.

Feril billed ERA as the smallest, lightest, best-sounding ear piece available.

ERA was priced at US$99 (RM300) at www.jawbone.com, but could be purchased with a protective charging case for US$130 (RM390) to increase talk time to 10 hours from four. The ear piece was less than half the size of its predecessor.

Since ERA is tiny, Jawbone added a “locator” feature that signals an ear piece to chirp to disclose where it is.A Jawbone “Nerd” USB device can be used to automatically synch the ear piece to laptop computers.

“It’s the Internet-of-me,” Feril said. “It is not about the things, it is about the person. You can see that, at least in Spike Jonze’s interpretation, the Internet is going to be with you at all times.”

Weitz Funds Analyst Corner – A Perspective On Motorola Solutions Inc.

Motorola Solutions (MSI) is a global leader in the sale of public safety communication infrastructure products and services as well as commercial radio systems. The company’s public safety portfolio, which represents over 60% of sales, provides first responders with mission critical, reliable and secure communications necessary for operating during storms, fires and security events where the inability to communicate can result in disastrous consequences. MSI designs, manufactures and installs the underlying infrastructure necessary to run a network as well as the end point radios and other devices carried by local personnel. The company’s commercial radio systems are sold to a diverse set of private and public entities which need a reliable, low cost, two-way push-to-talk method of communicating with customers and employees. We believe the company is the share leader in both of its primary businesses, serving over 10,000 customers located in more than 100 countries.

Old is New Again – With Higher Margins

Motorola was originally founded as Galvin Manufacturing in 1928 with the police radio as one of its first products. In its 86 years, the company invented or commercialized many leading edge products such as the AM/FM car radio, two-way police radio, walkie-talkie and the first cellular phone and network. Over time, Motorola became the owner of a wide range of technologies pertaining to semiconductors, personal computers, mobile phones, cable television and networking equipment. In the early 2000’s the company began a program to divest many of its disparate businesses. With the appointment of CEO Greg Brown in 2008, the divestment program was accelerated through the spin-off of the mobile phone unit and culminated with the sale of the enterprise mobility products business in the 3rd quarter of 2014. MSI management believes that as a result of being able to completely focus on what are two very similar businesses, it will be able to reduce selling and overhead expense and therefore increase operating margins by a significant amount.

Analog to Digital LTE: Opportunity or Threat?

While shrinking its portfolio, Motorola was also investing in the public safety and commercial radio businesses. By refreshing and expanding the product portfolio MSI is well positioned to participate in what is expected to be a long-term transition by customers from aging analog to modern digital and LTE systems. MSI estimates that only 60% of its install base has moved to a digital infrastructure which among many improvements allows for better quality, more efficient use of spectrum and lower costs. The company has long protected its customers by making new equipment compatible with older versions so customers can transition to digital as needed without worrying about obsolescence.

A rush by MSI’s customers to comply with an FCC mandate caused some of the “digital transition” demand to be pulled forward from 2014 into 2012 and 2013. The resulting lull caused negative year-over- year sales growth and created doubts in investor’s minds about the durability of the public safety business. We anticipate that public safety revenues will return to growth in 2015.

Another source of opportunity for MSI is to sell LTE data capabilities into its installed base. LTE systems complement existing digital systems by offering features such as high-speed, two-way data transmission, real-time video and use of “big data” applications. However, Voice over LTE is barely reliable for consumer cell phone use (most consumer smart phones connect to a “3G” network for voice and use LTE for high speed data) much less critical public safety situations and therefore existing analog and digital voice products must still be used for the foreseeable future. Motorola has patiently built out its LTE offering while it waits for the U.S. Government to settle on rules and standards for a national intraoperative public safety LTE network. The process has taken longer than expected and combined with what we believe are unfounded worries that LTE will cannibalize revenue from the analog to digital transition has caused investors to express concern that LTE is more a threat than an opportunity. Our analysis leads us to believe that LTE has significant potential and will be additive to Motorola’s results.

Strong Capital Allocation

The separation of the mobile phone business in early 2011 left the company with significant net cash. Since then Motorola has repurchased over 30% of its diluted shares. Furthermore, the company has committed to moving to a net debt position thus making available more funds to shareholders. These funds, when combined with the proceeds from the sale of the enterprise mobility business are what enabled the company to authorize an additional $5b in repurchases in November 2014. If fully utilized at current prices the repurchase would reduce MSI’s share count by another 25%. In buying a substantial portion of its shares, MSI has materially increased per share value for remaining shareholders.

Attractive Value

We believe Motorola possesses an above average “moat,” good management and a shareholder-friendly capital allocation policy. As a result, we consider the MSI to be a high-quality business. With predictable long-term growth driven by public safety infrastructure upgrades and margin improvement resulting from focus and scale, we believe our discounted cash flow derived estimate of business in the mid $80’s represents a compelling opportunity for the Funds.

http://www.gurufocus.com/news/310722/weitz-funds-analyst-corner–a-perspective-on-motorola-solutions-inc

Where Are Sepura Radios Used?

