Motorola’s iconic walkie-talkie enters the smartphone era

Motorola Solutions has released a new version of its APX radio for first responders, adding touch screen and voice control support to the device for the first time. In addition to providing standard LMR (land mobile radio) connections to intercoms, APX Next can also be connected via LTE and even send personnel location data directly to the dispatcher.

Motorola says that while many features have been used on smartphones for years, implementing them on devices for first responders is more challenging. The touch screen must be used in the rain or when wearing gloves, and Motorola Solutions must optimize LTE connectivity to avoid interfering with the LMR connection of the device. LMR is a critical communication technology when an emergency may be interrupted or overloaded on the cellular network.

APX Next must also have a different voice control capability than a smartphone. For starters, they rely on push-button activation rather than using wake-up words. Police officers must also press a button to hear the results of inquiries to prevent voice assistants from accidentally disclosing sensitive information in public. It is also optimized for four microphones to eliminate background noise and can be used in very noisy environments.

Motorola said it would also add ViQi voice control to the APX Next, allowing police officers to search for license plate numbers, driver’s license information and vehicle identification numbers (VIN). Motorola does not disclose the Price of the APX Next, but the price depends on the number of devices purchased.



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