What’s Hot in POS Hardware: 2017 Happenings & 2018 Predictions

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What’s Hot in POS Hardware: 2017 Happenings & 2018 Predictions

By Julie Ritzer Ross, Contributing Editor - 09/11/2017

Restaurant operators continue to devote the lion’s share of IT budgets to software solutions, with deployments consistently outpacing hardware implementation over the past few years. However, hardware vendors remain on an innovation track, giving restaurateurs in all sub-segments an increasingly wide array of POS terminals, tablets, printers, and payment acceptance devices from which to choose. Whether through integration; heightened functionality, efficiency, and flexibility; cutting-edge design; or a combination thereof, these options meet a range of demands. 

In this annual roundup, HT takes a look at these developments, while also exploring vendors’ research and development plans and sharing predictions for what will be shaping the development of POS hardware and peripherals in the year ahead.

WHAT’S NEW: POS TERMINALS

Casio upgraded its V-R 7000 15.6” Android POS touch terminal to interface with its CcPOS cloud-based software. An optional QSR software app sends real-time POS data to CcPOS, yielding operators up-to-the-minute access to daily sales data, as well as to previous daily, monthly, and yearly totals. CcPOS can also produce 20 additional reports with historic reporting for the current day’s sales and offers multiple-location sales tracking and programming controls for single or multiple locations. Best Suited For: QSR and table service restaurants. 2018 R&D Focus: Android platform development for POS and mobile devices.

HP rolled out the HP ElitePOS all-in-one POS system. The system offers a modular, non-boxy design and supports applications beyond transaction processing, such as interactive signage, employee attendance, and self-service. The display component can be separated from the input/output base for placement versatility. Optional accessories include a receipt printer that integrates into the column stand, a built-in magnetic stripe reader, a standalone printer, and a barcode scanner. Hardware and integrated software security features encompass BIOS-level device security with HP Sure Start Gen3 and HP BIOSphere Gen3, an optional fingerprint reader, Credential Guard for secure user authentication and password protection, and Device Guard to guard against attacks through USB ports. Best suited for: Any restaurant application. 2018 R&D Focus: Evolution of portfolio in a similar theme to ElitePOS—design, security, and power/reliability.

ParTech Inc. improved its EverServ® 8000 POS terminals with the addition of larger customer-facing displays to the touchscreen- and non-touchscreen-based versions of the hardware alike. Integrated barcode scanners and new options for integrated biometrics, including an ancillary mounting option for a second fingerprint reader separate from the one at the base of each unit, have also been added. Best Suited For: QSR and fast casual operations. 2018 R&D Focus: Continued support for cloud-based Brink POS® software and SureCheck food safety solution, along with exploration of emerging technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital segments.

SumUp enhanced the All-in-One Register. In addition to Bluetooth, hardware components can now be connected to the terminal via USB cable. A new plastic circuit board functions as an interior connections hub, increasing transaction speed. Another upgraded version of the terminal will be introduced later this year, which accepts chip-and-PIN, magnetic stripe card, and contactless NFC payments, has an integrated thermal receipt printer and comes with an iPad Mini to use with any POS register. Best Suited For: Restaurants that prioritize transaction speed; especially appropriate for mobile restaurant and food truck applications. 2018 R&D Focus: New generation card readers.

WHAT’S NEW: TABLETS

Oracle Hospitality launched the Oracle MICROS Tablet 720, a ruggedized product purpose-built for the hospitality market. Featuring a 7-inch LED-backlit, capacitive touch display, the tablet has a hot-swappable eight-hour battery that supports extended periods of use. The Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 also features integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a magnetic stripe reader, and an optional barcode scanner and RFID reader, increasing efficiency and productivity by supporting line-busting, pay-at-the-table, and other functionality. Best Suited For: All hospitality environments. 2018 R&D Focus: Expansion of kitchen hardware lines, additional mobile POS systems, and new peripheral offerings.

Posiflex introduced the MT4308 tablet, based on the design of its MT Series hardware. Featuring a Corning® Gorilla® Glass touchscreen, the tablet runs on the Windows 10 IoT platform and can dock onto a printer station to transform it into an all-in-one POS terminal. Best suited for: Fast-paced applications, including QSR, fast casual, and casual dining. 2018 R&D Focus: Improving performance, usability, and aesthetics of hardware offerings.

ShopKeep enhanced its iPad POS system by integrating it with BigCommerce e-commerce software. This gives merchants — including restaurants that offer branded T-shirts, hats, cooking ingredients inspired by their menu, and the like — the ability to manage the sale of goods at their locations and online through ShopKeep’s POS system. The POS system will soon be integrated with ShopKeep’s recently acquired ChowBOT software to augment users’ online ordering, payment, and delivery capabilities, including customer on-site pickup, curbside pickup, delivery, text-based ordering, online payment, and consolidated order capture across such platforms as EAT24, GrubHub, DoorDash, Caviar, and OrderAhead. Best Suited For: QSRs, full-service restaurants, bars, and small franchised operations. 2018 R&D Focus: Product enhancements, incorporating such features as SMS messaging for order confirmation and to inform customers of order status as well as tools for managing curbside pickup.

