In industrial and construction settings, sometimes a push-to-talk (PTT) capability normally associated with a “Walkie Talkie” makes a whole lot more sense than a traditional smartphone. The challenge is that giving workers access to such dedicated communications devices is not only fairly expensive, the workers themselves usually already have their own smartphones and wind up carrying around two devices.
Looking to combine the best of both a dedicated communications device and a smartphone, Voxer this week added a “Walkie Talkie” mode to the application it developed for smartphones, which converts them into PTT devices.
Voxer President Irv Remedios says that once the Voxer app is downloaded onto a smartphone, it allows users to talk to each other using their smartphones in PTT mode. Via the app, they also can now listen to messages and receive and respond to them in real time without having to keep the Voxer app open on the phones. Users can also receive read receipts so they know if their messages have been checked. Messages can also be forwarded to other users.
In addition, Remedios says the new release supports a much broader range of headsets, including earbuds from Apple.
PTT has been around for a long time now. The issue is that previous instances of PTT were limited to a service provided by a specific carrier. By turning PTT into an application that is priced at $9.95 per month per user, Voxer is making PTT universally available on all smartphones over any carrier or wireless network. That application can also be integrated with any single sign-on (SSO) capability that an organization already has in place.
Ruggedized devices still may make more sense than smartphones for some industries. But for many businesses, those devices are merely an overly expensive method to solve a communications problem. Thanks to the Voxer app, many companies will likely save money by purchasing the app for existing smartphones, instead.