As point-of-sale (POS) systems evolve, compact design, energy-efficiency and durability remain important to hospitality operators. In addition to cloud-based options, when it comes to hardware, more mobile offerings are becoming available, and some believe these will eventually take over the market.
“I believe POS is going to go entirely mobile and the touch terminals with readers will go away,” says Tony Marsters, director of IT services at Pita Pit based in Coeur d’alene, Idaho. “This is the way the business is going.”
MICROS, Motorola and Panasonic all rolled out new mobile POS options recently, and Epson is now offering printers for the mobile worker. Additionally, many of the new hardware options are versatile, allowing operators to use them in a variety of ways, including a POS terminal or a kiosk, and many offer the option of customer displays to feature text and graphics for promotions.
In its annual POS Hardware Innovations round-up, HT shares details and tech specs on many of the latest releases to hit the market. Here’s a sampling of what’s been released in the last several months:
WHAT’S NEW: POS TERMINALS
HP (www.hp.com) has two new point-of-sale systems — the HP RP7 and the HP RP3 — designed to deliver fast, effective customer service, with energy-efficient design.
The HP RP7 model 7100 all-in-one offers complete customization and fan-less design that resists splashes, smoke and dust, and has versatile mounting to support countertop or wall. Connection points on all four sides of the display let users customize the exact combination of peripherals (MSR, fingerprint reader or webcam/sold separately) they need. Users have the option to add the HP RP7 10.4-inch customer-facing display for additional advertising opportunities, or the HP RP7 vacuum fluorescent customer display for a wider viewing area.
The HP RP 3 point-of-sale has a compact design that operates in an ambient 40°C environment for longer run time with no external cooling. It connects to legacy and newer-generation retail peripherals with a wide range of serial and USB ports, and an integrated wireless or wired LAN deliver network connectivity for supporting online customer transactions, inventory checks and back-office activities.
PARTech (www.partech.com) released PAR EverServ 500 in January, a value-priced POS terminal ideal for small spaces in need of a compact design. Featuring a second generation Intel Atom 1.86 GHz dual core processor, 2 GB DDR3 memory and a 320 GB hard disk, its shock-mounted hard disk, spill-resistant casework and sealed touchscreen provide protection in a hospitality environment. Its fan-less design requires less power, and also offers auto-standby mode to save energy.
The company also rolled out the EverServ 7200 as part of its line of EverServ 7000 hardware. It is available in multiple configurations, including pedestal, low-profile, wall or kiosk mount, and features a second generation Intel Atom 1.68 GHz duel core processor, 4 GB memory and a 320 GB hard disk. With a contemporary, sleek design, the system also features fully centralized I/O port connectivity and easy access to major components. It also offers multiple customer display options.
Posiflex Technology Inc. (www.posiflex.com) unveiled the TX-4200 and TX-4200E. The TX-4200 is a low-cost, high value POS unit, and the TX-4200E is the enhanced version, which can act as a POS terminal, kitchen video system or digital signage controller. It features an Intel Cedarview dual core processor, standard VGA and HDMI display interface, mini-PCIe expansion slot for WI-Fi, PS/2 port and VESA mounting.
Sharp Electronics Corp.’s (www.sharpusa.com) new RZ-X750 Series open architecture POS system offers twice the processing power, expanded cash drawer compatibility, and a built-in, powered USB port that connects to power devices such as printers. Equipped with a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom dual core processor, it is built to optimize the Microsoft Windows XP Professional. It features two optional customer-facing displays to promote discounts and more with a two-line, 20 character display, or a Sharp 10.4-inch LCD display for images, video and more.
Wincor Nixdorf (www.wincor-nixdorf.com) introduced Beetle/Express, a compact, all-in-one touch POS and kiosk system based on the latest energy-saving, Intel Atom processor technology. It offers a glare-free, integrated 10.4-inch LED, backlight, resistive touch display with improved brightness and clarity, and splash-proof housing to protect the system. Additionally, it can be integrated to a number of peripherals, including a customer display, magnetic card reader and iButton waiter lock.
The company also released the Beetle/iPOS plus, a modern, bezel-free, retail-hardened design, with a 15-inch TFT screen and resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels. It is designed as a fan-less system unit with sealed, splash-proof, aluminum housing to protect the interior from dirt and debris. Featuring projected capacitive, multi-touch or 5-wire, resistive touch technology, it is a POS terminal and kiosk system in one, and interfaces to a magnetic card reader, fingerprint reader, customer display and iButton Dallas key reader. Instead of a hard disk, the system can be configured with a solid-state disk, and the motherboard is based on Intel’s power-saving Atom Cedarview processor technology. Also, it can be used as a desktop, wall-mounted or pole-mounted system.
