Fare collection used to be a bottleneck for commuters riding public transportation. Today many metropolitan areas use unmanned, interactive ticket kiosks to dispense tickets. These kiosks enable cashless micropayments and offer a new level of convenience. In addition to public transportation, such intelligent kiosks are rapidly becoming the new distribution channels and point of sale for many other industries, including public parking, telecommunications, photography, entertainment, and food.
For transit companies these ticket kiosks offer more than a way to streamline ticket sales. They can also incorporate a screen display to help commuters with route selection, offer the latest schedule information, display real-time arrival times for buses or trains, and provide advertising revenue.
To provide all these services, the kiosks need a rugged, reliable, small-form-factor, fanless computer system with low power consumption, rich I/O options, and excellent graphics capabilities. A good example of this kind of system comes from Lanner, an Associate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance.
Lanner LEC-7230 Compact Computer
The Lanner LEC-7230 compact computer was recently selected by a public transit operator for a city-wide network of touchscreen ticket kiosks (Figure 1). The operator serves more than 500 million passengers per year on a transportation network covering more than 900 kilometers of roads. Placement of the LEC-7230-based ticket vending kiosks in the lobbies of more than 100 metro stations and bus stops makes comprehensive and convenient ticket sale service for all passengers.
Figure 1. Transit ticket kiosk using the Lanner LEC-7230 compact computer.
The LEC-7230‘s compact, fanless design, flexible mounting options and expansion capability enable strategic placement throughout the transit network. The unit’s performance and convenience enables it to play a contributing role to the record-breaking increase in passenger traffic seen throughout this metropolitan city’s vast transportation network.
The LEC-7230 measures 198 mm x 42 mm x 145 mm or 7.79” x 1.65” x 5.7” (WxHxD) and is one of Lanner’s most compact solutions for installation at locations with limited and confined space (Figure 2). Its versatile mounting options include wall mount, VESA mount, rack mount, or DIN-rail. For the transit operator, Lanner’s customization service designed metal brackets compatible with the unit’s wall-mount option.
Figure 2. The Lanner LEC-7230 is one of Lanner’s most compact embedded computer systems.
The LEC-7230’s I/O interface supports video, audio, network, and serial functions (Figure 3). The system includes two 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet ports, mic-in and line-out audio jacks, two serial COM ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, and an option for a 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module or 3G/GPS Mini-PCIe card. Display outputs include VGA (1600 x 1200) and HDMI (1920 x 1080).
Figure 3. Diagram of some of the I/O supported by the Lanner LEC-7230 for the ticket kiosk.
An operating temperature range of 0°C to 55°C allows the LEC-7230 to function in a wide range of conditions. A dust-free housing featuring an all-aluminum case with cooling fins further ensures the unit’s fitness for outdoor urban conditions.
The Processor Choices
The system is powered by a choice of the Intel® Celeron® processors J1900 and N2930 or the Intel® Atom™ processors E3845. All three processors use Intel’s Silvermont microarchitecture and industry-leading 22nm process technology and 3-D Tri-Gate transistors. This microarchitecture features significant improvements in computational performance and energy efficiency, along with a new out-of-order execution engine for superior compute performance, outstanding power management capabilities, and enhanced security.
With over 5X faster graphics and 3X faster processing than the Intel Atom processor N2000/D2000 family, these Intel Celeron and Intel Atom processors make the LEC-7230 ideal for applications requiring improved processing performance and power efficiency. The processors’ thermal design power (TDP) ranges from 6W to 10W, making them well-suited if necessary for applications powered by solar cells and battery combinations. What’s more, very low standby power (milli-watt range) ensures very low power consumption for solutions that spend significant time in sleep states, such as ticket kiosks and ATMs.
The processors’ integrated graphics deliver excellent graphical and media performance for information display, digital signage, and video. The processors include the version of the Intel® HD Graphics 4000 introduced originally in 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. Eliminating the need for a system with a discrete graphics card, these processors help keep the cost and power demands of the overall system low.
Security and content protection is important for both payment and signage functions. Here again, these Intel Celeron and Intel Atom processors shine. Their hardware-assisted capabilities include Intel® AES New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) and Secure Boot. Secure Boot helps secure the terminals by allowing only chosen software to run on the device. Intel AES-NI enables fast and secure data encryption and decryption. These instructions are valuable for applications that perform bulk encryption/decryption, authentication, random number generation, and authenticated encryption.
The convenience of mass transit all starts with getting the ticket to get onboard. By making it easier and convenient to buy a ticket, transit companies can increase ridership and customer satisfaction. To see more products geared to powering kiosks for transit ticket sales and other purposes, visit our Solutions Directory.
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Lanner is an Associate member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance
Editor-in-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine