Simplicity can be high-tech. As technology advances, tools should get easier to use. That’s what we were thinking when we started making Relay. We saw some of your questions about how Relay works, why it works that way, and what we’re doing to make it better. Let’s tackle some of those topics with a little help from our engineers and the Relay team.
I’ll start by saying that Relay is not a phone. But it has some similar technology on the inside. By that I mean that it has most of the same parts, just re-arranged a bit.
Here’s a recap:
It uses a SIM card to connect to cell service to get messages where they need to go
It has a WiFi radio and can connect to networks via the companion app
It uses WiFi-first, cell towers second just like Republic Wireless
It has a powerful custom battery (you can expect two days’ charge)
Real-time GPS functionality controlled via the companion app
“It has three buttons: one for talking, one for volume, and one for changing the channel. You just press the button and talk, and it works.” That’s what Sam, one of the innovators behind Relay, told me. It’s not your average walkie-talkie, but it’s as simple as that.
Relay has unique external features you won’t see on most smartphones. Here’s the rundown on those:
Water resistant gasket on the outer casing
- Don’t take it swimming, but an accidental splash, spill or jog in the rain won’t hurt anything.
No screen and no fragile parts
- Don’t run over it with a truck, but a tumble down the stairs, falling from a tree, or a landing on pavement should be fine.
LED light ring to show battery level, talk status, and more
- It has sixteen LED lights. We recently increased this from eight lights, meaning that each light now uses less power to create the same brightness. This saves battery life and makes for smooth motion and color transition.
- No USB port means more room inside Relay for the hi-tech goodies we want. It lets Relay be a little smaller, a lot more water-resistant, much more durable (we all know USB ports wear out eventually) and magnets are just cool. Plus it can stick to your refrigerator.
Headphone jack, Bluetooth, and NFC
- Because speakerphone isn’t always your first choice.
So what about Relay makes you really happy? It there anything you’re not-so-excited about? What would you like to know more about? As Relay gets closer to launching, we want you to be in-the-know. You can stay up to date with all things Relay through our newsletter and by keeping up with this series!
Next time we’ll get into the process of creating Relay, talking about the things that worked and some of the things that didn’t in the Relay Design Journey.
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