Polycom Announces Next Generation of SpectraLink Handsets

Polycom has added to its SpectraLink line of wireless handsets with two phones geared for heavy-use and barcode-intensive verticals such as health care and retail.

The SpectraLink 8400 series features voice and data over wi-fi capabilities, enabling companies to leverage existing networks and provide employees with real-time connectivity for data applications. The Polycom SpectraLink 8440 is designed to deliver the mobile voice and application access needed in 24-hour environments through easy-to-switch battery packs, while the SpectraLink 8450 features an integrated barcode reader, enabling voice, data application and data capture from one device.

Barcoding is becoming very critical in health care with electronic medical records and medication administration,” said Ben Guderian, vice president of wireless solutions at Polycom. The scanner on the 8450 is a real industrial grade, purpose-built engine built for constant and heavy use. The health care industry in particular needs something that is reliable and quick for scanning. Scanners are available on smart phones, but it can take a while for a smart phone to power up, and that wouldnt cut it in health care. Plus, they need something more flexible in terms of scanning at different angles, scanning wristbands, etc.”

The handsets work with 802.11n and legacy flavors of Wi-Fi, enabling robust yet reliable voice and data capabilities over the corporate network and extending the mobility capabilities of workers. It features an XML-based application platform for out-of-the-box access to enterprise productivity applications, and can integrate with Microsoft Office Communications Server to provide instant messaging and presence capabilities.

The devices come with a standard charging station, and can be used to replace a standard desk phone when used with the SpectraLink 8410 Speakerphone Dock. They also work with most of the existing SpectraLink accessories such as modular battery packs, Bluetooth headsets, carrying clips and chargers.

The compelling ROI is that doesnt cost a lot to add these devices to the network but they improve the way employees do business,” Guderian said.

The handsets will be available to Polycoms channel partners in the second quarter of 2011. A second version of the 8450, scheduled for release in the Q3 of 2011, will support 2D barcodes. Pricing has not been announced, but Guderian said the 8440 will be priced in the $750 range with the 8450 and its scanner capabilities priced a few hundred dollars more.

Were bringing to market devices that are priced about the same as current models but with more functionality,” he said.

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