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"A Tablet Killer" From Harbortouch
Harbortouch (Allentown, PA) has unveiled its new Echo POS, designed to bridge performance, functionality, and low cost of ownership. "A tablet killer," in the company's words, Echo features sleek format, brushed aluminum finish, screen size of 13 inches, and swivel base for the customer. In addition, Harbortouch has redesigned its flagship Elite POS with thinner profile, similar appearance, and improved performance. Both systems are offered with no up-front cost, with monthly service fee of $39 for Echo and $69 for Elite. This includes hardware, technical support, software maintenance, and lifetime warranty.
"We have started to see a backlash against tablet systems as merchants realize their limitations," noted Jared Isaacman, CEO of Harbortouch, referring to iPad and Android. "Those systems utilize underpowered consumer hardware and have limited software functionality. They often lack key features that businesses need. Harbortouch Echo delivers an answer to these problems in terms of both hardware and software.""Echo software includes all of the front-end and back-end features businesses need, in the case of both retailers and restaurants," emphasized Isaacman. "There are no two businesses that are exactly alike, so we have developed unique module-based software for the Echo system which allows businesses to hide features they don't need in order to maintain an uncluttered interface for simplicity and ease-of-use. This allows the business to make the system as simple or advanced as they require. It also enables the software to scale with the business." With 15-inch display, Harbortouch Elite includes more advanced features to cater to larger restaurants and retail stores. Three packages are offered for Elite: Hospitality, Retail, and QSR & Delivery.
Echo POS From Harbortouch
The Big Screen at PAR
ParTech (New Hartford, NY), a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation, has furthered its mobile product family on two fronts. First, ParTech has presented its PAR Tablet 10, which builds upon the previous PAR Tablet 8 by adding larger multi-touch screen size (10 versus 8 inches). This increased real estate provides an opportunity for applications in terminal replacement, self-service, customer engagement, and store-floor management for both retail and hospitality, RRN.Com was told by Mark Bunney, Senior Director of Product Marketing at ParTech, noting "no need of multiple pages to get the same work done."
All the characteristics of Tablet 8 apply to Tablet 10, including Intel Atom Quad-Core Z3470 CPU at 1.8 GHz, Windows Embedded 8.1, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. As particular benefits, Bunney emphasized the lightweight, "one-hand" design for both Tablet 8 and 10, at 1.1 lbs. and 1.7 lbs., respectively. In addition, these devices furnish 10-hour battery life, drop specification of 3.3 ft./1 m, and an IP-65 rating for water and dust. As opposed to consumer products, Tablet 8 and Tablet 10 carry four-year lifecycle and come backed by PAR, continued Bunney.
In its second announcement, ParTech has introduced accessories for Tablet 8, including an integrated magnetic-stripe reader (MSR), neck and wrist straps, and so-called "shield." This rubberized frame extends the drop specification to 6 ft./1.8 m. Two cradle configurations have been offered, in charging only or charging with interfaces such as wired Ethernet, three USB ports, and an HDMI port for connecting peripherals. Both straps and cradles also accompany the Tablet 10.
ParTech Adds Tablet 10
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Juniper Sings of Allegro 2
Juniper Systems (Logan, UT) has unwrapped its newest rugged handheld computer, the Allegro 2. Measuring 10.2 in. (L) x 5.4 in. (W) x 1.6 in. (D), and weighing 2 lbs., Allegro 2 runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 with ARM Cortex A8 CPU at 1 GHz, 512-MB RAM, and 8-GB Flash. It carries an IP-68 rating for water and dust and MIL-STD-810G military grade for overall durability, with hardened plastic shell and easy-to-grip, impact-absorbing bumpers.
A number of improvements have been furnished, such as newly designed keyboards with large, glove-friendly buttons. A custom display--at 4.2 inches or 20% larger than the previous Allegro MX--offers excellent visibility in any lighting condition via so-called "Sun-to-Shade." In addition, the touchscreen has adopted projected capacitive technology and the 3.7-V, Li-Ion "Overtime Battery" now offers twenty hours of run time.
Intended for "high volume data collection," according to Juniper Systems, Allegro 2 carries five-megapixel camera with geo-tagging and GPS. As communications, it includes Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and 3.75G WAN. A full suite of ports has been provided, such as COM 1, RS-232C, and USB. "The Allegro 2 was built from the ground up, based on user feedback on the jobs they have to do," indicated John Florio, Product Manager at Juniper Systems, which emphasizes use in heavy outdoor environments.
