POS Peripheral Update

By Lisa Terry, Contributing Editor | May 07, 2009

POS terminals may be the brains of the point of sale, but the peripherals are the true workhorses, interacting with humans to collect and deliver essential transactional data. Hospitality operators demand POS peripherals that are long on features and service, and short on cost and maintenance, and vendors are continually working to up their game on both ends. Here is a round-up of the latest PIN Pads, printers, scanners, and next-gen POS peripherals on the market.
PIN Pads
Allowing the cashier and customer to share the PIN pad is the concept behind Verifone Holdings' Vx 810 DUET (www.verifone.com). It includes a hand-held device that the customer uses to enter a PIN, swipe a card or, with field-upgradeable options, facilitate smart card, contactless or mobile-phone initiated payment. When the unit is returned to the cradle base, it facilitates clerk functions and also includes a thermal printer, high-speed modem, and Ethernet, USB and serial ports. The Vx 810 DUET meets security standards including PCI PED and EMV Level 1 and 2.
 
Also new from VeriFone, the PINpad 1000SE combines PIN entry and contactless payment. Suitable for use worldwide, the PCI PED-approved PINpad1000SE contactless version is backward-compatible and supports non-payment applications, such as MiFare. VeriFone also unveiled SingleCI (Single Contactless Interface), a unifying programming interface with development tools to leverage existing contactless investments.

Printers
The Fujitsu FP-510 Series (www.fujitsu.com) compact standalone receipt printer offers 260mm per second print speeds, two-color printing, and an optional vertical-mount design that allows the printer to be mounted on a wall or stand. The model is part of Fujitsu's Super Green Program for products that meet the manufacturer's internal environmental and energy-consumption standards. The FP-510 accommodates paper widths from 58mm to 83mm and offers easy maintenance, the ability to print PDF-417 and Datamatrix symbologies, all in a splashproof, compact design.
 
Epson (www.epson.com) has begun shipping the TM-T88IV Restick, a linerless label printer for labeling customer bags, pizza boxes and exception labels for quick service, fast casual and take-out restaurants. In talking with operators, Epson teams realized that there was a real need to improve order accuracy, reduce food costs and speed work flow, all while enhancing customer satisfaction and avoiding waste and clutter from label liners. The printer comes in 3-1/8" and 2-1/4" labels and receipt sizes.
 
TransAct Technologies (www.transact-tech.com) initially developed the Ithaca 8000 and Ithaca 8040 for one of the world's leading quick service restaurant companies. The ability to print on linerless label stock or standard thermal paper allows use for two applications: printing receipts at the front of the store and printing receipt labels in the kitchen for special orders. Transact's Ithaca 8040 prints special order sticky labels for adhesion to hot or cold beverage cups, eliminating penmanship issues and reducing errors. The Ithaca 8040 offers six inches per second print speed and a rugged spill-resistant design.
 
Citizen System's CT-S2000 (www.citizen-systems.com) is a two-color thermal printer delivering "real-world" speeds up to 220mm/second. Hospitality-friendly features include Spill-Shield, to prevent entry of moisture or foreign objects, large capacity (102mm) drop-in paper loading, one-touch clearing of cutter jams, a two-million cut-rated auto paper cutter, USB interface standard, and four different paper widths.
 
Those features are important to 31-unit Woody's Bar-B-Q (www.woodys.com). The printers "have got to withstand the potential to get dirty," says Kyle Chong, CFO at Woody's. Woody's also appreciates the flexibility to use the same printer at server stations, cashier stations, the back office, and eventually the kitchen.
 
For self-service hospitality terminals, Star Micronics America (www.starmicronics.com) has introduced the TUP500 kiosk printer. A bezel (snout) option captures the user's attention with programmable 2-color flashing LED lights. With a compact footprint, the TUP500 features a print speed of up to 220mm/second and paper widths from 45mm-82.5mm. The looping presenter prevents paper jams by printing the receipt in full before providing it to the user, and retracts receipts left by the user. This results in increased document security and a cleaner operation area.

Scanners
Early this month, Micros (www.micros.com) is offering under its own brand the LS2208 hand-held scanner, sourced from Motorola/Symbol. The LS2208 high performance 1D linear scanner offers fast, reliable scanning in a rugged, lightweight, black-colored form factor. Its working range is from near-contact to 17 inches. A plug-and-play installation and user-friendly design requires little or no training, and the ergonomic, balanced form factor is designed to reduce user fatigue.
 
Micros is also private-labeling starting this month with Motorola/Symbol's (www.motorola.com) LS9208i high-speed bar code scanner, which allows easy switching between handheld and hands-free operation. The user can quickly capture a wide range of codes no matter how they are presented. The LS9208i offers a small footprint, an integrated Checkpoint Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) antenna to save counter space, and remote scanner management capability. The device supports the GS1 DataBar and 14-digit Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) bar codes.
 
Honeywell's MS4980 VuQuest (www.honeywell.com) is a compact area-imaging scanner featuring a 1.2 megapixel camera for presentation-mode scanning of most 1D, PDF and 2D bar codes as well as high-resolution images of signatures, identification cards, damaged goods and personal checks. This enables a broad range of applications, from retail point-of-sale to self-service kiosks to mobile ticketing systems where bar codes are read directly from the screen of a mobile device. Optical character recognition (OCR) is optional, as is usage-specific decoder licensing.

Next-Gen Peripherals
Digital Persona's U.are.U 4500 Fingerprint Reader (www.digitalpersona.com) enables biometric fingerprint reading at the POS for time and attendance, and for security applications. The rugged, small form factor 4500 reader is able to authenticate even difficult fingerprints accurately and rapidly regardless of placement angle. A related product, the U.are.U 4000B Module, is a miniature USB fingerprint reader designed for integration into OEM equipment.
 
Tar Heel Capital (www.tarheelcapital.com), operator of 76 Wendy's locations, uses the 4500 for employee clock-in/clock-out as well as manager void approvals, replacing card swipe and keypad entry systems. "We saw a decrease in voids and thefts primarily due to the fact that the cards were so easy to lose," says Rob Ireland, director of information technology for Tar Heel. Remote implementation and easy integration enabled the entire chain to deploy in three weeks, Ireland says.
 
SoftTouch's RFID Wristband reader, Touchless Sign-On, (www.softtouchpos.com) incorporates an RFID chip on a wristband worn by wait staff, bartenders and other POS users. When the employee nears the terminal, the proximity scanner automatically logs the user in, a faster process than using a password, smart card, biometric or other technique. Wristbands are automatically deactivated at the end of the shift. A loyalty version allows guests to swipe their key fobs for instant rewards and VIP seating preference recall.
 
Managers at Slainte Irish Pub, Boynton Beach, Fla., use Touchless Sign-On for manager functions at POS. "No one can learn the code the manager is using, and it saves time punching in numbers," says Neil Syx, general manager. "This is where productivity and security overlap."
 

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