Imager Scanning Technology Essential for Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing in hospitality and retail is driving the need for system integrators and resellers to future proof their scanning solutions.PLA-MAGELLAN800i-MOBILE-COFFEESHOP

The Starbucks mobile app was used for over 8 million transactions in the first three months of 2015, with customers able to use a barcode generated on their smartphone to pay for their purchase.

Many retail and hospitality businesses are following suit and the growth of this industry requires end users to be equipped with scanners that are capable of reading a barcode displayed on a mobile device. This requirement is encouraging some businesses to update their retail hardware sooner than their usual hardware refreshment cycle.

Mobile marketing in the retail and hospitality industry allows businesses to –

  • Increase footfall and encourage repeat purchases from customers
  • Deploy a scalable solution for increasing customer engagement
  • Analyse customer behaviour and record purchase history
  • Reduce print and advertising costs

Laser scanners, popular due to their relatively low cost and ease of use, will read most 1D barcodes printed on product packaging or traditional paper or card vouchers. These scanners will not read a barcode displayed on the screen of a smartphone.

Instead, an imager scanner is required that will read both 1D and 2D barcodes displayed on a smartphone screen with no problem. This allows customers to redeem a voucher code or take part in a loyalty programme simply by scanning their mobile device. It’s simple and time saving for the customer and it allows the business to capture a wealth of customer insight data that would not have been possible just a few years ago.

PLA-QS-QD2400-MOBILECOUPONWith a mobile marketing solution in place there is no longer the need for customers to print vouchers or keep loyalty cards in their wallets. Businesses can also send promotional offers directly to their customer’s smartphones which can be precisely targeted to suit a specific customer profile, day of the week or location.

Imager scanners are available in either handheld or desktop form factor with most being able to switch seamlessly between handheld and presentation reading modes. Many businesses will opt for a separate customer facing imager scanner that allows the customer to scan their own phone without the need to pass their handset to the store worker.

With an imager scanning solution in place, system integrators and resellers can be prepared to meet their customer’s requirements and ensure that end user businesses have suitable technology in place to allow for future investment in mobile marketing.

Contact Varlink today to discuss the range of handheld or presentation imager scanners or click below for more information.

To view Varlink’s range of Imager Scanners please click here.

To view Varlink’s range of Omnidirectional Scanners please click here.

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Varlink Set to Exhibit at RBTE 2015

RBTE_Logo_2015Varlink are looking forward to exhibiting at RBTE 2015, to be held on 10th and 11th March at London Olympia. RBTE is Europe’s largest retail event with over 12,000 retail industry professionals from the world’s largest retail businesses in attendance.

Varlink will be showcasing their retail hardware offering from manufacturers Posiflex, Zebra, Janam and Honeywell. On display includes the latest EPoS terminals, mobile and receipt printers, scanners and handheld computers distributed to the UK IT channel by Varlink.

RBTE 2015 will be the first opportunity for many UK retailers to see the new Posiflex mobile retail tablet, the MT-4008. This 8” Windows device is available with revolutionary options such as a pistol grip 2D scanner and detachable docking base with 3” thermal receipt printer.

The MT-4008 is perfect for retailers who demand versatility and flexibility on the shop floor, working as a fixed point of sale terminal before transforming into a handheld assisted selling or stock management device.

As well as the latest from the Posiflex range, delegates to RBTE 2015 will also see the latest in mobile and card printing from Zebra as well as Janam’s cutting edge handheld mobile computers.

Varlink can provide UK system integrators and IT resellers with the complete package for retail, with hardware solutions available for Point of Sale, mobile POS, shop floor management, supply chain and back office logistics.

You can visit Varlink on stand 235, Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th March at RBTE 2015. Click here to register to attend the event.

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MTM Exhibitor Focus – Opticon

Opticon will be launching their new H-32 handheld terminal at Varlink’s Meet the Manufacturer 2015 event, providing our customers the opportunity to be one of the first UK resellers to get their hands on the device.H32_WindowsScreen(1)

The H-32, is a rugged pocket sized Windows Embedded Compact 7 device, offering a lightweight and ergonomic design ideal for today’s mobile workers. The H-32 is suitable for warehousing and logistics, inventory control, asset management, security and inspections and merchandising.

The H-32 features an integrated 1D barcode reader or 2D imager (available Q2 this year), 2.8” QVGA touch screen, IP54 rating, 1.5m drop spec and standard communication including Bluetooth, WiFi IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n CCX and USB. Batch transmission and charging is now fully supported by the USB on the device rather than through the cradle. A single and 5 slot multi cradle will be available as an optional accessory to the device.