WHAT’S NEW: POS CUSTOMER DISPLAYS
Posiflex Technology Inc. (www.posiflex.com) released the PD-6x07 series customer display in April, designed to replace the 2-line VFD in the market. Its 7-inch LCD display with 800 x 480 dots resolution offers 4-line text mode, and supports full screen or half screen jpeg graphics along with two lines of text for product promotion. Character and background color can be set independently, and the system supports ESC/POS command and QR Codes. The PD-6x07 is available as a standalone pole display, terminal rear-mounted display, or base-mounted pole display.
WHAT’S NEW: MOBILE POS
E La Carte (www.elacarte.com) has launched a new version of its Presto for restaurants that is used by guests at the table for instant ordering and payment. The updated, 7-inch Android tablet has been reformatted for restaurant use with a better battery life, a ruggedized exterior and a redesigned credit card reader. The tablet’s new LED light will now change color based on the table’s food status, and prompts patrons for add-on options to any item. The company reports a ten percent sales boost on orders through Presto and table turns are seven minutes faster.
MICROS Systems Inc.’s (www.micros.com) new mWorkstation (mWS) is an open systems hardware platform designed for both hospitality and retail. It includes a removable mTablet and mStation base that can be used for both stationary and remote use. Also, the mStation connects to peripheral devices, including cash drawers, printers and more, and can also be used with the Apple iPad.
MokiMobility and Revel Systems (www.mokimobility.com, www.revelsystems.com) have partnered to launch the first mobile iPad POS that is in compliance with the PCI Council’s new mobile POS security guidelines (which were just released in February 2013). Revel Systems will integrate the MokiManage platform into its iPad point-of-sale solution, providing users with comprehensive monitoring, management and security capabilities across all Revel iPad point-of-sale deployments, including several thousand immediate distributions.
Motorola Solutions Inc. (www.motorolasolutions.com) introduced the MC40, a durable mobile device offering security, advanced bar code scanning, push-to-talk and an integrated magnetic stripe reader that allows associates to scan a credit, gift or loyalty card. It features a large, 4.3-inch, touch-only display and an Android operating system, with an 800 MHz processor and 8 GB of flash memory. It also supports 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless LANs, and companies can customize the color of the bezel or add a logo to promote their brand.
Panasonic Corp. (www.panasonic.com) expanded its ToughPad tablet line to include the FZ-G1, a 10-inch Windows 8 Pro-based tablet, and the JT-B1, a 7-inch Android-powered tablet. Designed for mission critical and mobile workers, they are ideal for mobile POS, inventory control and more. The FZ-G1 includes a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processor and up to 2.9 GHZ with Intel Turbo Boost Technology. It also includes 128 to 265 GB of memory and 4 to 8 GB of RAM. The tablet weighs less than 2.5 pounds and offers a touchscreen display, and eight hours of battery life. The JT-B1 has an Android 4.0 operating system and a 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor, with 16GB ROM and 1GB RAM. Both operate on Bluetooth and Wi-FI, with optional embedded 4G, LTE and 3G, and are MIL-STD-810G tested for drops, fluid ingress and temperature.
WHAT’S NEW: PRINTERS
Epson America Inc. (www.pos.epson.com) released two new printers in the first quarter of 2013 — the OmniLink i-Series and the OmniLink DT-Series. Both are ideal for mobile POS, with built in Web servers and Epson’s ePOS-print technology for browser-based printing from a mobile device. The new i-Series receipt or label printers are powered by an industrial-grade PC with embedded Linux platform, peripheral connectivity and VGA output. It enables cloud-based services, including data analytics, digital receipts, coupons and loyalty programs. The DT-Series models include a retail-hardened PC with either POSReady 7 or Linux operating system powered by Intel Atom 1.8 GHz processor.
WHAT’S NEW: PAYMENT DEVICES
Viableware (www.viableware.com), creators of the RAIL payment platform for restaurants, now integrate with a number of POS system providers including MICROS, NCR, Aloha and Dinerware. The Rail technology allows restaurant operators to accept various forms of payment at the table, including e-wallet and smartphone payments. Additionally, the system is now certified to the security standards of 11 of the leading payment processors, including American Express, First Data Merchant Services, Global Payments, Heartland, Merchant e-Solutions, Moneris, Nova Elavon, Paymentech, TSYS, Vantiv and WordPay.