Today, November 3, 2011, HP announced the HP Retail Mobile POS Case, a retail POS unit designed to withstand the rugged demands of the retail store environment. The unit features a barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader,creating a complete mobile POS solution encased around the HP Slate 2 tablet.The Retail Mobile POS Case operates using Windows 7, which allows seamless integration with existing application infrastructure, reducing the number of platforms within the organization’s IT environment.
“We think the Slate 2 will be popular for queue busting, clienteling and mobility for store managers and associates,” noted Dick Arnold, Director of Worldwide Marketing for HP’s Global Retail business unit, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We have received a very good response from retail clients from an application integration perspective, in addition to manageability and security.” Arnold noted that a number of HP retail customers are in the process of developing in-house applications for the Slate 2 and will be testing those applications in the near future.
HP differentiates the Retail Mobile POS Case/Slate 2 from other retail tablets on the market, describing it as a rugged, secure, fully integratable unit. “If you want to just have the ability to show customers a video in order to enhance the buying experience, there are a lot of different, cheaper devices out there,” said Arnold, “but if you want to integrate mobile POS with everything in retail, then this is the way to go.” The Slate 2 with Retail Mobile POS Case is priced at an average of $1,200 list, but is available at different price points in a variety forms with varying levels of memory, according to Arnold.
Other key features of the Retail Mobile POS Case include:
- Enhanced touch capabilities – a multi-touch display with onscreen touch buttons
- Wi-Fi or Bluetooth integration – to check product availability, compete transactions and email customers
- Advanced security features – the magnetic stripe reader can be used in either encrypted or non-encrypted modes and supports Triple DES Encryption and DUKPT Key Management; Computrace elements provide additional optional protection
“The purchase of tablets for store employees is the biggest trend we are seeing in retail since the stores added Internet as retailers look for ways to help associates engage customers at a deeper level in the store,” said Greg Buzek, president, IHL Group, in a statement released by HP. “An advantage of a Windows-based tablet, such as the HP Slate 2, is that it could provide a smoother integration with retailers’ existing software infrastructure and applications, thus lowering their cost of adoption.”