Rugged Allegro 2 From Juniper Systems
A Stronger DataMan
Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA) has debuted its DataMan 8600 series of handheld direct part mark (DPM) barcode readers. DataMan 8600 combines the company's advanced "2DMax+" algorithms and patented "UltraLight" technology to read the most challenging DPM codes on the widest range of materials and surfaces. It features variable focus liquid lens, laser aimer, and beeper, vibration, and LED feedback. Weighing 11.5 oz., it employs heavy-duty polycarbonate housing with over-mold.
Additionally, the DataMan 8600 provides Ethernet communication with industrial protocols--with the "Cognex Connect" suite--enabling seamless integration with factory automation equipment. Available with both corded and wireless communication modules, the DataMan 8600 supports USB, RS-232, and Bluetooth for its intelligent base station. As target areas, Cognex listed automotive, consumer electronics, aerospace, and oil and gas industries. It markets through partners worldwide.
"The new DataMan 8600 series builds on the success of our industry-leading DataMan 8500 handheld barcode reader, which has been the defining product in industrial direct part mark barcode reading," remarked Carl Gerst, VP and Business Unit Manager, ID Products, for Cognex. "Rapid adoption of 2D DPM identification for traceability has manufacturers demanding a rugged, self-contained reader that performs consistently on all types of codes and parts. The DataMan 8600 series sets a new performance standard for handheld DPM readers, reliably reading everything from the most challenging DPM codes to the easiest printed barcodes."
Cognex Debuts DataMan 8600 for DPM
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Powa Powers ISVs
Addressing ISVs, Powa Technologies (Roswell, GA) has completed integration with payments technology from Datacap Systems (Chalfont, PA). Introduced this year, the PowaPOS T-Series consolidates tablet stand, high-speed printer, two-dimensional scanner, cash drawer, EMV payment terminal (called PowaPIN), and multiple expansion ports. It has now been tied with IPTran LT Mobile and PaymentsDrawer from Datacap Systems to remove customer data from the scope of PA-DSS.
"The partnership with Datacap is the latest significant step toward our goals to accelerate adoption of next-generation tablet-based POS," reflected Jeff Dumbrell, CEO of PowaPOS. "By creating this single interface with PowaPOS' Software Development Kit (SDK), Datacap's ISV partners will not only have instant access to our advanced POS platform, but also up-to-date security and features, so that they can focus on developing innovative software, and avoid the costs and hassles of ongoing assessments and certifications." PowaPOS also easily integrates with the PowaTag mobile commerce solution, which now has more than 800 brand partners worldwide.
According to Justin Zeigler, Marketing Director at Datacap Systems, "PowaPOS' fully integrated T-Series and advanced, platform-neutral SDK is unique in the marketplace today." Developed in combination with APG Cash Drawer (Minneapolis, MN), the PaymentsDrawer furnishes both access to payment processing and necessary peripheral support. Since the subsystem gets configured and controlled via Datacap's cloud-based product management portal, dubbed PSCS, integration partners can remotely activate and de-activate in event of account termination or non-payment. Interface options are offered for Windows, iOS, Android, Java, and Web Services, as one would expect.
PowaPOS T-Series for Tablets
Epson Enjoys Cloudy Day
Epson America (Long Beach, CA) has added POS on Cloud (Louisville, KY) to its roster of ISVs. POS on Cloud has chosen Epson's OmniLink TM-T88V-i smart thermal printer for its built-in web server, print server, and device management capabilities, as well as the TM-T20II thermal receipt printer and TM-U220B impact kitchen printer for additional functionality. Web-based, as its name suggests, POS on Cloud will now deliver this configuration to its customers.
"As the leader in delivering the next-generation of POS applications, POS on Cloud is uniquely qualified to integrate our solutions to best serve customer needs," reported Tom Kettell, Senior Manager of North American Sales for Epson's Business Systems Division. "Our OmniLink TM-T88V-i smart printer, paired with POS on Cloud, gives hotels and restaurants a powerful, expandable solution for mobile and online ordering that accelerates order processing and delivery and drives sales. POS on Cloud's platform also meets the retailer's increasing need to scale data storage and yet be kept secure at all times."