For people who are curious where Sepura radios are used, then this article is for you. Sepura is a highly respected company that designs, manufactures and sells radio technology. However, the company is known for providing accessories, like a Sepura radio earpiece to radio networks. The company has gained a reputation to supply radios that are highly secure, feature-rich and durable. In fact, with these so many features, the only real question is – in which situations do Sepura radio are not suitable? The answer is – hardly. Nevertheless, this article is going to enumerate a few popular uses for Sepura radios.

Public Safety

One of the most common uses for Sepura radios is in the field of public safety. There are plenty of reasons for this, but the most compelling one is because of the Sepura’s mobile gateway technology. Because of such technology, officers in public safety will be able to communicate with each other no matter the location, even for “dead spots. Sepura radio also comes with a one-of-a-kind noise suppression technology. It’s so good at it that even with wailing sirens, you can still hear crystal clear audio. However, if you really want to block-out all the background noises, then Sepura radio earpiece can help you with that.

Seupra also provides radio technologies that are all designed to streamline and increase the functionality of the communications like allowing real-time information sharing with emergency services, the control room and colleagues; also, Sepura provides apps that make using the technology easier. The ability of Sepura radios to withstand a heavy beating makes them very ideal for tough and disaster scenarios. Lastly Sepura radios come with a Man-Down feature, which provides critical help for any officers that might need backup or assistance.

Oil And Gas

Another popular use for Sepura radios is in oil and gas industries, especially offshore installations. These kinds of work environments are considered as “high risk”, thus worker safety of utmost importance. Therefore, accurate and clear communication is crucial for the safety of all the workers. Sepura radios offer the one of the best radio communications and technologies to provide that another safety layer.

The notable safety features are the Lone Worker and Man-Down. These features are especially designed to ensure safety of the workers and provide immediate help if the situation arises. The radios and accessories are designed in a way so that it can be easily operated even if the user is wearing thick gloves. Sepura radios also feature real-time information authorization access to different areas. This helps protect assets and ensure information security. Also, Sepura radios come with an app specially designed for oil and gas environments as it helps in reducing incidents, liability exposure, promoting safety and full audit-trail.

Sepura is a company that designs, manufactures and sells radio and radio based-technologies from handheld devices, networks to accessories, like the Sepura radio earpiece. Because of the many features, their radios are extensively used in different locations, industries and agencies. The company has put a lot of effort to put features that ensure safety and clear communications, thus it has earned a place in public safety and oil and gas industries.

A Look At The Different Motorola Radio Earpieces

When it comes to discreet affairs, there definitely must be a discreet communication. Whether it is a security personnel or just a private group of designated people. Radios are used for communication between compatible devices within a specified location. Nevertheless, it would be less comfortable if someone talks via the radio and everyone hear the entire communication. Given the different types of two-way radios in the market, they usually come with a compatible earpiece. Among the most common radios are the Motorola radios. It would be super discreet and stylish if you had A Motorola radio earpiece to accompany your device. Some of the ideal Motorola 2-way radio earpiece connectors at EarpieceOnline include the following;

CP040 DP1400 2-Pin Connector

This Motorola 2-pin connector can work with a number of Motorola 2-way radios. It can also support some of the old version radios such as the DP1400, GP040 and the GP300. Some of the novel version of radios that are compatible to this earpiece include the DP1400 and the DP1000.

Features of the connector

* It has a changeable Foam sock so that you can replace if it has worn out.

* The earpiece also has a comfortable and flexible C-shaped earpiece.

* There is a secure moulded ear hook, for holding firm on the ear.

* It provides high quality audio.

* It comes with a noise reducing microphone for enhanced reception of incoming voice messages.

* The earpiece has a plastic that is covered by a label clip PTT button. The wire PTT is separated from the microphone and an ear hangar earpiece.

* It has a RoHS compliant feature and comes with Motorola earpiece 2-pin connector GP300/CP040/XTN/DP1400 and GP340 adapters.

DP3400 DP3600 Multi Connector

This is a multi pin connector works with all DP3000 DP4000 range of radios, with a 12-pin connector, it slots perfect onto the side of the DP radio and is securely screwed in so that the earpiece is securely locked in.

Features

* It is incorporated with Kevlar Reinforced for better surveillance and security.

* It has a secure fit tube connector, to avoid accidents of it cut from rough encounters.

* It offers a high quality audio.

* The earpiece has a Lapel clip PTT button and a separate wire PTT. That is separated from a noise reduction microphone and an acoustic tube. The acoustic tube runs over the ear, the FBI style.

* There is a changeable connector for flexible modification and flexible mushroom plugs that you can replace whenever.

DP2400 DP2600 multi connector

This is yet another different multi-pin connector that lets you connect to the DP2000 range of radios. This 8-pin connector fits on to the side of the radio and is locked in with a ‘pull out and slot-in’ connector, reducing the risk of broken screws or damage to the radio.

