Global mining and construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar and mobile phone and consumer electronics company Bullitt Group have released the new Cat S61 smartphone – that can withstand harsh elements and tough terrains, such as those in the mining environment.
The phone was launched in Sandton, in South Africa, and went on sale locally last month.
Bullitt Group product portfolio VP Pete Cunningham told Mining Weekly at the launch that the company and Caterpillar were interested in “understanding specific people that need robust phones and then delivering solutions that resonate with those people”.
He commented that the Cat S61 enabled clients to have a durable, reliable and dustproof phone with “outstanding rugged credentials”.
The phone accommodates users wearing gloves and in wet conditions as it is also waterproof down to 3 m for 60 minutes, including in salt water. The phone is drop-proof at a height of 1.8 m, can tolerate high-pressure water jets and extreme temperatures from –25 ºC to 55 ºC, as well as thermal shocks.
Bullitt Group surveyed about 50 000 Cat phone users in the past two years and a substantial amount of research was done to develop the S61.
The core features of the phone are the integrated FLIR thermal imaging camera – with an increased measurable scene temperature range of –20 ºC to 400 ºC, and two new features: a laser-assisted distance measure and an indoor air-quality monitor. Technology designer FLIR Systems designs, develops, manufactures, markets and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness.
However, Cunningham emphasised the phone’s significantly superior processor, bigger memory and longer battery life than those of its predecessor, the Cat S60. The output resolution of the camera has also been upgraded from video graphics array resolution to high-definition resolution. The product also features a large, 13.2 cm display, protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
“The Cat S61 has been upgraded across the base – from the baseline specifications to the headline features,” Cunningham concluded.