The week marks the 100th anniversary of retail’s largest information technology tradeshow, the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show. Held January 9-12 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javitz Center, NRF offers a wealth of technology solutions designed to aid not just retail operators, but restaurateurs as well. For those not in attendance, Hospitality Technology offers this live coverage of the latest news and technology announcements.
POS: Printers, terminals and more
Point of sale (POS) vendors offered a number of new solutions for restaurateurs this year in the form of hardware releases.
Epson America, for instance, introduced the TM-H6000IV, a multi-function POS printer that improves upon the flexibility and size of the previous model. Not only is the TM-H6000IV Energy Star qualified (the company boasts that the printer can reduce receipt paper usage by more than 25 percent), but it has a transaction speed of up to 300mm per second, is compatible with a wide range of new and legacy systems, and has a MCBF of 96 million lines.
In addition to the TM-H6000IV release, Epson also revealed a new customer win. Friendly’s Express, a five-unit, fast-casual Friendly’s concept is using the TM-T88 ReStick thermal printer in conjunction with MAXStick liner-free, biodegradable and recyclable labels to improve order accuracy and streamline its carry out workflow. “The Epson / MAXStick solution is ideally suited to our needs and we are very pleased with the increased order accuracy. It has streamlined our preparation process and allowed us to customize, and ultimately greatly enhance, the way we deliver orders to our customers,” says Richard Delvalle, director of restaurant systems for Friendly’s.
Like Epson, Star Micronics was also on-hand to showcase a variety of printing products, including the FVP-10, a front loading receipt printer, and the TSP100ECO, an eco-friendly receipt printer designed to reduce paper usage and decrease power consumption. Key features of the FVP-10 include: onboard USB, receipt compression for paper saving, and multiple mounting options. The company says that it developed the FVP-10 for operators with counter space challenges and quick receipt printing needs. Meanwhile, the TSP100ECO is said to reduce power consumption by 75 percent, paper consumption by five to 70 percent, and features a halogen-free printer housing.
In moving from POS printers to terminals, ParTech, Inc. brought a wide-range of options with them to NRF this year. Attendees visiting their booth were able to demo a number of the company’s EverServ Solutions, including: the EverServ 6000, PAR’s flagship terminal known for its scalability and flexibility, the EverServ 6000 LP, a low-profile terminal, and the EverServ 2000, PAR’s smallest-footprint terminal
Lastly, JDS Solutions, provider of the retail management software, WinRetail, announced an integration with Siriusware, a provider of guest management software for ski resorts, that consolidates ski retail and rental sales at one point of sale. Two Utah-based resorts are already benefiting from the WinRetail/Siriusware solution: Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort and Montage Deer Valley. “For our ski shop operations, the integration with Siriusware POS has enabled us to combine the best of both worlds: a ski rental system designed specifically to manage the ski rental process, with an inventory management system designed specifically to manage the retail inventory sold in those stores. Using WinRetail behind both Xstore and Siriusware POS solutions allows us to perform all of the purchasing and inventory management tasks in one place,” explains Kate Bennett, assistant retail director for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort.
In another corner of the building, Intel Corporation unveiled its Intel AIM Suite, a new video analytics technology for anonymous audience measurement. Companies, such as The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, are using this solution to monitor digital signage viewer metrics such as age, gender and length of attention. This enables the delivery of targeted content for individual viewers and tracks the return on investment with greater accuracy. Intel also showcased its next-gen quick service restaurant kiosk which is based on Intel Core i5.
Meanwhile, Zebra Technologies announced the release of its KR203 Kiosk Receipt Printer. The KR203 utilizes Zebra’s host-based printing technology, which takes full advantage of a PC’s memory and processing power, making it Zebra’s most affordable kiosk printer today. This solution can be used for in restaurant self-ordering or hotel check-ins.
A number of vendors this year also highlighted their latest security solutions, whether designed to secure operators’ networks or payment processing operations. Cybera offered a comprehensive security solution with integrated managed firewall and intrusion detection services, wireless intrusion protection, rogue wireless detection got PCI compliance, hosted VPN and remote access services, and more.
For its part, Heartland Payment Systems announced a new security assessment of its E3 end-to-end encryption magnetic stripe reader (MSR) wedge. According to the independent PCI Quality Assessor, Coalfire Systems, Heartland’s E3 wedge can eliminate the scope of the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) for POS developers. Coalfire’s assessment also documents that the E3 wedge can reduce the scope of PCI compliance for merchants by up to 69 percent, based on PCI DSS controls that are reduced or removed from scope with proper E3 MSR wedge deployment.