I first heard about and took a look at Relay, a screenless phone for kids back in 2018. The small walkie-talkie device is incredibly simple and easy to use and made it easy to communicate with my own kids from across the world.
Relay, owned and operated by Republic Wireless, has expanded the brand beyond a cute communication device for kids with its Relay Plus for business and enterprise users.
On Thursday, Relay is adding a panic button to the Relay Plus capabilities. The feature comes as more states are passing or at least considering legislation that requires panic buttons for employees who work in hospitality industries like hotels or casinos. Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington have already passed legislation while California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma are considering passing bills, according to Relay.
Radisson Hotels has selected Relay as its preferred vendor for communication connectivity and safety protections.
The basic plan for Relay Plus is $100 a year per user or $150 a year for the Pro plan. Both plans include push-to-talk communication, unlimited channels, unlimited private chats, GPS location tracking of each Relay Plus unit, and online support.
The Pro plan adds Relay calling, incident management, the new panic button functionality, indoor location, broadcast alerts, location and message history, language translate, and a dedicated account manager.
Relay Panic works in tandem with a beacon that provides location information when a panic alarm is triggered. Each beacon is set up and programmed by the customer with details of its location. When a Relay+ user rapidly presses the push-to-talk button on a Relay device, it will trigger the alarm and send information to predefined users with the location of the alarm.
You can customize who in the fleet will receive alerts, so you don't have to worry about panicking everyone who is on your Relay Plus network.
Relay sent me two Relay Plus devices late last year. Both are on the Pro plan, so I was able to test the full range of features.
The devices themselves are nearly identical to the Relay devices I reviewed a few years ago. They work in almost the same way, where a user presses the push-to-talk button on one unit, talks, and then releases it to stop broadcasting. The other unit receives the audio transmission in real-time and can reply using the same method.
I don't have a fleet or a large team to test with, so I did the next best thing: Sent my kids on a bike ride. I monitored the conversation using the Relay Plus web portal, which you can also transmit audio from, while my wife listened in on the Relay device. You can also listen in on conversations and monitor your workers (or in my case, kids) using the mobile app.
The entire platform is intuitive and easy to use, and I can see the appeal for larger corporations that need to have near-instant communication between teams that are spread out across the country, or even just a city.
Each Relay Plus device is $99, and there are several accessories offered by Relay, like a belt clip, headsets, and chargers for multiple devices.
Learn more about Relay Plus at relaygo.com.