Opticon have acknowledged end user demands by creating a mobile solution that is fully responsive, efficient and easy to use. While the H-32 is very competitively priced, it still offers many features usually found in more expensive mobile computers, including enhanced ergonomics, superior processing power and flexible data capture.

Opticon continues to bring innovative rugged PDAs and high specification barcode scanners to the market . August 2014 saw the release of the H-27, Opticon’s first mobile computer to adopt the Android platform.

The H-27 features all the functionality of a PDA with the appearance of a Smartphone. The H-27 is suitable for mobile workers who require the combination of auto ID and business-critical information to complete remote tasks with efficiency.

The H-27 incorporates a 4.3” touch screen with Gorilla glass, integrated 1D or 2D scanner and a host of connectivity options. With an IP65 rating and a drop spec of 1.5 metres, the H-27 is considerably more rugged and robust than a consumer Smartphone and able to withstand challenging environments.

Both the H-32 and H-27 will be available to view at the upcoming Meet the Manufacturer event as well as Opticon’s range of scanners and handheld terminals.

To register your interest in attending Meet the Manufacturer 2015 please click here

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What is the true test of ruggedness?

There are no universally accepted definitions as to what makes a device rugged rather than just well built or durable. Many devices feature an IP rating (Ingress Protection), which means the device is water resistant and dust proof, but not truly rugged.

Rough and durable are two main factors when choosing a truly ultra-rugged device. To function in any environment is critical, and that’s why every single detail is researched and developed to make sure it is as rugged as possible – No fragile parts wrapped in a hard shell!

For those who need the toughest, most durable ultra-rugged device, it will need to be tested to MIL-STD standards. Eight tests are carried out, using up to 28 different methods including how the device operates in extreme temperatures, protection against rain, humidity, sand and dust, immersion to water, vibration and shock. It is critical that it holds up to the environmental stress that would occur during its lifetime, including work on the front line.

Varlink offer MIL-STD products from our Getac and Trimble range, including tablets, laptops and handheld computers. They are built from high quality materials and casings that are specifically engineered to protect the device, whilst also offering high performance mobility that your customers expect. No matter where the device is used, it is critical that the device performs at optimum capability. For users looking for ultra-rugged devices, but not tested to MIL-STD, our Janam and Trimble ranges are the ideal solution for field based applications with IP ratings up to IP68 and can survive continuous drops to concrete and everyday harsh handling.

With a deeper understanding of the standards and tests for ruggedness, you will be more equipped when choosing the right device suited to your customer’s unique needs.

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MTM Exhibitor Focus – Posiflex

Posiflex are the world’s largest POS only manufacturer and have designed and developed the fastest fanfree systems on the market today. Based in Taiwan, Posiflex have a 100% focus on POS hardware, producing all-in-one EPoS terminals, modular systems, printers and peripherals.

Established for thirty years, Posiflex supply EPoS hardware to brands all over the world including Adidas, McDonalds, Universal Studios and Spar. The Posiflex brand has a growing presence in the UK with terminals installed in numerous retail and hospitality venues as well as bars, restaurants and visitor attractions.

Posiflex is distributed in the UK by Varlink and will be an exhibitor at the annual Meet the Manufacturer event 2015. Varlink has introduced two new ranges of EPoS terminals from Posiflex to the UK market over the past 12 months.  This includes the XT range which features powerful EPoS terminals with sleek aesthetics and bezel free projected capacitive touchscreens.

The XT range is available with processors between Intel Dual Core and Core i7, ensuring options to fit across all performance requirements and end user budgets.

Varlink has also introduced the Posiflex HS range to the UK. Available in 10” and 12” screen displays, the HS range is a space saving all-in-one terminal featuring a built in 3” thermal printer. The HS range of EPoS terminals stand at less than 40cm tall and have a footprint no larger than a standard receipt printer. Like the XT range, the HS terminals feature bezel free projected capacitive touchscreens and are powerful enough to deal with even the most demanding of daily POS operations.

New for 2015, Varlink will be introducing Posiflex’s latest offering, an 8” Windows tablet designed for mobile EPoS in retail and hospitality businesses. This revolutionary product is available with a detachable docking station, transforming the tablet into a fixed point of sale terminal. This tablet, the MT-4008, will be on display and available to demonstrate at Meet the Manufacturer 2015, along with its optional pistol grip featuring a 2D Scanner, RFID and MSR.

Meet the Manufacturer 2015 is an excellent opportunity for EPoS resellers to see the full range of Posiflex hardware available to them as well as a host of other retail hardware from manufacturers such as Honeywell, Zebra, Datalogic, Janam and Opticon.

