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iPhone 6 and Apple Watch – Devices for Truckers?

Sept. 15, 2014

On Tuesday, Apple released its newest iPhone model, and with it comes a wealth of opportunity for the trucking community. I have to admit that CLS has been working on the new iOS 8 for a while with some of our clients, but actually staying up until 2 AM on a Thursday night to order one (that I won’t even get for another week) is a new behavior for me. 

We decided to take a look at both of these devices for the benefit of our readers. First, the iPhone 6:

BIGGER is better in this case. The new display allows drivers to use the device in landscape mode even when on the home screen or using Face Time. This allows more real estate on the screen to see other information. In addition to the physical size, the processor allows for many apps to run in the background while you’re interacting with the display. So your HOS application can keep counting while you’re talking to your family or watching the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy (when you’re in break/rest mode, of course).

The ultra-bright auto dimming display is perfect for running the latest version of ALK CoPilot truck navigation and the ultra-bright flash will help you crawl around the truck to complete your late night DVIRs.  

So outside of bigger and brighter, the coolness comes with the future release of Apple Watch. This device has legs! With an integrated heart rate monitor and interface to the watch we can measure many new great things for drivers. We can tell when they are agitated, confused or tired, and that can help us in many ways. Imagine (not anytime soon) if we could manage driver hours of service by how tired he or she actually was vs. a set amount of time? Some days I could safely drive 13 hours, and on others I am just too tired to make it past 8. Not to mention being able to predict that I-94 is going to make the best driver want to fall asleep behind the wheel. The possibilities behind monitoring the human body, telematics coming from the truck combined with geo-special data makes for some really awesome opportunities. Too many to even list right now!

The other cool part about the Apple Watch is the opportunity for text-to-voice notifications on your driver’s wrist. Dispatch has an update for a driver, but doesn’t want to bother them with a phone call? Send an update to their wrist! Time to pull over for a rest break? HOS app can send a notification to your driver’s wrist. You could even have your driver’s wrist provide turn-by-turn voice navigation directions. The possibilities here are endless.

Let me summarize the big news. Bigger phones are more easily read, faster phones make for better tools, and the smart watch is here to stay. TRUST me, we will build off of this. 

So did you stay up until 2 am to pre-order your iPhone 6 as well? I bet some of your drivers did!

‘Til next time.

About the Author

Christian Schenk 1 | President

Christian Schenk is president of CLS LLC, the premier technology consulting group for the transportation industry. With more than a decade of experience in telematics and fleet management, Schenk founded CLS LLC in 2013 to help transportation companies transition into the mobile era.

As an active member of many associations both in the wireless and transportation verticals, he has the benefit of interacting with some of the world’s most influential executives from worldwide technology leaders such as Google, Yahoo, Samsung, Motorola, LinkedIn, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Prior to launching CLS LLC, Christian spent several years working for transportation technology leader, XRS Corporation. Through a variety of positions with XRS, Christian managed product marketing, marketing, business development and business strategy teams, and also drove the design and launch of the innovative XRS mobile optimization platform for the company.

Schenk is known in the industry for his extensive knowledge and in-depth, hands-on experience in process management, business development and transportation logistics. He is an active member and advisor for Samsung Telecommunications, Motorola Solutions and CTIA—The Wireless Association. He is also a member of many trucking-related associations, including the American Trucking Association, the National Private Truck Council and the International Foodservice Distributors Association.

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