Features

* The acoustic tube runs over the ear and it has a secure fit connector for super surveillance and comfort.

* It has a separate wire PPT different from the acoustic tube and a microphone that reduces noise from the surrounding.

* The mushroom plugs are changeable and you can simply remove them when they are loose or worn out.

* It produces a high quality audio that reduces strain even when in a noisy environment.

GP340 GP680

This multi connector is compatible the GP range of radios, including the GP340 and GP680. The Connector is a 13-pin connector and is secured on the side of the radio, with a screw-in to secure the earpiece to the radio.

Features

* This multi connector has a high quality audio reception. That makes it comfortable to use anywhere, even in a crowded, noisy place.

* There is a microphone, which is separate from a wire PTT and an acoustic tube. The microphone is a noise reducing microphone, that helps to make the other end-user be comfortable.

* It has a RoHS compliant and an over the ear acoustic tube that holds firm to the ear.

* There is an adjustable connector that is versatile to other devices.

An elegant and well fitted earpiece will not only promote surveillance, but it will also be comfortable on the ear. That will ensure it is safe from damages in rough situations. AMotorola radio earpiece will be beneficial if you want a comfortable communication without having to speak loudly over the radio. Some of the radios are also slightly heavy, which makes them more comfortable when using an earpiece, that is worn beneath the clothing.

Here Are More AM Suggestion

This is located over on this internet site, please enjoy

I thought you should know that the FCC has just licensed a digital TV station with an ancillary service in the form of an analog FM radio station. This new service can create thousands of powerful FM radio stations, which can be leased to current AM radio stations now struggling with broadcast difficulties.

Recent studies have shown that the 0.62 MHz now unused by DTV stations can be efficiently employed for other services, with no interference to or from either the DTV reception or, for example, FM radio reception. No new spectrum, or change in current spectrum use, is required. FM receivers, which can receive all VHF and UHF TV stations’ analog audio, were readily available since the 1980s from many manufacturers, and could easily be again.

The first DTV station licensed to broadcast this added analog FM is W26DC-D in New York. No interference of any kind has been observed. It uses the upper 200 kHz of the digital channel for monaural analog FM, and is well received by the older FM radios mentioned above. (Stereo FM analog, and digital radio, could also be broadcast.)

The FCC had previously shown concern that this added ancillary service might adversely affect new cochannels, but this has been disproved for the specific conditions employed.

This extended use of DTV spectrum could solve the problems of current AM radio stations by allowing them all to migrate to this new FM band, with no need to disturb any existing service. All that is needed is an FM transmitter output injected into the antenna line of a full- or low-power digital television station.

I hope advantage can be taken by the radio and television industry of this novel spectrum use.

Richard D. Bogner

Retired, Former President and Owner

Island Broadcasting Co.

Roslyn, N.Y.

ENFORCE THE RULES

As a major player in the world of AM radio and as one who is vested deeply, I am continually amazed at people who are not invested trying to tell us how to live.

AM radio in itself needs no improvement!! It works just fine. The problem is simple: The FCC has dropped the ball and fails to recognize the problem is the environment surrounding it. It is man-made interference that has caused the problem, and if the commission had enforced the incidental radiation rules, we would not be compromised as we are today.

All these hearings and meetings always attack the AM spectrum itself. It is just plain wrong! Enforce the rules and make sure radio manufacturers build good radios.

I listen to AM with my Icom Ham Radio with its digital noise blanker and love every moment of it.

Tom King’s article (“King Lays Out ‘Critical Steps’”) in the Sept. 24 Radio World was right on — except for C-Quam, which was a disaster.

Just because the inventor of the best stereo for AM was a eccentric old man and didn’t have a ton of money to spread around in the propaganda war The Commission selected C Quam. They said it was in the public interest… The Washington bureaucrats wouldn’t know public interest if it hit them in the backside. Face it — AM broadcasters, we have been screwed by the government. Maybe if some of these high-test consultants would get their heads out of their backsides we could salvage AM.

God bless you, Mr. King, but the Kahn system rules.

Ed De La Hunt

Owner

De La Hunt Broadcasting

Kelliher, Minn.

LATE TO THE PARTY

The problem with NextRadio and iHeartRadio (“Coleman Says Demand ‘Strong’ for NextRadio,” radioworld.com, Aug. 1) is that they are a few years too late to the party.

All of the college kids I know (and I work for a college radio station) use the free app from TuneIn Radio.     If you’re not on represented on TuneIn, you’re not really streaming anyway.

Students don’t like to have a separate app for every station they listen to. That just causes clutter on their device … and TuneIn even has some AM stations represented.

Bart Jones

Chief Engineer

KFKX(FM)

Hastings College

Hastings, Neb.

http://www.radioworld.com/article/here-are-more-am-suggestions/273542

What Do You Do With A Radio Earpiece?