"When working with tablets, we had some unique challenges to deliver the level of printing capabilities that our clients expect," contributed Kevin Medina, CTO of POS on Cloud. "We've leveraged the OmniLink-i printer of our valued partner, Epson, and were able to successfully integrate our tablet systems to enjoy the same level of printing of native iOS or Android. We also have developed a number of proprietary solutions that work seamlessly with Epson printers for our full register configurations."
Epson OmniLink TM-T88V-i Printer
ASAP Systems (San Jose, CA) has entered healthcare with its packaged solution for inventory and equipment management. It combines Passport, ASAP's locally installed system, with BarCloud, its cloud-based system. End-users may automatically track all types of medical supplies by expiration dates as well as serial, batch, or lot numbers. Another built-in feature allows medical offices to automate supply chain functions by using their location's min/max inventory feature. Healthcare administrators and staff can manage medications or devices throughout an entire inventory lifecycle, in real-time, so that valuable supplies do not expire, get misused, or go missing. In addition, the inventory system's configurable reporting and analytics provide end-users added insight into their practices. Finally, the system allows medical staffs to indicate replenishment settings and automate stock supply by generating inventory transfers or placing purchase orders, accompanied by configurable alerts to notify designated personnel. "When it comes to inventory and asset tracking, we understand our customers' needs and situations are constantly changing," commented Elie Touma, CEO of ASAP Systems. "That's why we design our systems to be configurable and flexible, so that they may accommodate evolving operations."
NCR--Big Data Daddy
After finding it useful internally, NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA) will offer big data analytics from Emcien (Atlanta, GA). A so-called NCR Recommendation Engine, powered by Emcien, will now accompany NCR's loyalty, marketing, and customer engagement solutions. It will also be offered as stand-alone service. Described as language-independent, this software tracks mobile, social, and transaction sources of information.
"NCR has seen the potential of automated data analysis first hand," stated Radhika Subramanian, CEO of Emcien. "By creating this strategic relationship with NCR, we will have the opportunity to put advanced analytics in the hands of thousands of retailers in the grocery, mass merchandise, petroleum, and convenience segments, and improve the way they engage with shoppers." Emcien also has joined the NCR Cloud Connect Program.
"Today, retailers are changing to a digital business model where they need to understand how their consumers interact and transact with them in their everyday lives through wearable devices, smart machines, phones, watches, beacons, and RFID," observed Eli Rosner, CTO of NCR Retail. "Marketing and promotions are all about creating personalized offers that lead a shopper to act. What has been missing in the past is a way to analyze tremendous amounts of structured and unstructured data and reveal what actions can be taken in real-time."
NCR Offers Data Analytics From Emcien
Hard Hat RFID by Trimble
Trimble (Sunnyvale, CA) has fired up its Trimble Tracker RFID System for the construction industry. Via Trimble's ThingMagic RFID, GPS, and Telematics, this bundle of hardware and software allows contractors to locate and track assets quickly and easily in real-time on-site or in storage, according to the firm, thereby allowing better utilization. In addition, information may be accessed in the office with Trimble Asset Manager, an accompanying web-based database delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Under the system, the contractor places RFID tags, available in a variety of shapes and sizes, on selected assets such as machine attachments, trench boxes, concrete forms, pumps, hand tools, signs, storage trailers, and other project-related materials. Using handheld, vehicle mounted, and gate-mounted Trimble RFID readers, equipment location updates are sent wirelessly to the Trimble Asset Manager for centralized data management and reporting. The data is then also wirelessly synchronized back to employees in the field.
"According to the 2012 report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, close to $1 billion per year was lost in the U.S. due to theft of construction equipment," relayed Roz Buick, VP for Trimble Heavy Construction. "Trimble Tracker RFID System gives the equipment or site manager complete end-to-end asset tracking to better manage their sites and reduce their loss." This new solution has been offered through Trimble's Sitech Technology Dealer Channel.
Trimble Tracker RFID System for Asset Tracking in Construction
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Blackbay's New Brother
Brother Mobile Solutions (Broomfield, CO) will supply its RuggedJet 4 mobile printers for proof-of-delivery applications for Blackbay. Based in the U.K., Blackbay operates across the Asia-Pacific, Europe-Middle East-Africa, and U.S., supporting over 145,000 drivers handling in excess of six million deliveries per day. According to Brother, RuggedJet is the first mobile printer in its class to be Apple AirPrint certified, ensuring they perform seamlessly with iOS, as well as Android and Windows.
