Jabra will launch a major drive into the ruggedised market, revealing plans to target ‘a workforce of at least a million’.
Jabra currently manufactures audio products for consumer and b2b use. Nigel Dunn, MD of UK & Ireland, explained to Mobile that the industry’s push towards wearables will now bring about a push into ‘hearables’ – in-ear audio devices which, he claims, will empower workers to become truly mobile.
Dunn said: ‘Our new product Jabra Steel is ruggedised and is designed for artisan workers, such as carpenters and plumbers. These workers get a call and are on their phones for 15 minutes, and they can’t do any work in that time. This product allows people to accept the call while working.
‘The reality is that our smartphone constrains our productivity, so our hearables will be important because it will be the general interface into the computer. Your handset tethers you to the desk so you’ll never become mobile in your own building, let alone out in the real world.
‘There’s a workforce of at least a million artisan-type workers who are self-employed, so I think ruggedised is a big market, and we will absolutely look to target this in the future. That’s why Samsung is moving towards the ruggedised device market, and we see a market too.’
Jabra’s drive comes as the industry continues to push into unified communications, with Dunn explaining that companies invested in this space have not made the most of the products they have, and that the opportunity lies in embracing new technology.
‘This whole thing to do with UC has yet to run its course,’ he explained. ‘I think there’s a long way to go before it all starts coming together, and our products help people get over that little hurdle that stops them from embracing that technology.
‘If you look at Microsoft, it is a big proponent of UC with Office and Skype for business. But the reality is that only 40% of its licences have any kind of voice and less than 10% of those are enabled to make voice beyond their own buildings. If there’s one area where Microsoft has been weak, it’s that it has not worried about whether people are actually using its technology or not. It is more worried about whether people will buy the licence, and people aren’t using it for what it was designed for.’