Touch Dynamic unveiled the Quest II EMV Level 3 Certified Tablet, developed in partnership with Datacap Systems, Inc. Said to be the first EMV Level 3-certified tablet on the market, the rugged product comes in 7-inch and 10-inch sizes, both with capacitive touch displays, and withstands drops of up to four feet. Full support for Windows 8.1, Windows10, and Android Kit 4.4.4 permits use right out of the box, while an Intel Quad Core BayTrail-T processor allows for low power consumption and quick operating speed. 

Verifone rolled out the Carbon 8 8-in. and Carbon 10 10-in. tablet-based POS systems. Comprising dual merchant- and customer-facing tablets to facilitate business operations and customer engagement, both units are powered by an Intel high-speed chipset for fast processing and the ability to run and integrate any POS software and third-party application. Users have access to the Verifone App Marketplace, from which they can purchase and install commerce apps and customize their devices to personalize the customer experience. Other features include an optional, detachable thermal receipt printer. Best Suited For: Restaurants requiring pay-at-the-table and other mobile functionality (Carbon 8) and those that want a large countertop display with optional portability (Carbon 10). 2018 R&D Focus: Enhancing Engage and Carbon solutions; creating value-added payment services.

WHAT’S NEW: PRINTERS

Citizen Systems America introduced its CT-E351 front media exit point-of-sale printer, which offers speeds of 250mm/s and ease-of-use. The front exit capability provides protections from spillage and dropped materials entering the print mechanism. This product pairs naturally with the CT-S251, which is a fast (300 mm/s) 2-inch version for more space-constrained uses. Both the CT-S251 and CT-E351 bring an ultra-compact design to the Citizen Point-of-Sale line of products. The new CMP-40 4-inch mobile printer also launched in 2017. Providing rugged and durable capability for mobile route services, the 4-inch mobility product completes the Citizen mobility product line. Best Suited For: Fast casual as well as full service. 2018 R&D Focus: Growing the line with products in POS/Hospitality and Retail that provide system level value add. Areas of continued focus will include creating devices that are easy to integrate and use while being durable, network-friendly and manageable. 

Epson unveiled OmniLink TM-T88VI and OmniLink TM-T88VI-i POS printers. The OmniLink TM-T88VI offers multi-interface connectivity, allowing it to be dynamically shared between legacy PC-POS terminals, tablets, and mobile devices and to print from cloud servers. The printer also features standard triple interfaces (built-in USB and Ethernet, plus a Connect-It module port), Epson ePOS Print technology to support printing from web-based applications, beacon support for distributed proximity-based printing with Apple devices using Bluetooth Low Energy, and NFC communications technology, plus a print speed of up to 350 mm/second. Advanced paper saving functions reduce paper usage by up to 49%. The OmniLink TM-T88VI-I incorporates all TM-T88VI features and provides added support for up to four USB POS peripherals, improved network security, and additional storage capacity for web applications. Best Suited For: High-volume applications where transaction speed is critical. 2018 R&D Focus: Continued focus on launching products that enhance the customer experience.

Fujitsu Components America released the FTP-62HWSL001 wireless Bluetooth mobile printer. Compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices and powered by an included lithium battery, the compact 86 mm x 103.5 mm x 44 mm printer generates receipts and labels at a speed of up to 120mm per second. Output options encompass text, character graphics, bar codes, and 2D symbols. Support for current operating systems — i.e., Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Android smartphone, Android tablet, Linux, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch allows users to quickly connect and begin printing with most mobile POS devices. Best Suited For: Fast casual and fine dining applications. 2018 R&D Focus: Low-power, high-speed, high-reliability thermal printer mechanisms for portable applications.

WHAT’S NEW: CARD READERS AND PAYMENT DEVICES

SumUp updated the SumUp Air Card Reader to feature a card slot with a steeper slope that makes it easier for customers to insert their credit or debit card. The upgraded version of the reader also has a new charging cradle that enables continuous charging via an integrated USB charging slot on its bottom. The cradle’s design mirrors that of the card reader, preventing accidental detachment from the unit and subsequent interruption of the charging process. Best Suited For: Operations that require “anytime, anywhere” credit and debit card processing options.

Verifone introduced the M400 multi-lane payment device. The product is EMV-capable, with integrated NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for acceptance of payments made with all popular mobile wallets. It is also PCI-certified and compatible with Verifone end-to-end encryption and tokenization solutions for multi-layered security. A 5-in. display, split-screen capabilities, and increased memory to support full-motion video and high-resolution graphics facilitate marketing efforts. Bluetooth and BLE allow for identification of consumers and the delivery of personalized offers via beacons. The M400 can be integrated with Verifone’s Point Payment Solutions, Estate Manager (formerly VHQ), e-Series mobile devices, and other devices in the company’s Engage line. Best Suited For: QSRs.