What is a radio earpiece? An earpiece as the name suggests is a piece for the ear that can either be put inside the ear, covering it or suspended next to the ear. Its main function is to transmit sound signals converted from electronic waves. Earpieces can either be wired or wireless and with a variety of designs as well.

Some of its designs and features

Radio earpieces are convenient; especially where the user is constantly on the move. They are stylish and whether they have a cord or not are still presentable and handy. They too have special microphones that enable two way communications. A light inline push to talk button is as well present and it can be detached or attached to the earpiece.

You can have one that is over the ear that is usually quite fitting. It can either be circum-aural whereby it covers the entire ear and is usually large or supra-aural which only fits on the ear without surrounding it. For these radio earpieces to be of good quality, the material needs to be flexible to reduce chances of breakage.

Other features of the different earpiece designs include having reinforcements aimed at making them more secure. You can also choose to have a wireless or corded radio micro phone that works just as well. Some of the covert earpieces will come with their own separate cables of different lengths and easily adjustable volumes.

An earpiece that is fitted inside the canal of the outer ear can also be referred to as an ear bud. A good radio ear bud will not have any negative effect in your ear functioning. It also needs to be comfortable for the wearer.

The one with a sound tube connector is even more secure and makes a perfect fit into the ear. The radio earpiece will also come with wire pieces if one decides to use them. One can in addition have more than one connector with a single radio earpiece. These acoustic tubes will also come with mushroom replacements.

An earpiece worn inside the ear canal will obstruct external sounds unlike the ear bud. It is also possible to have a radio transmitter over the ear that ensures that you get clear and quality sound without influence from the noise in the background. The microphones are also able to reduce the sound in the environment and focus on what needs to be transmitted. Over the ear earpieces come in a number of interesting designs such as the D shaped and the G shaped radio earpieces which are especially favourable if the earpiece is being used by more than one person. They are not only sanitary for sharing but comfortable too.

Advantages of covert radio earpiece

Sometimes it will just seem like one is simply listening to their radio but the earpiece is a great communication tool as well. Most of its advantages are drawn from its unique features.

A radio earpiece comes in handy especially because if it’s small size and its hidden nature. You can easily keep your conversation over the radio private and no one will even know you are on it. This is especially when the information being passed is on a need to know basis.

This makes it the earpiece appropriate for those working under cover, security agents, and police officers or even by the government. It is also good for any other occupation or activity that needs a high amount of secrecy or those involving investigations. Another important feature of the earpiece is its ability to enable free flow of information within that particular time. This communication makes it very helpful in such circumstances when one needs to be regularly updated while performing a particular task. This can be because they need to be given instructions or need to be informed about the progress of something.

However, this in combination with the private and convertproperties of the radio earpiece also makes it the perfect device for more sinister motives such as illegal spying or cheat in a game or even a test. On the positive side, this communication is extremely helpful in public speaking when one needs some pointers while on stage or in front of an audience without having the listeners know about it.

Being hands free and portable makes it possible for them to be used in occupations where holding a radio to communicate is not an option. This is for instance in works involving heights or need a lot of precision such as engineering or doing a delicate electrical project.

Faced with a tech tsunami, Motorola fights to preserve cop‑com franchise

As Chicago cops braced for protests in advance of the NATO and G-8 summits in 2012, hometown radio giant Motorola made what seemed like a grand gesture.

JOHN FITZHUGH / SUN HERALDMississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Calvin Robertson, MSWIN land mobile radio system at MHP Troop K headquarters on Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.

The company, which for years has used tenacious marketing and clout to reign over the emergency radio business, donated to the city $1.8 million worth of telecom equipment that could beam data and videos to law enforcement officers shielding the world leaders.

Generosity wasn’t the only motive behind the gift.

In a letter, Motorola Vice President John Molloy said the company also could operate a network for the city as a “test platform” until year end and provide Chicago’s public safety agencies entree to the world of emergency broadband LTE – the new global standard for transmitting huge amounts of data at rocket speed.

Motorola’s gift was designed to keep on giving.

From Mississippi to Texas and California, the company now known as Motorola Solutions Inc. has reshaped its business strategy in the face of a technology tsunami that threatens to upend its decades-long hold on the emergency communications market.

While fighting to preserve its immense walkie-talkie franchise, Motorola has maneuvered to become a player in broadband, where it must contend with new and bigger competitors in a scrum for billions of dollars of taxpayer funds pledged for a coast-to-coast emergency data delivery network.DROPPED JAWS, PROTESTS OVER

Motorola’s aggressive push into broadband, however, is a cause for consternation among officials of the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, the Commerce Department agency tasked with building the first nationwide public-safety communications system. To garner broadband business, Motorola has relied on many of the same strategies and deep customer relationships that helped it capture more than 80 percent of the radio market.

As McClatchy reported in a series of articles last year, the industry giant has landed scores of sole-source radio contracts and wielded enough pricing power to sell its glitzy handsets for as much as $7,000 apiece, at a taxpayer cost of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars that could have been saved in a more competitive market.

