Customers and Channel Partners were involved at every stage in the development of the SL300. Education professionals are an important group for the SL300, so the first “customer touch point” involved taking an early prototype of the SL300 to two schools: one in Florida and another in Virginia. Teachers, maintenance technicians, groundskeepers, and secretaries all used the radio and told us about their experience. They particularly liked the Active View display. When asked what they thought of this new display, they looked puzzled for a second, then they pressed a button and the display appeared from behind the housing in LEDs. It was a big “wow” factor.
Then they started talking about what else they liked: how slim and light it was; how it felt nice in their hand; how the controls fit nicely under their fingers. Things like the way the push-to-talk button is raised and highlighted with a “construction site” yellow ring around it so it’s easy to locate. Teachers don’t tend to use a radio every day – just in emergency situations: and that’s not a good time to learn how to use a complex device.
The carry accessories for the SL300 received some criticism, like how the elastic hand-strap wasn’t big enough. One larger individual said it was more like a pinky strap than a hand-strap. They also thought the belt clip was difficult to unclip in a hurry, so these comments were delivered to the Engineering team, who enlarged the hand-strap and created a new holster. It’s very versatile: the radio just snaps in and out, even with the hand-strap attached.
Carry accessories are a priority for this radio. As stated in the SL300 design blog, most female teachers don’t clip the radio to their belts like traditional radio users. They wedge it onto their clipboard, or leave it on their desk – which is really bad news in an emergency.
When we unveiled the SL300 to Motorola Channel Partners, they were also very impressed. Some partners asked about Bluetooth, GPS, Work Order Ticketing, and more advanced features. They thought the SL300 was a high-tier radio due to its sleek styling. While it is a basic radio, it looks very nice, and several dealers mentioned that it will sell itself.
But even though the display is a wow factor, some user groups indicated they were extremely price-sensitive, and only needed a 2-channel radio without the innovative LED display, so there is a non-display version of the SL300 available. Even without the screen, the radio is very easy to use – especially with the Voice Announcement feature. It calls out battery level, channel alias and other important information. The SL300 is integrated into the MOTOTRBO Radio Management tool, so audio files can be added quickly and efficiently.
The SL300 Is also aligned nicely with SchoolSAFE: a fantastic application designed by one of Motorola’s partners. It connects a public safety radio system to a school’s private radio system in an emergency situation, so school staff can communicate directly with first responders to resolve an issue. The teachers also get some pretty intense training so they understand emergency radio procedure.
The MOTOTRBO SL300 is a prime example of how innovation and customer engagement worked together to create a great product that will be useful and reliable for its owners.
Get more information about the SL300, watch a video about its design, and read articles about SchoolSAFE from Urgent Communications and MarketWatch.com.