Motorola Solutions has launched APX NEXT, a Project 25 (P25) two-way radio handset which is FirstNet ready, with LTE functionality for enhanced communications and data-centric applications. The company has also announced ViQi, a virtual assistant that can provide information to first responders and allows them to operate APX NEXT via voice commands.
APX NEXT can detect when LMR signal is low. In such situations it automatically switches to LTE to ensure continuity of PTT voice communications and it can then automatically switch back to LMR once the user is once more inside the coverage of their LMR network. The device is Motorola Solutions’ first APX radio to have a touchscreen with a user interface designed specifically for public safety. The touchscreen can be used in the rain and when wearing gloves. It offers one-touch access to radio controls, large touch targets and an optimised user interface for fast navigation.
The headset also provides dispatchers with the user’s location, updating as fast as every three seconds and can use broadband to transmit this data, freeing up LMR network resources. Its software and configuration can be updated over broadband, even when in use.
ViQi allows first responders to query databases using natural language interactions, such as “ViQi, run a license plate.” Motorola Solutions is working on future versions of ViQi, to allow it to call for vehicle assistance, take statements and perform foreign language speech translation. It will be integrated into other solutions as the company continues to research, and collaborate with users, on new ways to streamline officer workflows and improve decision-making through leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“APX NEXT was created after more than 2,000 hours of extensive field research and testing with numerous law enforcement agencies,” said Scott Mottonen, Motorola Solutions senior vice president of products. “We know that first responders need technology to be intuitive and intelligent to allow them to remain eyes up, hands free and focused in any situation.”
“A radio is a first responder’s lifeline when 100 per cent of their attention needs to be on the people and events around them,” said Collin Arnold, director of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security. “Motorola Solutions worked closely with our public safety team, who is nationally recognised for their technology leadership, to build a radio that goes far beyond what we thought possible. APX NEXT and ViQi allow our first responders to keep their eyes on what’s happening, while obtaining the critical information they need to help protect our community.”
Author: Sam Fenwick