At the request of three senior Democrats in the House of Representatives, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, John Roth, recently ordered an audit to examine McClatchy’s disclosures and determine whether federal grant money has bankrolled biased contract awards to Motorola.

The new broadband network, backed so far by a whopping $7 billion federal commitment, is expected to spawn a competitive market involving names such as ATT, Verizon, Cisco, General Dynamics and Alcatel-Lucent.

How 4G broadband LTE (Long-Term Evolution) works

4G stands for the fourth generation of broadband, the same technology that beams data to your cell phone. It effectively works as a high-speed radio signal that relays tiny packets of data between the internet and base stations on cellular towers outfitted with antenna equipment and microwave dishes.

The cellular towers flash the data to first responders’ handsets or perhaps to a mobile unit mounted in a police car’s dashboard.

4G LTE can save lives: It can deliver images of suspects within seconds, where previously it could take 10 minutes or more, as well as offering live streaming of disaster or crime scenes.

While people around the world use 4G technology to make cell phone calls, because calls are frequently interrupted, it has not yet been deemed ready to produce voice communications reliable enough for public-safety agencies. The current public-safety standard requires that the connections operate reliably 99.999 percent of the time – or all but about five minutes per year.

What threatens Motorola is the possibility that technology advances could within a few years enable ruggedized cellphones to transmit voice communications as reliably as two-way radios, a development that eventually could crumble the company’s radio franchise, which serves thousands of public safety agencies.

One Motorola tactic for penetrating the new market has been to donate equipment, as the company did in Chicago.

It’s a way to “lock in future relationships and future opportunities,” said Steve Koman, a former Motorola employee who was a consultant to the city of Charlotte, N.C., when it sought unsuccessfully to build a broadband network a couple of years ago. Koman said he finds such equipment donations by a market kingpin to be troubling.

“I’ve always wondered if these kinds of gray-zone practices violate the spirit of federal antitrust laws,” he said, “because they appear to be a continuous attempt to corner the market.”

A Motorola executive vice president, Robert Schassler, contended in a phone interview that many companies routinely invite government agencies to join them in testing new products.

The 2012 donation of a mini-broadband network wasn’t Motorola’s first gift to Chicago, which has been buying the company’s radios since 1956.

In 2009, the company gave the city a mobile radio network to help protect members of the International Olympic Committee coming to town to weigh Chicago’s bid to host a future Olympics.

Motorola’s philanthropy was rewarded later with a $1.5 million no-bid contract from Cook County to use the donated equipment to build a “high-performance” data network for the city and county – a system that was doomed from the start because its radio bandwidth was too narrow to transmit data at high speeds, said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office. The county now plans to swap the equipment for new Motorola radios, she said.

As for the broadband LTE (for Long Term Evolution) equipment donated for the summits, the city has obtained a temporary license to build a test network but is still mulling what to do, said Melissa Stratton, a spokeswoman for Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

Charlotte also was a recipient of Motorola’s largesse before hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Motorola loaned the city about 3,000 radios free of charge to assist state and federal law enforcement officials in communicating with one another.

Such gestures, which are not always trumpeted publicly, typically grow from carefully cultivated relationships that have helped Motorola steamroller competitors for nearly 20 years in the multibillion-dollar radio business.

I’ve always wondered if these kinds of gray-zone practices violate the spirit of federal antitrust laws.

The company’s formula: build top-quality equipment; dote on police, fire and sheriff’s departments; woo contracting officials; pursue every angle to gain a sole-source deal or an inside track, and where possible, embed equipment with proprietary features so it can’t interact with competitors’ products.

It’s worked so well that a single company – Motorola – has dominated state and federal two-way radio markets, untouched by federal antitrust regulators although there’s been little price testing to assure that taxpayers got the best deal.

Motorola executives make no apologies for their market supremacy.

“Motorola Solutions’ public safety success is because we offer the best solutions and service at competitive prices, because our customers trust in our products and commitment to stand behind them, and because of our continued investment in innovation,” said the company’s chief spokesman, Kurt Ebenhoch.

Motorola’s Schassler said the company that pioneered the first police radio in 1930 is the only manufacturer that has stood behind cops, firefighters and emergency medics “uninterrupted” for 85 years.

…our customers trust in our products and commitment to stand behind them…

That commitment has engendered strong loyalties from the nation’s more than 4 million first responders, legions of whom insist on toting a Motorola as their communication lifeline.

But to rivals and frustrated government officials, Motorola is the industry’s version of “Leave it to Beaver’s” unctuous Eddie Haskell (“You look lovely today, Mrs. Cleaver”), whose charms are but a cover for myriad connivances. Using an array of tactics, the company repeatedly has found ways to stick taxpayers with the priciest equipment when far cheaper options performed to the same standards.

Schassler was asked whether Motorola sales representatives propose ways for government officials to award sole-source contracts.

“No,” he replied.

State and local government officials have done the dirty work, frequently skirting laws or federal grant guidelines requiring competitive bidding.

