While the Galaxy S9 can be hardened to withstand drops through the purchase of a case from a variety of vendors, Samsung recently unveiled a device geared for public safety that will be used on the Emergency Services Network (ESN) public-safety LTE system that is being built in the UK, Jones said.

“In the UK, we actually created a device—based off of our smartphone S platform—that has some additional hardware features that include a slightly larger, dedicated push-to-talk button, which is meant to enable to their mission purpose, as well as mission-critical push to talk,” Jones said. “We have a dedicated officer-down button, which is on top of the phone, so it’s easy for the first responders to access and utilize.

“We also have a few other features, such as another LED indicator on top of the phone. So, in case the phone happens to be in your shirt pocket, it’s easy to look down and see a visual notification. We have additional flash bulbs on the device, which are very useful for flashlight in low-light area. And, of course, the device [meets military specifications], so it does have water- and dust-resistant capabilities, as well as some drop-resistant capabilities.”

Samsung has shown this unnamed device to people in the U.S. market who have expressed interest in the hardened smart device, Jones said. Samsung is in the process of evaluating what key carriers—for instance, AT&T and Verizon—want included in the device before introducing it in the marketplace, he said.

While many of the technical capabilities and applications that first responders need already exist today, Samsung is working to find ways—sometimes in conjunction with vendor partners—to give the public-safety user easy access to these new capabilities in a manner that does not interfere with their primary job, Jones said.

“It really is about delivering something that allows that first responder to be heads-up and hands-free, so they can really take in the situation,” Jones said. “We can arm them with all of these devices, but—at the end of the day—if they are heads-down and hands-full, they’re not getting to do what they need to do, so we try to put a lot of thought into that.”

In addition, Samsung has wearables like smart watches that can support public-safety communications, as recently demonstrated with computer-aided-dispatch (CAD) provider TriTech Software Systems, according to Jones.

“We launched and showed their CAD system on our wearable, which is so cool,” he said. “Now, the officer can be truly hands-free. They can look at their wrist to receive notifications—whether it is a visual notification or a vibration—to be fully connected back to their dispatch system.”

Some of these practical aspects include mounting and docking solutions that enable specific functionality, including easy use of the device’s camera, Jones said. Meanwhile, first responders already are beginning to realize the benefits of having a smartphone to enable e-citations, collect digital evidence and even take handwritten notes with stylus-enabled devices, he said.