The retail and hospitality industries are looking for increasingly diverse point-of-sale (POS) systems, including (Figure 1):
- All-in-one systems that are easy to install
- Expandable POS PCs that have the I/O to handle unique requirements
- Tablet POSs that allow staff to roam
This diversity of needs presents challenges for both developers and end customers alike. To maximize cost-effectiveness and scalability, these varied POS solutions must be interoperable, reliable, and easy to maintain and upgrade.
These solutions must forward sales data to the head office for inventory management and strategic planning. They must also support remote management to maximize uptime and ensure that every POS terminal has the latest pricing, promotion, and personnel data.
Figure 1. POS requirements are increasingly diverse. Source: Clientron
Intel® architecture (IA) offers a compelling answer to these requirements. Thanks to its excellent scalability, IA can serve in a wide range of POS devices, from tablets to multi-screen terminals. This ensures software compatibility across the range, making it easier to develop and deploy a complete set of retail solutions. What’s more, Intel’s reliable roadmap ensures that these systems can be maintained and upgraded well into the future. In addition, the platform’s excellent connectivity ensures that IA-based systems can connect to headquarters for data sharing and remote maintenance.
Developers can leverage these benefits with POS solutions from members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance like Clientron. Let’s look at three examples now, starting with the POS Terminal PT6300, which stars in this fun YouTube overview:
Powered by a 3.3 GHz Intel® Core™ i3-2120 processor, the PT6300 has plenty of performance for its built-in 15” multi-touch panel and optional 8” or 15” customer display. Cleanup is easy thanks to IP64 water & dust-proofing and optional 6H scratch-proofing.
Built-in and optional peripherals include 1D/2D barcode reader, MSR, smart card reader, MIFARE RFID, iButton, and fingerprint reader. There is also plenty of retail-friendly I/O, including two powered COM ports, one RJ45, four USB, and one RJ11 for a cash drawer. In short, the PT6300 is a good example of a powerful, easy-to-deploy POS system.
Of course, some deployments require a different mix of performance and I/O. For these medium-performance applications, the AU3800 POS PC series offers a range of options as illustrated in Figure 2. Powered by the Intel® Atom™ processor, this series comes with a rich array of I/O specifically designed for POS applications. Depending on the model, these PCs can be equipped with a parallel port, USB 3.0, or powered USB 24V in addition to standard I/O like COM ports and VGA.
Figure 2. The AU3800 POS PC series offers a variety of I/O.
The series is also designed with reliability and longevity in mind. As a low-power, fan-less device, the AU3800 keeps dust out and minimizes overheating concerns. In addition, the PC is designed for simple installation of the HDD, memory, and motherboard components, aiding long-term maintenance and upgradability.
Finally, the TP11 tablet POS illustrates the possibilities for roaming checkout (Figure 3). Designed specifically for POS applications, this tablet enables convenient sales with an 11.6” touch display with IP54 dust & spill resistance. Powered by an Intel® Atom™ processor running at up to 1.6 GHz, the tablet offers options including up to 2 GB DDR2 RAM, an RFID reader, an IDE interface for DOM or CF card reader, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi + Bluetooth, and docking station with battery charger.
In addition to use as a handheld device, the TP11 supports VESA mounting for permanent installation. With its compact design, the makes the tablet an interesting option for applications with limited space.
Figure 3. The TP11 tablet POS and optional docking station,
Finding the Right Fit
These are just a few examples of the POS solutions available from the Alliance. From modular components to market-ready retail systems, Intel and the 250+ global member companies of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance provide the performance, connectivity, manageability, and security developers need to create smart, connected systems. Close collaboration with Intel and each other enables Alliance members to innovate with the latest technologies, helping developers deliver first-in-market retail solutions to increase sales and efficiency.
Indeed, Clientron itself offers a number of POS systems beyond those discussed here. To see its other systems, check out the Clientron listings in the Solutions Directory. You can also use the Solutions Directory to research retail solutions from the entire Alliance.
To learn more about the broader array of Alliance retail solutions, I suggest you check out the article I just wrote on Building the Connected Store for the Embedded Innovator magazine. This article shows how retailers can integrate all aspects of their operations, from the loading dock to corporate headquarters, using the Intel® Intelligent Systems Framework. You can also check out the links below for additional articles and product information.
Solutions in this blog:
- Interoperability - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
- Retail - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
Clientron Corp is a General member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance
Editor-In-Chief Embedded Innovator magazine
Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston