If you spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to snow, rain or dust, Plantronics Inc. might have a product for you. At Mobile World Congress last month, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based headset maker unveiled the Explorer 370, which is said to be resistant to dust, water and shock. The device transmits through a Bluetooth interface, and the manufacturer says it meets the MIL-STD 810 standards, originally developed by the United States Air Force to test electronic equipment for battlefield conditions. Though it may be especially suited to Iraq or Afghanistan, this device is probably a good idea for those who like to keep connected in the arctic or the desert. It has seven hours of talk time and eight hours of standby time. It also has QuickPair technology, which the vendor says will “simplify” the matching of mobile phones to headsets.
Companies who need to stay up and running when their DSL connection goes down may want to take a look at Lancom Systems Gmbh’s 1751 UMTS router. Built with the MC87870 module, made by Vancouver-based Sierra Wireless, this device has a plethora of connection types. It sends and receives data over both ISDN and DSL connections, and it also has a wireless interface, using General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) and High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) networks with transfer rates of 7.2 Megabits per second (Mbps).
Short messaging services (SMS) are best known for sending — well, short messages. But a New Zealand-based vendor has announced software that is supposed to give workers access to back-end systems, either through SMS, e-mail or instant messaging. It doesn’t seem like anything new, but MobileData Now says version 1.2 of its software is available online, and the vendor says it does not require any software installed on a client device. All users need to do, once MDN is setup, is send a query by IM or SMS, and administrators can configure the back end to send a response. If you want to set it up to answer SMS queries, you need a GSM modem.