Remember when mobile phones resembled a brick and barely fit in the average trouser pocket? Manufacturers were quick to realise that if the technology was ever to live up to its ‘mobile’ tag, portability and convenience would be just as important as cellular connectivity.
Fast forward a quarter of a century or so and the same design revolution is taking place in two way radios. Industries like hospitality and catering have by and large stuck with two way radio because, compared to mobile phones, it has proven to be more reliable, robust and easier to use in the workplace.
But if there is one gripe amongst end users, it is that two way radio handsets have always been on the large side. When you are in the middle of busy service, or carrying out cleaning or maintenance duties in a large hotel, the last thing you want is an extra bit of kit getting in the way when you are rushed off your feet.
In recent years, two way radio manufacturers have taken advantage of digital technology to produce increasingly compact, lightweight models that nonetheless still outperform most legacy analogue models. In many ways, they have taken their cue from mobile and smartphone designs, not just in the size and profile of their handheld devices, put in the layout and configuration of screens and keypads, too.
And this cross-pollination of ideas between two way radio and mobile hasn’t stopped with aesthetics, either. The latest generation of two-way radios offer similar multi-channel data capabilities to those you would normally associate with a smartphone – Bluetooth, email gateways, GPS, WiFi and network integration. Some even go as far as including cameras and touchscreens.
But the crux of this cross-over is that next gen digital radio handsets still do what two way radios have always done best – provide high quality voice communication for work-based teams.
According to Mitel, location-based services are one of the top 10 trends in communications technology for the hospitality and catering industry in 2018. By this, it means technology that helps pinpoint where staff and work teams are located as well as provide a means of communication, helping to coordinate efforts more efficiently and responsively.
Mitel claims that this sort of technology is still in its infancy. But two way radio manufacturers like Motorola have been offering these kinds of capabilities for a number of years now. Motorola’s groundbreaking MOTOTRBO platform has extended the reach of two way radio technology into new territory, guaranteeing seamless wide area coverage in even the largest venues, and adding a variety of network integrations and data services.
With work order tickets and dispatch console applications as standard, MOTOTRBO-enabled digital two way radios allow front desk to coordinate housekeeping and maintenance teams in real time, switching task priorities as required. With GPS or Bluetooth indoor tracking systems enabled, they can allocate jobs based on location, improving overall efficiency.
Many next generation Motorola models offer full telephone system integration – in a hotel, for example, that means maintenance engineers could call a guest directly in their room from their radio to give them a job status update.
And with the innovative WAVE application, two way radio and mobile convergence comes full circle – digital two way handsets can connect straight to smartphones and other mobile devices. In a restaurant, for example, this would mean mobile service consoles used to take orders or process payments could communicate directly with two way radios carried by kitchen staff or duty managers, so order updates and important customer information could be relayed as quickly as possible.
Compact mobile looks, two way radio reliability, secure, smart data capabilities – the next generation of digital two way radios really do offer the best of all worlds.
For more information click here