"We selected Brother RuggedJet because they are tough, reliable, and easy to use," testified Nigel Doust, CEO of Blackbay. "With so much functionality built in and so many connectivity options available, these thermal printers provide transportation companies and their drivers with the printing capabilities they need to be highly efficient and productive on their routes. We promise our customers mobile solutions that optimize the delivery process, reduce operating costs, and enhance the overall customer experience--and the RuggedJet printers will help us deliver on that promise."
Measuring 6.4 in. (W) x 6.9 in. (H) x 3 in. (D), and weighing slightly less than 2 lbs., RuggedJet 4 delivers maximum print speed of five inches/127 mm per second and 203-dpi resolution at four-inch print width. Two models are offered: RuggedJet RJ-4030 with USB, Serial, and Bluetooth, and RuggedJet RJ-4040 with USB, Serial, and Wi-Fi. Additional benefits include 32-MB RAM and 16-MB Flash, IP-54 ratings for water and dust, 6 ft./1.8 m drop protection, multiple resident and downloadable fonts, and the company's two-year "bumper-to-bumper" warranty.
Brother Mobile RuggedJet 4 Supplied for Logistics Leader
Catering to Payments at DD
Guckenheimer, one of the leading on-site corporate restaurant management and catering companies, has become first to deploy an integrated payment/point-of-sale solution from Freedom Pay (Radnor, PA) and Digital Dining (Springfield, VA). It features Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) for compliance with PCI-DSS, and terminals ready for EMV and NFC, courtesy of Freedom Pay's Commerce Platform, and ties directly to Digital Dining's POS. From its start in Silicon Valley, Guckenheimer now serves over 350 locations in 31 states.
"The solution ensures that our guests' data is safeguarded," confirmed Karla Lacey, CMO at Guckenheimer. "With PCI-Validated P2PE giving our team reduced compliance requirements to maintain, Freedom Pay and Digital Dining have made it easy for Guckenheimer to focus on providing the best service for our guests." Indeed, with this combined solution, the number of controls the merchant must document reportedly drops from 284 to just 19.
"Delivering innovative and fully integrated solutions is how Digital Dining continually advances the user experience for our customers," declared Andre Nataf, Senior Business Development Manager of Digital Dining."The PCI-Validated P2PE solution with Freedom Pay is the latest example of Digital Dining working with our merchants, partners, and dealers to deliver the products that the market requires." A long-standing player in the channel, Digital Dining received the Bronze Award for Software at this year's Retail Solutions Providers Association Show.
Digital Dining Partners With Freedom Pay for Corporate Restaurant Management Company
Pit Stop for Paytronix
Paytronix Systems (Newton, MA) has delivered its loyalty platform for Thorntons, an independent gasoline and convenience chain with 174 locations in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida. Built with the Paytronix Rules and Wallets Engine as its foundation, Thorntons' "Refreshing Rewards" features three distinct levels--Welcome, Premium, and VIP. Naturally, it offers benefits based on guest visit, spending, and purchase behavior.
With an initial goal of 750,000 members by the end of the year, Refreshing Rewards has already demonstrated an impact by generating additional revenue per store per week, according to the two parties. A number of elements were cited, including rapid deployment, customer-driven loyalty, improved collaboration with consumer packaged goods suppliers, and real-time behavior-triggered messaging. "Teams at Thorntons and Paytronix produced an incredibly reliable integration to the chain's POS," exclaimed Andrew Robbins, President of Paytronix. Following the pilot program at two dozen stores, roll-out was completed between July and September.
"We expect that our new loyalty program will help us gain deeper understanding of our customers' needs," elaborated Tony Harris, President of Thorntons. "That insight will enable us to deliver unique customer experiences. We can track guest behavior and interactions with various product categories and then use that data to collaborate with our vendors to the individual buyer level. Through several channels, we'll be able to actively thank our customers for choosing Thorntons."