Motorola officials acknowledged that the company’s seemingly ubiquitous sales force has wined and dined some government officials where state laws allow, but Schassler called that “a very, very rare occurrence” that is first approved by a company attorney.

However, two government officials who lacked authorization to speak for the record said the company has hosted state or local contracting employees in some of Las Vegas’ priciest restaurants .

Despite its scant experience in broadband, Motorola has been fastest out of the gate in applying the technology to public safety. In 2010, the company entered an eight-year partnership with the Swedish colossus Ericsson, a leading supplier of broadband equipment, especially the cores that serve as the brains for each network. Motorola also has partnered with cellular industry giant Verizon Wireless, and it has developed a handset that can both receive broadband data and enable voice transmissions over a standard two-way radio network.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based firm has secured contracts to assemble four of eight federally funded emergency broadband pilot projects – in Los Angeles County, Harris County, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area and Mississippi, though the latter two later collapsed because of negotiation impasses for leases of frequencies on the federal wireless spectrum. Motorola also is among five vendors approved to sell equipment for New Mexico’s statewide pilot project.

The company’s early success in the pilot projects has been controversial:

  • An official of Harris County, Texas, sent gasps through a hotel conference room in May 2011 when he said he handed Motorola the $7.5 million first stage of a pilot broadband network because the company told him “a great story,” according to two people who were present. Both insisted upon anonymity for fear of reprisals. The award in the county surrounding Houston drew protests from two major competitors because they weren’t invited to bid, even though most of the financing came from a Department of Homeland Security port security grant. Motorola and county officials contended the contract was competitively awarded, because it was written as a modification to a 2007 radio contract for which Motorola won the bidding.
  • In San Francisco, Motorola won a $50.6 million Commerce Department grant in 2010 to build the first metropolitan-wide emergency broadband network – a deal arranged by former Motorola sales executive Laura Phillips in her new job overseeing public safety grants to the region. Phillips was later fired amid outrage that the grant was awarded without approval from any of three major cities and 10 counties involved, said several current and former government officials who spoke anonymously because of the matter’s sensitivity. Phillips pointed to a Commerce Department audit that cleared her of improprieties.
  • Former San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore said he implored Motorola’s No. 2 executive, Mark Moon, to wait until a regional board approved the grant to avoid city and county protests. He said Moon responded: “I’d rather take the $50 million and bad publicity than not get the $50 million.” Motorola spokesman Ebenhoch said Moon doesn’t recall making such a remark and “strongly believes the statement to be inaccurate and false.”
  • While a joint authority representing Los Angeles County and more than 80 cities reviewed bids in 2011 for twin public-safety radio and broadband networks, Motorola added William Bratton, a former Los Angeles police chief and currently the New York police commissioner , to a lucrative post on its corporate board. A team led by Raytheon Corp. won the bidding, but Motorola threatened a suit, and a county lawyer urged nullifying the award because it might violate an arcane state law. During two more rounds of bidding, Motorola slashed its prices and ultimately won both contracts, worth a half-billion dollars.

FirstNet officials did not respond to requests for comment about Motorola’s dealings.

JOHN FITZHUGH / SUN HERALDMSWIN land mobile radio system at MHP Troop K headquarters on Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013.

Some members of Congress, including Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, have said a major reason they voted for a 2012 law allotting a bloc of the spectrum for public safety and financing a national broadband network was their hopes it would smash Motorola’s near monopoly in two-way radios.

Yet some say that Motorola is fighting for survival, especially if broadband handsets that sell for $500 to $1,000 can replace the pricey, more lucrative emergency radios. Already, spinoffs and layoffs have shrunk the company’s payroll from over 20,000 to 15,000 employees.

“The change that Motorola is getting hit with is no less substantial than what hit IBM or Kodak. It’s a technology wave,” said former Charlotte consultant Koman, referring to technology advances that overtook IBM Corp.’s mainframe computer franchise and Kodak’s film empire.

The company’s predicament “is actually life or death in this transition” because of its huge infrastructure, said a former senior Motorola executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid harming relationships.

If so, Motorola executives sure don’t seem panicked.

Schassler said he expects Motorola to accrue incremental gains from broadband projects while continuing to serve most of the nation’s 60,000 public-safety agencies with radio equipment for 10 years or more.

The reality is that Motorola, with tentacles reaching virtually every emergency agency in the country, may be miles ahead of the government in its planning.

Already, the Motorola-Ericsson combine has planted broadband network cores at Motorola’s Schaumburg headquarters, at Texas AM University to cover the Harris County system and in Los Angeles County.

New Mexico officials, whose network layout can easily be extended to the Mexican border, has requested permission to use the Texas core as part of its statewide broadband network. Because Motorola writes the software rules that determine what equipment can be used on that network, the company could be positioned to be the logical broadband provider for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on the southern border.

To put that in context, if a Senate-passed immigration compromise became law, the number of border agents would soar over the next decade from 20,800 to 38,000, each needing a handset.

