Ergonomic Solutions – the creator of SpacePole – has scheduled August 2018 to introduce OpenSpace DUO, a new concept in mPOS mounts designed to hold two devices simultaneously; one either side of the mount. The mounts can hold a mobile/portable card payment EPoS device on one side of the mount, and a smart device (iPod) or a smart phone such as Samsung or iPhone on the other.
In terms of mobile/portable card payment EPoS devices, the mounts have been designed for the use of either an Ingenico (ISMP4) or Verifone (e355) terminal. Ingenico and Verifone mobile payment solutions are currently the world's leading payment terminals and can be paired with a smart device running on either an Android or iOS operating system. However, as Ian Dewar, CEO/Managing Director of Ergonomic Solutions, explained, if there is demand from retail or hospitality users for the use of other smart phones with the mount, this is something that can be easily developed. "The mount is modular in design, so it can be quite a straightforward process to adapt it to accommodate other iOS or Android smart phones, or to facilitate upgrades of the Ingenico or Verifone terminals as and when required," he said.
Dewar reflected that within the retail and hospitality marketplace there has been a need for this type of mount for some time. "There has been a desire for companies to operate an increasing number of mPOS-type solutions, but they have largely relied on solutions that integrate payment terminals with predominately tablet devices, which can be too heavy and cumbersome for comfortable use over long shifts. With this in mind, we asked our own ergonomist to look at this issue and investigate what type of weight and size the ideal payment and mobile device solution should be. We also looked at certain retailers that had already made the transition to smaller more portable smart devices for more convenient continuous use and realised there was definitely a market for a new type of mount that could ensure two devices of a more comfortable weight and size could be used during full shifts without users feeling discomfort or fatigue. The result is our new OpenSpace DUO mount, which opens up a greater opportunity for mPOS because of its user-friendly, light and small form factor making it more comfortable and ergonomic to operate during full shifts."
However, Dewar explained that the OpenSpace DUO mPOS mounts have not only been designed with comfort and ergonomics in mind. "Another key feature of the design is its aesthetics; we wanted to ensure the mounts were not only comfortable to use but also attractive visually," he said. "This is an important consideration in sectors such as retail and hospitality."
Both the Ingenico and Verifone devices are hard-wired rather than relying on Bluetooth- or wireless LAN, meaning there is no risk of a failed connection during operation periods. "Bluetooth and wireless LAN basically operate within the same range of bands; therefore, if you use Bluetooth- or wireless LAN devices relatively intensely this can drain the battery life quite quickly," Dewar pointed out. "By eliminating the amount of Bluetooth traffic between the two devices you will significantly prolong battery life and device uptime. The purpose of mPOS is to enhance the customer experience by conducting transactions in an efficient way – you don't want to have to apologise because the technology has let you down. In today's retail or hospitality environment, the customer experience is paramount. If customers are dissatisfied by their experience, they can easily complain about the service they received on social media; a move that can potentially compromise a retail or hospitality outlet's brand reputation. The good news is that because the solutions are hard-wired these connection issues don't occur." Of great importance to all those taking payments is data security, of course. Being hard-wired, OpenSpace Duo eliminates the potential of a data breach via Bluetooth and thus much reduces that risk.
Ergonomic Solutions chargers for the OpenSpace DUO mounts will be available in a range of configurations, including a single or multi-dock. "Of course, how long a device can run on a single charge is dependent on the device itself and its software configuration, but our dock chargers can monitor the battery levels within the payment device and smartphone; so, you can clearly see whether each device is fully charged or not," explained Dewar. "You could say that the dock chargers apply intelligent monitoring to the process of charging the devices."
In summary, Dewar commented: "The deployment of this type of technology is all about improving convenience and comfort for the user while also making the customer experience as pleasurable as possible. If the devices are easy to use and very reliable, this makes the whole ethos of 'service with a smile' more achievable on the part of staff. With improved ergonomics and attractive aesthetics, this has to be a win-win."
Renan Bodin, Product Marketing Manager, Ingenico Group, said: "A static point of sale on a propriety system is becoming a thing of the past. For mobility, retailers now expect their POS to be tablet-based and their payments to be seamlessly integrated. Ingenico has worked in partnership with Ergonomic Solutions to build this all-in-one point-of-sale (POS) and payment for mobility market based on consumer smartphones. The Open Space Duo is the perfect product to allow easy integration for integrators, smart deployment for retailers and flexible use for the end user."