Paytronix Delivers Loyalty Program for Gasoline and Convenience-Store Chain
A notable difference between small and enterprise segments of retail when it comes to Mobile POS, according to the IHL Group. In its "IHL Mobile POS Software Market Share," IHL finds such installs will grow by 110% this year as more retailers replace electronic cash registers (ECRs) and POS terminals. "The market really took off for small merchants when Square released their first dongle," counseled Greg Buzek, President of IHL Group (Franklin, TN). "It has migrated to more sophisticated POS on tablets with inventory tracking and customer relationship management (CRM) functions and has been growing strong for three years. On the other hand, the enterprise market requires a much more sophisticated Mobile POS application fully tied to inventory, omnichannel, and analytical systems of retailers. Slower to start, those volumes are greatly increasing." According to IHL, the local mall will look considerably different over the next few years with more than 20% of traditional POS units displaced by Mobile POS. After Square, leaders in the small merchant segment include companies such as Revel, ShopKeep, Lightspeed, Ingenico, Groupon, VeriFone, and Payware, according to IHL. In enterprise, IHL identifies Epicor, Manhattan Associates/Global Bay, Oracle/Micros, NCR, Toshiba Global Commerce, and Starmount. Other highlights of the research include: overall Mobile POS shipments will grow by 325% by 2018; 60% of current Mobile POS shipments take place in specialty stores and hospitality environments; and specialty stores will continue to see the greatest disruption in traditional POS installations over time, with nearly 25% reduction in new shipments of traditional POS.
Greg Buzek, IHL Group, Talks Mobile POS
J. Lo at Socket
Socket Mobile (Newark, CA) has enlisted James Lopez as its VP of Marketing and Business Development. Lopez brings almost two dozen years of relevant experience in marketing and management for electronic product companies, most recently as Business Unit General Manager for Logitech. Previously, he served as Senior Director, Product Marketing and Strategy, at Electronics for Imaging.
"James has a proven track record of building successful marketing teams and programs," stressed Kevin Mills, CEO/President of Socket Mobile. "Our marketing programs are central to providing our customers and software developers with key information about the company, its products, direction, and activities, and we are pleased to welcome him to our management team."
Also, Socket Mobile has released the latest version of its Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) Software Development Kit--SocketScan SDK Version 10.1 with support for Apple iOS 8. Overall, more than 1,000 developers have registered to employ its Software Development Kits, the company noted. In recent years, Socket Mobile has emphasized its family of barcode scanners complementary to tablets and smartphones.
James Lopez, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Socket Mobile
Alien, Act II
Eyeing the Internet of Things (IoT), Alien Technology (Morgan Hill, CA) has raised $35 million in funding from the Shanghai Ruizhang Investment Company, an international joint venture spanning the U.S. and China. Simultaneously, Chris Chang has been named CEO. He carries VP-Level credentials from Marvell Semiconductor and AMD, and serves on the Board of Directors of the California-Asia Business Council. According to Chang, this new money will speed development of new technologies.
"Our goal has been to find strategic investors that not only bring funds, but also add other value to our business, and we have identified Ruizhang meets those needs," commented Chang. "We believe that this capital injection makes Alien one of the strongest pure-play RFID companies in the industry. Alien remains totally committed to the UHF Passive RFID market, our customers, partners, and suppliers."
"Alien was a key, founding father of the Passive RFID industry, authoring the Gen 1, Class 1 standard, and serving as a key driver of the current Gen 2 standard," observed Ann Grackin of ChainLink Research. "Alien is the only company in the industry that designs its own IC, Inlays, and Readers, and the company has been instrumental in the recent retail item-level adoption expansion. We expect the UHF market to grow over 28% per year over the next five years. With this kind of funding for Alien, explosive market adoption of RFID is suddenly within reach."
Chris Chang, CEO, Alien Technology
PayPal, Born Free
As the new head of PayPal (San Jose, CA), eBay has tapped industry veteran Dan Schulman, who will become CEO following the planned separation of the business into an independent, publicly traded spin-off. This separation is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015. A strategic review reportedly led the company's board of directors to conclude splitting eBay and PayPal represents the best path for growth and shareholder value creation for each business. Impact on the greater world of payment processing will be explored in an upcoming edition of RRN.Com.
Since 2010, Schulman has served as President of American Express' Enterprise Growth Group. Prior to joining American Express, Schulman served as President of the Prepaid Group at Sprint Nextel Corporation, following its purchase of Virgin Mobile USA, where he led the company as its founding CEO. He also was CEO/President of Priceline Group and President of the Consumer Markets Division for AT&T.
"I'm thrilled to join an incredible PayPal team and lead this innovative business forward, making money work better for people around the world," shared Schulman. "PayPal redefined and continues to dramatically change and improve how people pay and get paid, and the opportunities ahead can be even more transformative and meaningful." With 152 million active digital wallets, PayPal has processed $203 billion in total payment volume over the past twelve months.
Dan Schulman, CEO, PayPal
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