Lte | 2018-02-13

AINA Enters Critical Communications Market with ‘PTT Voice Responder

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The PTT Voice Responder connects to apps such as Zello, ESChat, AT&T Enhanced PTT, Verizon PTT Plus, Kodiak PTT, Azetti, Talk-IP and GroupTalk.

AINA, (meaning 'always'), developer and manufacturer of high quality wireless speaker-microphones from Salo, Finland calls its technology a ‘PTT Voice Responder’. Rather than submitting to a regular walkie-talkie design, the company created a brand new device that is able to clip to anything.

Using the device is simple. Connect it to a smartphone via Bluetooth, and you’re good to go: with a few programmable buttons, essential functions such as push-to-talk, phone calls, channel switching and emergency alerts can be accessed. The rationale, in the case of police officers for instance, is simple: you cannot chase a criminal and operate a touch screen phone simultaneously.

According to Maximilian Leroux, CEO of AINA Wireless the product is rather an enhancement of a walkie-talkie than an alternative. He said "We aim to provide public safety officials and industrial users with a solution to maintain their habits of pushing a button to open a talk channel, so none of that changes.

"What we do is adding all modern communication technologies to it, along with their enhanced capabilities like geo-location, man-down and emergency alarms, telemetry, and direct mode communication in case a network is failing. We take something that is old and make it new, without changing the core functionalities."

The standalone Push-to-Talk devices connect to any wireless network and use the Direct Mode in a mesh network when the 4G network is not available. Furthermore the device is durable with an IP65 rating and military grade standards.

For now AINA have developed the AINA PTT Voice Responder – a Bluetooth speaker-microphone, for PTT apps with a smartphone in mind. It’s a 2nd generation wireless speaker-microphone since it allows the user to keep their phone in a safe place, yet still remote control all functions their app includes. The company also developed a Bluetooth Low Energy device featuring two PTT buttons, an emergency alarm and an accelerometer which can be programmed to trigger an alarm such as man-down. This product will become available in early 2018.

According to Leroux, ultimately there will be a new generation of the AINA LTE stand-alone PTT device which will replace the need for walkie-talkies altogether.

"We expect a high demand for it, because it combines simplicity and ease of use with state-of-the-art technology: Just load any PTT app directly onto the speaker-microphone and you are ready to go."

Mission Critical Communications

AINA Wireless says that the company is further developing a market-disrupting device that combines the resilience of a Tetra Radio with the versatility of smart technology: The MC PTT Communicator. Launching in 2018 this handheld device will run any PTT app directly loaded onto the speaker-microphone and connects directly to a wireless network. It is capable of maintaining critical communications, even when commercial networks fail due to natural or terrorist catastrophes.

The project is co-funded by the Horizon2020 programme of the European Union.