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Wireless Connectivity Solutions for PoS Automation

Automated PoS wouldn’t be possible without good, reliable wireless connectivity solutions. But when it comes to it, we find ourselves navigating a sea of options. Which is the best, most reliable, and readily available to interact with our customers? Well, as always, that depends.  

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Understanding the Pros and Cons: 

For the question on how to choose and maximize the benefits of each type of wireless connectivity solution, we were guided by Lazina Rahman, Technical Marketing Engineer at Future Connectivity Solutions and host of Techventures

Lazina Rahman helped us understand the current most popular landscape of wireless connectivity solutions from cellular to WiFi and Bluetooth technologies. Each coming with their own advantages and drawbacks, for example:  

  • Bluetooth 
    • Pros: 
      • Cost-effective solution, especially for small businesses. 
      • Enables seamless connections with mobile devices for payment processing. 
    • Cons: 
      • Reliance on external devices like smartphones introduces dependencies. 
      • Potential limitations due to dependency on external devices. 
  • Wi-Fi 
    • Pros: 
      • Ubiquitous coverage, widely available in various locations. 
      • Versatile, supporting a wide range of devices and applications. 
    • Cons: 
      • Dependency on routers for connectivity. 
      • Susceptibility to network downtimes and interference. 
  • Cellular 
    • Pros: 
      • Unparalleled reliability and coverage, especially in remote areas. 
      • Offers consistent connectivity without reliance on external devices. 
    • Cons: 
      • Higher cost due to monthly subscriptions and certification requirements. 
      • Limited control over network infrastructure compared to Wi-Fi. 

So, which to choose for your automated PoS application? The answer lies right between “what you want” vs “what you need”, looking at the circumstances and nature your design will operate on and adapting accordingly. Of course, a strategic combination of technologies is the best tool for businesses to mitigate risks and enhance redundancy, making sure their systems will operate consistently uninterrupted for all operations.  

HaLow: Unlocking New Horizons: 

In addition to the widespread technologies we touched on before, Lazina took us to explore HaLow, an emerging technology that’s growing in popularity and could be worth the attention. But let’s see what it has to offer first.  

HaLow is a wireless connectivity protocol that operates on the 900-megahertz frequency spectrum, an unlicensed, less crowded band. It is becoming growing in popularity due to its long range (up to 3km), increased capacity to pierce through walls and obstacles (as compared to WiFi), and low power consumption. 

On the other hand, its lower data throughput, possibility of interference, longer latency, and limited compatibility and adoption have kept it limited to specific applications. HaLow, as it stands today, is tailored for long range IoT devices where compatibility is easy to achieve. However, this is an interesting technology to keep an eye on and explore further developments.  

Before we move on to our fifth and final article in the series, Tomorrow’s PoS: Machine Vision and AI in Action, do you have any automation projects you’d like to take to the next level?     

Send us an email and contact our experts at Future Electronics to get personalized engineering support for all your applications. 

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