Switching off the POS

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Switch

A recent study by Fujitsu Siemens claims that about $217 million (123 million pounds) is wasted every year in the U.K. alone powering PCs that could have been shut down or left in hibernation mode. The report also pointed out the environmental impact of all the wasted energy.

Though the study involved generic PCs, its results are also valid for Point Of Sale systems. Many shops leave the POS terminal running during the night, in order to start working directly when opening the shop the next morning, not realizing that they could save an significant amount of money on the energy bill.

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Off-the-shelve POS software

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Software box

When I was looking around for new gadgets in my local computer store around the corner, I noticed that they also sold Point Of Sale software. I was very surprised to see it, so I asked one of the employees whether clients actually buy POS software. He confirmed that they sold several boxes of that product per month.

Why would somebody buy his POS software at an IT store? The most logical answer is of course that these clients are trying to save money. Since buying software at s specialized dealer and having the software installed by an experienced technician costs money. And after all, installing software is nothing more that clicking on the ‘Next’ button a few times, isn’t it?

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Star presents a new POS receipt printer

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Star TSP100 logo

Star Micronics presented an interesting new thermal receipt printer. The Star TSP100 futurePRNT is supposedly the first of a new generation in POS printers.

The TSP100 is very affordable for small and medium retailers (around $200 bucks), and fast for an entry level printer at 25 receipts per minute. It includes special software to reverse text, cop receipts, enhance barcodes and add images and design your receipts:

receipt made with Star TSP100

The question whether any Point Of Sale software manufacturer is going to change their product to incorporate this functionality. Of course standard operating system drivers and specialty drivers such as OPOS and JPOS are included.

POS benchmark

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Credit Card + Keyboard

Today one of our dealers contacted me, and asked me whether I could send them a benchmark document; they had received this request from ‘‘prospective customer‘. First I wanted to know what kind of data they needed, and the answer was: we want to see how your product performs compared to the Industry Standards (the emphasis is mine). They also send me an example document of such a benchmark.

Of course I was really curious about this report, since in my opinion there is no such thing as an industry standard for Point of Sale systems. The POS market consist of thousands of small local suppliers, and I seriously doubt they can get together to create an industry standard.

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The Cordless Ring Scanner

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Logo Socket Communications

Socket Communications just announced a tiny new bar code scanner which can be worn on the index finger. The lightweight Cordless Ring Scanner transmits scanned data via Bluetooth to mobile computers thereby freeing up the users’ hands for increased productivity (read: more heavy lifting). Each unit will ship with SoftScan software for pumping scanned data into Windows, Palm, and Symbian compatible devices. The rings are said to be extremely durable and will begin shipping in limited quantities later this year.

“Venture Development Corporation estimates the global wearable computing market for industrial applications at $175 million in 2005 and expects it to exceed $270 million by 2007,” said David Krebs, Mobile & Wireless practice director at Venture Development Corporation. “Hands free scanning or data input solutions can provide significant process efficiencies in environments such as warehouses and distribution centers where workers physically handle large volumes of products.”

(Via GeekZone)

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