Elektrobit broadens specialized device platform for public safety, FirstNet, defense

emergency response

Elektrobit, a Finland-based provider of specialized white label devices is releasing three new additions to its platform focused on providing technology for public safety officials and defense. The releases come in advance of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety first responders network currently in planning phases. The new devices provide features geared toward law enforcement and first responders like push-to-talk, LTE, 3G, and 4G capabilities.

The EB Specialized Device Platform is based on the Android operating system and allows customers in public safety, security and other industrial markets to roll-out customized mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, or other form factor devices) that meet specific industry functional or performance requirements. The EB platform technology also powers RaptorID handheld biometric smartphones and tablets, with iris scanning and fingerprint reading capabilities.

The first addition, the H3 smartphone is an update to the company’s existing line of H-phones. Previous models the H1, and H2 were more rugged whereas this release is designed to provide an offering similar to a regular consumer Android phone. The H3 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, upgradeable to Key Lime Pie, and can handle LTE, WCDMA, EGPRS modem, and customizable for new or emerging frequency bands.

“With H3, essentially 80% of the functionality is there, and then we can customize at the application level based on specific needs,” explains Jani Lyrintzis, vice president, Elektrobit Specialized Device Platforms, in an interview with CivSource. The phone takes approximately 3-7 months to deploy depending on customization and requirements.

Elektrobit works with existing OEMs, and systems integrators to provide the underlying technology for what will then be another company’s branded product. The company has also developed radios for public safety and defense. According to Lyrintzis, early indications are that FirstNet itself may brand its own devices like these public safety smartphones. “This will result in major cost savings through economies of scale and will ultimately benefit our customers and at the same time provide them with the latest advances in form factors that they require,” he says.

The company is also rolling out a tablet geared toward public safety and defense. The T1 tablet runs like most Android tablets on the market but includes ruggedized waterproof casing, 14,000mAh hot swappable battery capacity, and interfaces for optional peripherals, including biometric sensors.

“Android is really our cornerstone technology it allows us to build out our customized features and remain current,” Lyrintzis says. The tablet will also support finger printing, iris scans and the company can provide P25 Connectivity.

The final release is the M1 Module a device which Lyrintzis says is “about the size of a matchbox,” that users can plug in to computers for connectivity to up to seven LTE frequency bands, including band 14 for FirstNet.

Lyrintzis notes that while FirstNet makes a good fit, it is just one opportunity set for these devices. “FirstNet will be great opportunity to expand our business, will also be targeting defense and working with the OEMs to increase our footprint.”