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September 21, 2010
September 21, 2010

Polycom Adds XML API, Barcode Functionality, More with SpectraLink 8400 Series

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines

Polycom (News - Alert) today unveiled a new family of SpectraLink wireless handsets targeted at healthcare, industrial and retail applications such as nurse call, barcode medication administration, inventory control and equipment monitoring systems.  New with these products, which fall under the SpectraLink 8400 series, are an XML-based API, a higher level of durability, 802.11n connectivity, instant messaging and presence with Microsoft (News - Alert) OCS, and an HD voice docking station.

This line of devices also provides integration with the company’s SIP software and a higher level of SIP interoperability. And the 845X models include an integrated barcode imager.

Ben Guderian (News - Alert), vice president of wireless solutions at Polycom, says that the company’s previously released wireless products leverage its proprietary API, which will continue to be supported. The 8400 line of products are Polycom’s first wireless devices to support an XML-based API. However, he says, the company’s VVX 1500 wireline desktop phone also includes an XML API. That means that developers can port applications between that desktop device and the 8400 series products.

Polycom never before has integrated barcode functionality into its devices, adds Guderian. That has changed with the introduction of the 8400 line. One of the units has a 1D barcode scanner on the back of it. Guderian explains that it’s not a camera-type bar code scanner like some smartphones have today. Rather, this allows for more reliable and quicker and easier scanning – with better distance and angle – than allowed by camera-based scanners. Another of the 8400 line’s models, meanwhile, has a 2D bar code scanner. Guderian says 2D bar code scanners are becoming more widely used in medical applications.

The new 8400 line also addresses the needs of vertical applications like health care with its durability, says Guderian, adding that some existing SpectraLink devices have been in service for a decade – a much longer life than a commercial smartphone. For added durability, the 8400 devices feature a magnesium frame and shock-absorbent features.

And while residential wireless devices like smartphones are all about giving consumers access to as many applications and websites as are available, Guderian says that’s not necessarily desirable with business-focused wireless products. As a result, the 8400 devices are designed to enable businesses and organizations to offer employees to relevant online resources, such as an Internet site with medical information, and not to other sites, like perhaps Facebook (News - Alert), Guderian says.

“It’s all about apps,” he says. “It’s taking the things we’re able to do now with smartphones and adapt [them] to enterprise.”

The 8400 handset dock, meanwhile, eliminates the need for a separate desk set, and includes HD voice functionality, a speakerphone, microphone, and on-demand conference call support. It also charges the handset and the spare battery pack simultaneously.

The 8400 series of products is slated for availability starting in the second quarter of 2011.

To find out more about Polycom, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. A number of executives from Polycom are speaking during scheduled sessions. Don’t wait. Register now.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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