Relay Launches Newest Enterprise ‘Walkie-Talkie Killer’ Relay+

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels
Relay, the cellular walkie-talkie replacement from Republic Wireless, announced the launch of Relay+, its next-generation enterprise model developed to give today’s frontline, deskless workforce a simple and powerful communication solution. The new Relay+ unveils improved features built specifically for businesses at a time when people have been increasingly working remotely in geographically distributed teams, making team communication more difficult yet important than ever. Relay+ is designed for the 55 million-plus U.S. frontline workers who require easy and safe push-to-talk voice technology with unlimited national range so they remain focused at work with hands and eyes fully engaged, undistracted by a smartphone screen.
In addition to Relay’s simple one-button, voice-first communications, GPS tracking, and Slack-like dashboard that it’s best known for, the new Relay+ adds powerful features including enhanced waterproof rating, a longer-lasting battery, and the ability to connect to multiple LTE networks.  Relay+ is integrated into the powerful and flexible software platform that makes Relay+ adaptable to almost any team. The complete features include:
  • Integration of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 2500 Platform chipset with 4G LTE

  • A water protection rating of IP-X8 for full submersibility, and MIL-STD-810G for durability

  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for integration with other products and USB-C for both secondary charging and audio output

  • An extended battery life of up to 2 days on a full charge

  • Improved audio with dual noise cancelling digital microphones and dual speaker output and a 2X louder speaker

  • New form factor with a softer texture, larger side keys and still lightweight - the size of a Post-It note and weighs about the same as a deck of cards - 79g

  • New accessories that include a custom wireless charging pad, headset, belt clip and wireless multi-charger

  • Built to be extensible through software configuration and integration

The first version of Relay’s enterprise solution launched last year and was hailed as a disruptor that was poised to “kill off the walkie-talkie. ” Relay's combination of smartphone range in a simple, small form factor led to rapid adoption in hotels, resorts, theme parks and entertainment venues. 
Earlier this year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more industries across healthcare, food service and logistical operations found new uses for Relay at work, staying connected with large and geographically distant colleagues while able to safely focus their hands and eyes on their work. 
“There has been a lack of innovation in tools for frontline workers for decades, resulting in major inefficiencies and wasted time and money," said Jon Schniepp, SVP of Product and Marketing, Relay. “Smart workforce communication tools need to evolve beyond just screen-first applications. Frontline teams need to be in constant communication to meet customer needs, and those who invest in frontline technology will shape the future of work particularly for businesses rebuilding after COVID-19. Relay+ focuses on creating smart solutions that are easily customizable for every kind of frontline team.” 
Market intelligence company IDC forecasts frontline workers will account for nearly 60% of the total U.S. workforce by 2024. The ongoing pandemic has accelerated the need for innovation in workforce communications for frontline workers across industries including hospitality, healthcare, logistics, transportation, and education.
“Challenging economic times is often when new innovation thrives. Businesses are looking to streamline and optimize the best they can to survive and invest in creating new efficiencies to save money. This is where Relay+ will have its greatest impact,” said Chris Chuang, CEO and Founder, Relay. “When we outline how Relay can integrate into a customer’s current operations, we frequently get stunned expressions followed by the question, ‘You can do that?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, Relay can do that because our solution is rooted in a powerful and flexible software platform.’”
“Mobile and wearable technologies have played a crucial role over the last few months as enterprises have navigated the macro-economic challenges,” said Pankaj Kedia, Sr. Director and Global Head, Smart Speaker and Wearables segment, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Republic Wireless’ efforts in using its Relay device to serve the needs of frontline workers are to be applauded. We are delighted to be working with the firm to continue to innovate and bring the Relay+ to market. Based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear, the Relay+ takes full advantage of the platform to deliver an always reliably connected product while enabling extended battery life in a sleek form factor.”
Relay+’s cloud-based platform enables more than merely communication. It allows frontline teams to access data, answer questions, send alerts, initiate automation, and collect data all with a simple voice-first interface. Since its initial launch, innovative teams across multiple industries have used Relay to improve their businesses. 
  • Food Services Relays are being used to maintain distance and supplement smaller staff working in kitchen and delivery operations as food services reopen. Additionally, with the growing trend of consolidated service management (ghost kitchens) and increased reliance on delivery, Relay is being used to keep crews connected in real-time regardless of distance.

  • Hospitality Relay is rapidly being adopted as an alternative to traditional walkie-talkies and smartphones for its eyes-up, real-time communication, customizable features like panic button, reduced cost, and enhanced staff presentation. 

  • Facilities Management Large venues with substantial distances between active workers are swapping out two-way radios with limited range for Relay’s limitless cellular range.

  • Healthcare Relay has proven to be invaluable for clinical staff connection, facility logistics, patient communication, in home care, senior living and hospital support functionalities.

  • Education Relays are being implemented in schools and childcare facilities to help staff coordinate the flow of students and improve emergency communication.

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