Mobile Technology

Alianza DxB turns your smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie

Alianza DxB turns your smartph...
The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie
The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie
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Bricom Solutions hopes emergency personnel can use the Alianza DxB
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Bricom Solutions hopes emergency personnel can use the Alianza DxB
The Alianza DxB does not add much size the user's phone
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The Alianza DxB does not add much size the user's phone
A view of the Alianza DxB prototype
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A view of the Alianza DxB prototype
A screenshot of the companion application on Android
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A screenshot of the companion application on Android
Another screenshot of the companion application on Android
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Another screenshot of the companion application on Android
The internals of the Alianza DxB during testing
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The internals of the Alianza DxB during testing
Running tests on the Alianza DxB
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Running tests on the Alianza DxB
The Alianza DxB in use in a car
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The Alianza DxB in use in a car
The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a full-featured multi-band walkie-talkie
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The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a full-featured multi-band walkie-talkie
A close up view of the Alianza DxB protoype
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A close up view of the Alianza DxB protoype
Using the Alianza DxB
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Using the Alianza DxB
The Alianza DxB is designed to work anywhere, even without cell signal
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The Alianza DxB is designed to work anywhere, even without cell signal
The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie
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The Alianza DxB turns a smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie

Those of us living the big city life often forget that there are ample places in the great outdoors where cellular signal is nonexistent. The solution? Walkie-talkies. They provide a direct line of communication to others in a group, regardless of whether cell service is available or not. The Alianza DxB is a new docking device that actually turns a smartphone into a fully-functional multi-band walkie-talkie, so there's no need to carry multiple devices on an outdoor excursion.

DxB works on VHF, UHF, and 800Mhz, plus it can also use the cellular signal in a device to expand the range to anywhere in the world using the Radio-Over-IP repeater feature.

Part of the docking solution is the rugged case designed to protect the device. Because the target audience is people who will be carrying the device around outside, having a case that can take a beating is necessary in order for this product to have any kind of legs. The antenna and knobs on the top of the case are actually removable, so the Alianza DxB can be used just as a battery back-up case when the two-way radio features aren't needed.

The DxB also has an internal battery which serves two purposes – keeping the walkie-talkie alive, and charging the connected smartphone. There's no word on battery life for the device.

The Alianza DxB does not add much size the user's phone
The Alianza DxB does not add much size the user's phone

While the DxB docks a phone, there's no special software required to use the basic two-way radio portion. Conceivably, even if the owner's smartphone was dead, the case would still be able to perform the walkie-talkie functions.

Of course, having cellular signal is when the device is at its best, with the Radio-Over-IP repeater. For emergency services and the like, having an unlimited range is needed, and the ability to tap into the smartphone's connection is what really makes this product interesting.

Bricom Solutions, the company responsible for the creation of the device, is seeking funding on Kickstarter with the ultimate goal of making the product affordable for everyone from large businesses to the average consumer. The minimum pledge to take home a DxB is US$400, which is quite reasonable when compared to the cost of most multi-band radios.

The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information on the Alianza DxB.

Sources: Alianza, Kickstarter

8 comments
Slowburn
Great idea. But for a job sight a mini-cell tower might be the better idea.
Anonymous756
Nice VHF/UHF walkie talkies are available on-line for the $60 - $120 price range, and that's typically the all-in price and delivered. They're generally considered to be quite nice, depending on what you want (check the reviews of course).
Matthew Harden
This is genius. With the range of cell phones, we could skip the towers and have an ad-hoc, free cell service like system.
tampa florida
"This is genius. With the range of cell phones, we could skip the towers and have an ad-hoc, free cell service like system. Matthew Harden" great idea,
Slowburn
re; Matthew Harden Cell phones are designed to communicate with towers that have high gain receivers and much higher power transmitters. The phone to phone range would be quite short.
kellory
We already have this type of system called Nextel, and it is being shut down. nextels will work without a service plan or sell service as radios in both squad comm and peer to peer (without service of any kind) and as sell phones with service. You can buy used nextels on ebay for about 5-10 bucks each. And yes, i do use them as walkiw-talkies. range is about 2 miles in woods and hills, and about 6-8 miles in open country. (without service of any kind)
DanielSchlick
You guys totally missed the idea behind this. This is so yo can get on vhf/uhf/800mhz repeater type systems. This would be perfect so. say, a local volunteer firefighter could utilize his or her local fire repeater (of course with department permission). This would be perfect for somebody like me, who is a licensed Amateur Radio Operator. It would allow me to be able to access local VHF and UHF Amateur Radio Repeaters. Nextel? Well I am writing this after Nextel has been shut down permanently. This isn't even close to what Nextel was. Nextel utilized cellular towers . This utilizes frequencies like those used in police car radios and portables. I wish people would do their homework before sprouting off about what a lousy idea a product is or will be.
DanielSchlick
As far as Nextel... Love to know how you are using Nextel phones without service. Next tell "walkie Talkie" like feature was called chirp. It was an add on to your cellular plan. There were Nextel phones I saw that had built in Family Service Radio(s) built in (FRS). FRS works in the 463Mhz portion of the radio spectrum. FRS has absolutely nothing to do with Nextel. It's amazing how many people out there, try to talk like they are in the know, when in all actuality they aren't. BTW: I am a Federal Communications Comission licensed Amateur Radio Operator, and also hold a License thru the National Telecommunications And Information Agency.