From Special Ops to Specific Apps
J ames Mustarde would like to tell you how Twisted Pair Solution’s super-secret technologies worked for the U.S. military Special Forces, but then he’d have to kill you. No joke.
“The vast majority of [our] military customers. … I can’t talk about,” says Mustarde, director of marketing for Twisted Pair Solutions’ WAVE Application.
Twisted Pair manufactures critical communications solutions that deliver voice, video, location, presence and other data as an enterprise product. Using Twisted Pair’s WAVE Mobile Communicator software, military commanders and other clients have enabled smartphones and tablets to securely communicate with others on similar devices using two-way radio networks.
WAVE is currently under consideration by several major retailers, Mustarde says; he hopes the segment will grow to represent 15 percent of the company’s total revenue within five years.
“Retail employees walk around with more than one device,” Mustarde says. “They’ve got a cell phone, scanner for pricing, in-store radio system and might have an earplug that allows them to receive questions from dispatch.” Instead of carrying all those devices, one person’s smartphone can do it all with a WAVE app.
Mustarde remembers a recent shopping experience: “I went into the store to buy an elliptical machine and they were all walking around with iPads in satchels,” he says. Mustarde asked if the elliptical was in stock. The associate “walks over to this big, old IBM ... small DOS-based screen, taps multiple session screens to go into inventory, and he shows me, ‘Oh yeah, there’s three of these in three different stores, but not here,’” Mustarde says.
The sales consultant picked up a landline and called every store with the elliptical ... but no one ever picked up the phone. “Not only was their inventory system not updated, but there was no connection between stores,” Mustarde says. With WAVE, he believes, the worker could see the inventory in the other store locations and push an icon to talk to other location employees.
“What happened instead is [this retailer] used all of these somewhat antiquated systems,” he says, “but they actually had the iPad sitting right there.”
WAVE combines power and military-grade security and encryption over any Wi-Fi or data network.
“We can share audio from any device to any other device, any system to any other system,” Mustarde says. “The real smarts to our system is our ability to massively take voice from a radio system or a telephone system or a smartphone, trans code that into IP and then securely distribute it” to those with clearance.
Mustarde says retailers are looking to untether associates and managers from the POS, but with so many new options seemingly popping up daily, they are being judicious in selecting what’s right for them.
“We’re working with some of these large retail chains because they’re trying to work out how many applications they need to provide information that floor workers can use to increase productivity,” he says. “We hope that WAVE will be the de facto standard.”