Varlink supply a full EPoS solution to the UK IT channel including EPoS terminals, receipt printers, scanners, handheld computers, tablets and associated peripherals.

To register your interest in attending Meet the Manufacturer 2015 please click here.

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The Growth of Android Handheld Solutions

Whilst Android’s success has been more prominent in the consumer market since it launched in September 2008, it is proving itself as a viable and beneficial alternative to other operating systems in the business environment. Android is not only flexible and simple to use, it provides a low cost, customisable product that is ideal for high tech devices.

Android is open source and free, the operating system and applications can be freely downloaded, allowing developers to customise or create bespoke solutions to suit the user, device or industry. A growing number of field-based operators are using rugged Android devices due to its flexibility, user friendly touch interface, growing number of apps available and longer battery life.

https://i0.wp.com/cnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2011/10/27/a66dfbb7-fdc7-11e2-8c7c-d4ae52e62bcc/android-wallpaper5_2560x1600_1.jpg

Janam is currently adopting the Android platform in its new product range. The new XT1 is Janam’s first rugged tablet designed to complement Janam’s range of rugged handheld devices. In today’s mobile workforce access to information “anywhere, anytime” is imperative and has been a catalyst for the continued growth in tablet adoption. The next few years are expected to see businesses transform their IT processes and increase productivity through the use of flexible and rugged handheld solutions.

The familiarity of smart devices at home and the heavy, bulky and expensive rugged options available on the market for field workers has left a gap in the market. Janam’s XT1 bridges the gap between the two by offering a device with all the functionality of a smartphone, with a brilliant 5.9” WVGA display combined in a lightweight, rugged and sleek mini tablet.

With an IP54 rating and a drop spec of 1m, the XT1 excels in the most rigorous environments making it ideal to support demanding enterprise applications in field sales, field service, healthcare, hospitality and retail environments.

Over the coming months, Janam will be expanding their rugged handheld Android product suite. The new products will be available to view at our Meet the Manufacturer 2015 event which will be held on Wednesday 25th February at Whittlebury Hall, Northamptonshire.

If you would like to find out more about Janam’s latest Android products or discuss potential projects, why not register your attendance here.

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The Future of the COW…

In Varlink’s recent blog ‘Mobility: Going paperless in Healthcare’ we explored how technology is being used to improve quality of care to patients.

The development of tablet computers is already revolutionising tasks once completed by a computer on wheels (COW). A COW provides healthcare professionals with a ‘computer mobility solution’ to access medical records, doctor’s notes and allows the administration of medication at a patient’s bedside. Whilst pushing a trolley around a hospital is still very feasible, the use of a tablet computer provides far more portability and mobility in a compact solution. Tablets assist healthcare professionals in increasing efficiencies and reducing time spent on paperwork, accessing Electronic Health Records (EHR), medical images and X-rays.

COWs can be difficult to navigate around due to their size, and can cause an obstruction. The COW often contains a computer, printer and corded scanner for patient wristband reading. Even on a mobile COW the corded scanner has been noted as restrictive, often resulting in wires stretching across patients. With today’s technological advancements surely there must be a way to make a nurse less tied to a COW and more mobile?

Mobility solutions are not new; field workers and warehouse employees have been using wireless scanners and mobile printer paired with a tablet for a number of years. Many hardware manufacturers have now recognised the opportunity for increased efficiencies within healthcare and offer healthcare variants in a range of products.OPI-1101_left

Here at Varlink we have a range of Anti-Microbial wireless scanners, printers and tablets. Opticon’s OPR-1101 (1D) and OPI-1101 (2D) wireless scanners eliminate the restrictions of a corded scanner and allow nurses to move freely from patient to patient. Sleek and lightweight with a long range they can be used easily in conjunction with a tablet and wireless mobile printer to provide bedside care throughout the ward.

With extensive experience working within healthcare Zebra understands hospital applications, processes, and regulations. Zebra offers some of the broadest range of healthcare printers including the QLn220 (HC) and QLn320 (HC). These printers are not only disinfectant-ready but are compact and lightweight. Designed specifically for the Healthcare industry, the printers can be easily attached to a belt clip, thus improving mobility and the delivery of patient care at the bedside whist also saving time and money.

Combining a wireless scanner, tablet and mobile printer offers a truly mobile solution for healthcare professionals to deliver efficient and safe care at the bedside. Mobility solutions are already transforming healthcare and corporate organisations so why can’t it transform the COW?

QLn Healthcare

 

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