Dmr | Lte | Messaging | 2018-01-04

FreshRF Announces Debut of SmartBridge Phone and SmartBridge IO

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The team at FreshRF is ringing in the New Year in with the latest SmartBridge products; SmartBridge Phone and SmartBridge IO, both will be officially debuting in Q1 2018.

SmartBridge Phone is an Android app incorporating complete radio protocol control stack. It connects to and delivers complete user and control interface for Tait radio bodies operating on MPT and DMR. SmartBridge Phone build on the proven architecture of earlier apps; SmartBridge Dispatcher and SmartBridge Mobile. The application will also be available through Google Play.

SmartBridge Phone combines radio head display and control with increased usability and operational benefits in one device, the user’s phone. With most radio users also carrying a smart phone, SmartBridge Phone leverages the capabilities and cost structures of widely accepted Android smartphones that have GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, and a full color touch screen.

Many phones already have IP ratings and are designed for rugged operational environments. The SmartBridge Phone app is made to meet user experience expectations of voice and messaging but with operations requirements of radio users. Leveraging this existing technology means reduced vehicle cab clutter and power requirements, simplified installation, and a broadened appeal of using 2-way radio communications.

SmartBridge Phone

SmartBridge Phone and SmartBridge Mobile also provide a simple integration path for new technology now appearing in vehicles based on Android Auto OS, a UI suitable for the next generation of 2-way radio’s and operational requirements.

SmartBridge Phone will enable future delivery of features that leverage the power of the other “radios” inside smartphones, including 4G/LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth. This will deliver a common user interface and capability irrespective of voice or data medium and can be automatically switched between network types based on coverage, eg PMR and PTToIP.

Furthermore, SmartBridge Phone and SmartBridge Mobile offer user-centric benefits such as full contact integration for touch dialing, AVL/GPS tracking, messaging, missed calls, call and message logs, configurable operations/status reporting, welfare/lone worker, all easily configured by users. Coupled with a suitable RF body, SmartBridge Phone delivers radio functionality for group and individual calls and complete radio management.

Andrew Thompson at FreshRF said, “The release of SmartBridge Phone completes our technology stack, enabling a downloadable user interface for radios covering three key requirements: dispatcher, mobile, and now phone. Coupled with SmartBridge Control, this provides a profound opportunity for simplifying radio use and management.”

SmartBridge IO

SmartBridge IO is a wireless audio and radio control interface device connecting to the radio body and enabling SmartBridge apps to wirelessly control the radio body for calls, messages, status, and network connection status, including RSSI. Audio interfaces deliver speaker and mic line level audio over hands-free car kits and introduce I/O lines that can be used to trigger changes to GPS reporting rates and status notifications whether over radio or IP networks. SmartBridge IO will work with all SmartBridge apps.

The solution ensures that legacy radios can be upgraded to a modern UI with increased functionality and when ready for DMR, a new body put in to suit with no user training. FreshRF are now in the final stages of organizing cables and case for SmartBridge IO and expect to formally launch both products in February 2018 alongside a new OTAP and remote provisioning infrastructure.

The January app release will ensure that radio users receive the most comprehensive and easy to use radio interface and one that can be updated fleet-wide automatically without any of the typical firmware upgrade issues. In the near future, expansions will include settings updates from SmartBridge Control to make it simple to change all user and operations focused configurations in any single or group of SmartBridge apps.

Kevin Dove, CEO at Dove Communications and a Director of Pushwireless a 50 site DMR TierIII network in New Zealand, said, “We have been extremely impressed with the technical, operational, and user focused insight that the FreshRF team and products bring to radio. This latest innovation, and the roadmap we have seen will be a major step forward for radio networks, dealers, and customers. We are very excited about the commercial opportunities this product set opens up.”