Alianza DxB turns your smartphone into a multi-band walkie-talkie
By Dave LeClair
April 15, 2013
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.
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.