At a recent conference of financial analysts, Motorola CEO Gregory Brown sounded more eager than worried about broadband. He called the new emergency communications technology “the single best opportunity we have in front of us.”

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/static/features/Motorola/Index.html?brand=sta#storylink=cpy

What is an Acoustic Transducer?

This was originally posted on http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-acoustic-transducer.htm, credit should go them as this is a important article.

An acoustic transducer is an electrical device that coverts sound wave vibrations into mechanical or electrical energy. They have various practical applications, including sound recording and sound playback. A specialized model, called an ultrasonic acoustic transducer, can be used to measure distance to, as well as the mass of, an object.

Common types of acoustic transducers used in sound recording include microphones, earphones, and guitar pickups. These create electrical energy when moving parts inside the transducer, such as electrical plates or ribbons, are exposed to sound vibrations. The electrical energy produced inside the transducer is sent first to an amplifier.

The amplifier then sends this energy to its final destination, usually a loudspeaker or recording device. The loudspeaker reproduces the sound at a level that the human ear can hear. A recording device will retain the electrical signal information. The recorder will send the stored signal to a loudspeaker during playback.

An ultrasonic acoustic transducer can be used to measure distance or the mass of an object. The most common type is the piezoelectric acoustic transducer. These include a piezoelectric ceramic element that creates and distributes ultrasonic sound waves.

Sound waves travel to an object from a piezoelectric transducer through material called a couplant. The couplant is usually water. Sound waves bounce off the object and return to the transducer in the form of an echo. The time it takes for these echoes to return to the transducer is used to calculate the distance to the object.

Underwater sound navigation and ranging (SONAR) is a common use of an ultrasonic acoustic transducer. SONAR uses directional beams of sound waves. This enables the SONAR operator to determine the direction and distance to an object.

SONAR systems can be active or passive. An active system sends out sound waves and listens for echoes. A passive system listens for noises made by ships, fish, and landmasses.

An electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) is another form of ultrasonic transducer. Instead of a ceramic element, an electro magnet is the main component of an EMAT. This is a type of non-contact, or non-destructive transducer. Unlike piezoelectric transducers, EMATs do not need a couplant to carry sound waves. Instead, two electromagnetic fields are generated to disburse ultrasonic waves.

EMATs can easily be used almost anywhere since no liquid is needed. For example, EMATs can be used to check for flaws in underground pipes. A downside to EMATs, compared to piezoelectric transducers, is that EMATs create weaker sound fields.

FIVE REASONS TO MIGRATE TO DIGITAL TWO-WAY RADIOS

In the beginning, there was analog technology, which uses frequency modulation (FM) to produce a continuous wave with the voice signal. An analog two-way radio works as both transmitter and receiver, with that continuous wave in between. Analog has been the primary technology platform since the initial development of wireless communications.

Analog radios have been used for business applications as far back as 1933.

  • Analog Advantages: The integration of such a simple system into a single computer

chip has dramatically reduced the cost of analog radios.

  • Analog Disadvantages: The analog radio system has many functional limitations, and

the technology has been around so long that the scope of possible innovations is virtually exhausted.

ALONG COMES DIGITAL

Digital two-way radios operate by encoding, transmitting, and decoding sound waves. The signal is represented by binary numbers—1s and 0s—that correspond with voltage values. Inside the radio, the vocoder—an analysis/synthesis system used to reproduce human speech—encodes the transmission. The radio sends the signal, and the vocoder on the receiving end decodes it.

In addition, the software in digital radios contains an algorithm that recognizes the difference between voice and background noise and cancels undesirable audio for clearer, cleaner sound quality. Digital two-way radios can also include software applications that integrate into existing computer networks and phone systems. As a result, digital radios can enable a multitude of additional functions, including GPS, text messaging, and other information sharing, communications, and operations programs and capabilities.

By proactively transitioning to digital radios now, your organization will enjoy greater benefits immediately, and your fleet is ready for the high-efficiency, app-driven innovations coming in the future.

FIVE REASONS TO GO DIGITAL

  • Improved Audio Quality • Enhanced Clarity throughout the Coverage Range
  • Greater Efficiency • Extended Battery Life • Applications that Add Functionality
  1. Improved Audio Quality: Digital technology reduces external background noises during

transmission, thereby making the digital technology platform ideal for situations such as

noisy manufacturing and processing plants, or outside in windy conditions.

  1. Enhanced Clarity throughout the Coverage

Range: While an analog radio is capable of producing a clear signal within its peak performance range, once the signal moves too far from the transmit point, the analog audio will slowly fade out until it is unrecognizable. By contrast, a digital signal stays much stronger and clearer to the limits of the coverage range.

