Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 03, 2015

A Router You Can Wear? It's Now Possible

Most everyone, at one time or another, has run into an issue where having communications in the field is vital, but unavailable. Having to fall back to a location where communications are active in order to carry out those parts of the day can cost time, opportunity, and even money. But the Lynx portfolio from TeleCommunication Systems Inc. looks to make that problem a little less drastic thanks to an array of new portable routers, including a wearable version.

The Lynx lineup includes not only the Lynx Wearable Router, but also the Lynx Rugged Vehicle Router, providing extra range in communications for not only individual agents in a field, but also for the vehicles involved. With that extra bandwidth comes several new possibilities, including in-vehicle surveillance, location services, and even so-called Vehicle Area Network (VAN) capabilities. Recently, the Lynx line reportedly got something of a field test with an international police force using LTE systems, and the Rugged Vehicle Router is currently having a testing period of its own with a domestic public safety operation.

Reports suggest that the Lynx lineup was specifically developed with public safety and the military in mind, providing a high-end communications setup to those in the field for whom accurate information can very well mean the difference between someone's life and death. With smartphones becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday society, a means to incorporate these tools into everyday operations for public safety—this does also include law enforcement—was a development that made sense. But all those devices needed a means to connect, and that's where the idea of highly-portable routers came into play.

The routers in question are both designed, at last report, to offer high-end connectivity over any 3G or 4G LTE network as well as available Wi-Fi networks. Plus, these routers can also be put to use in support of various connected technologies, including the increasingly popular machine to machine (M2M) connectivity-based devices like sensors and vehicle telematics. This makes these routers extremely versatile and able to work with several different tools all at once.

Considering further that TeleCommunication Services Inc. has a 28-year track record, according to reports, of providing communications material to military customers, the idea that the company could also produce something that would work well for police and fire departments, among others, makes its share of sense. With one successful test seemingly concluded and another one likely to be wrapping up, many more public safety and military arms should start seeing Lynx tools in place. After all, that need for information isn't going away, and if it can be better provided with such tools, it's likely those tools will be used. Of course, there's still the underlying theme of bandwidth involved, and one more use of that bandwidth should underscore the need for further improvements to the network in general. Lynx will likely be prepared for this, however, ready to make the jump to 5G and beyond when such technology is available.

For the time being, Lynx will likely do well in keeping emergency responders and military personnel connected in the field, and that's a development that should prove beneficial for all of us.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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