Secure RPS Lynx|
Speech-to-speech tablet for military applications
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Rugged Portable Systems is a division of Secure Communication Systems, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based company that has been providing hardware solutions to the US military since 1986. They have delivered over 50,000 military logistical solutions to prime contractors and all the branches of the US military. The company's mission is to provide war fighters with innovative and reliable equipment and back it up with dedicated support. Secure Communications designs and manufactures rugged portable computer systems, rugged LCD displays, thin clients, fully sealed workstations, handheld computers, and peripheral products that perform under the harshest conditions. The company carries ISO 9001:2000 certification.
The Lynx ruggedized handheld shown here with a variety of optional equipment is a small and compact portable system designed specifically to optimally run speech translation software under real world conditions in the field. Its intended use is for soldiers (or others) who need to communicate in foreign countries, sometimes at a safe distance. For that purpose, the Lynx has an integrated six element phased "far field" array microphone with "follow the speaker" technology that can provide reliable speech recognition in real world environments from up to twelve feet away. A flip-up cover includes a powerful speaker driven by a 6-watt digital amplifier. The primary application running on a Lynx system is Two Way Speech-to-Speech software such as SRI International's IraqComm, BBN's TransTalk, IBM's STST, and others.
The purposefully designed Lynx measures 8.9 x 5.75 inches and is about three inches thick. It weighs under four pounds.
The Lynx can be powered by a variety of processors, ranging from a very energy-efficient 1GHz VIA Eden chip to a Intel Celeron M and a powerful 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo. The device supports up to two gigabyte of DDR2 RAM (1GB for Eden-equipped models). The standard configuration comes with a 32GB solid state disk, with capacities up to 64GB available. The 6.4-inch transflective VGA (640 x 480 pixels) display with resistive touch screen digitizer is sunlight-readable, has a strong 400 nit backlight, and is night vision compatible (you can dim it to less than one nit). The Lynx has dual hot-swappable batteries and an integrated charger. Depending on configuration, it can run over four hours of continuous speech translation, or six to eight hours of standard Windows.
For connectivity you get two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, video-out, power and the aforementioned specialized microphone and speaker.
The Lynx, which is desigend for one-handed use, has a tough magnesium alloy shell and was tested in accordance with the procedures described in MIL-STD-810F. The machine can operate within a range of 14 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, survive significant shock and vibration, has been humidity and altitute tested, and is sealed to IP54 standards where the "5" stands for protection against dust and the "4" for protection against water spray from all directions.
The Lynx is a unique, innovative system addressing the need for real-time speech-to-speech language translation in all sorts of field conditions.