  1. Greater Efficiency: Digital radios operate in

Dual-Capacity Direct Mode (DCDM), which means that radios can share the same channel by alternating time slots. These time slots move incredibly fast, and since they alternate, more simultaneous talking paths are possible on each channel with no degradation. Plus, key information such as unit ID, status buttons, and enhanced text messages can be embedded into a single digital radio channel. In many cases, migrating from analog to digital allows users to increase talk paths without a repeater.

  1. Extended Battery Life: Since digital radio transmitters are not constantly “on,” digital

radios generally have a significantly longer battery life than analog models. When events run all day, that can mean the difference between efficient communications for the full cycle or the headache of a number of dead batteries that need swapping out and recharging.

  1. Applications that Add Functionality: Software applications are available to optimize digital

platforms using integrated Internet Protocol (IP) networks. For example, some of the leading app providers for Motorola MOTOTRBO digital radios include:

TABLETmedia

NeoTerra Systems

Twisted Pair

TurboVUi

Teldio

MOVING TO DIGITAL

For those switching from analog to digital, there is good news: Digital platforms provide a migration path that allows for simultaneous use of digital and analog radios. Backward compatibility allows organizations to gradually replace analog devices with newer digital models without the added stress of shifting to a new system. Also, many analog radio accessories are compatible with digital devices.

THE MOTOROLA CP200 AND CP200d

The existing CP200 is one of the most popular two-way radios ever produced! So the question is: How can you improve on the Motorola CP200? The answer: By creating a version that leverages all the benefits digital delivers.

Introducing… the CP200d digital two-way radio, a new model that retains the same simplicity and durability that have made Motorola’s CP200 the industry standard for years. The new CP200d uses a nearly identical form factor with similar operation. Plus, this highly flexible digital model is backward compatible, so it uses the same chargers, batteries, and speaker-microphones.

Motorola is adding sensible options to your two-way radio fleet by offering the existing CP200 device in the CP200d digital-capable version that can be fully converted from analog to digital operation at a later date. That means you can use a phased migration approach by using your new CP200d as an analog device now, and then with a simple programming change, switch to digital at any time in the future. Or, you have the option to take out-of-the-box delivery of the CP200d as a digital device from the get-go.

THE TALE OF THE TRBO

MOTOTRBO is Motorola’s next-generation system of digital portable and mobile radios, repeaters, and accessories. Thanks to the advantages of digital technology, this professional line delivers advanced performance to increase capacity and productivity while integrating voice and data communications.

Versatile and powerful, MOTOTRBO combines the best of two-way radio functionality with the latest digital features that deliver ease of use and added performance to meet your communication needs from the field to the factory floor. With exceptional voice quality and long battery life, MOTOTRBO keeps your work teams connected when communication is a must.

http://www.bearcom.com/resource-library/BearComAnalogToDigitalMigrationGuide.pdf

Jawbone earpiece makes it easier to love smartphones

You can read this orignal article post at this website

Jawbone began making it easier to love Siri, Google Now or other virtual assistants in a hint at the future portrayed in the Oscar-nominated filmHer.

The San Francisco-based company behind sophisticated and stylish wireless ear pieces released a new ERA model packing big technology in a diminutive form and enabling users to speak more naturally with software on their mobile devices.

“I hope they don’t fall in love with their operating systems, but they will at least rekindle a relationship with voice commands,” Jawbone audio product manager Gernard Feril said while providing AFP an early look at the new ERA.

Feril was making a playful reference to the Spike Jonze film Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, who plays a man who falls in love with a personal computer operating system.

Advanced Siri and Google Now software, which combine natural language exchanges with contextual awareness and even anticipating what users might want, have created a place for an ERA ear piece with enhanced technology for speaking to smartphones as one would a person, according to Feril.

Jawbone built in wide-band audio, high-quality microphones, and NoiseAssassinsoftware to block out unwanted sounds to make voice quality closer to what is found in Internet telephone calls than in typical ear pieces.

Being able to speak commands and have spoken exchanges with virtual assistants through the ear piece frees people to either ignore smartphone screens or use them for other tasks, such as e-mail, games or maps.

“This device has become so powerful,” Feril said of the smartphone in his hand, “that holding it to your face limits what you’re doing.”

And, as screen sizes of mobile devices have grown, they become awkward to hold up to faces, he noted.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza that played out recently in Las Vegas was rife with headsets. Jawbone set out to distinguish itself with a tiny, high-quality ear piece crafted with style and brains to complement smartphone lifestyles.

Feril billed ERA as the smallest, lightest, best-sounding ear piece available.

ERA was priced at US$99 (RM300) at www.jawbone.com, but could be purchased with a protective charging case for US$130 (RM390) to increase talk time to 10 hours from four. The ear piece was less than half the size of its predecessor.

Since ERA is tiny, Jawbone added a “locator” feature that signals an ear piece to chirp to disclose where it is.A Jawbone “Nerd” USB device can be used to automatically synch the ear piece to laptop computers.

“It’s the Internet-of-me,” Feril said. “It is not about the things, it is about the person. You can see that, at least in Spike Jonze’s interpretation, the Internet is going to be with you at all times.”