New Product Challenges Traditional POS Networking
Vendor explains the benefits, such as lower cost and higher reliability, of using a dedicated computer network system over standard PCs in POS applications.
Logic Net™, a new computer network for use with dedicated software applications, has been introduced by Logic Controls (New Hyde Park, NY). The company manufactures PC-based point of sale (POS) hardware. According to Logic Controls' President, Jackson Lum, this patent-pending network system changes how POS terminals are connected. It requires no network hub, network software or network interface cards to operate. (see diagram)
Logic Net was developed in cooperation with a Fortune 500 company. Designed originally for a specialized application, Lum says the system works in many markets, including hospitality, retail, healthcare, banking, and industrial.
How Logic Net Works
Logic Net offers a unique alternative to the traditional network system consisting of a server, network adapter, hub, PC stations, and associated network wiring. A Logic Master (control unit) connected to a regular PC or server replaces the network hub. The system runs on dedicated application software in DOS, Windows 95/98/NT, or Unix. Smaller, less expensive Logic Stations (I/O units) replace PC stations traditionally used in a network. With the Logic Master and Logic Stations, no network adapters or network software is required. Although small (6.3" x 5.1" x 1.0"), the Logic Stations can each drive a number of peripheral devices, including a cash drawer, pole display, printer, bar-code reader, monitor and keyboard.
Device Tested To Standards
"More than nine months of testing were completed before moving Logic Net into live applications," says Lum. To meet the testing requirements of its Fortune 500 customer, Logic Controls designed its product to meet international standards. These standards include CE Mark, UL 1950, CSA 22.2 and IEC 950.
Lum says that Logic Net exceeds the distance limitations of Ethernet networks (300 ft. to 600 ft.) The usable distance from a Logic Net server to a network station is up to 4,000 feet.
Device Benefits VARs
How does this networking solution benefit VARs? "It's a low-cost alternative to PCs," says Lum. And, unlike PCs, Logic Net won't be outdated or obsolete in six months to one year. The biggest advantage, he says, is that VARs can offer a lower-cost solution while maintaining the value-add of software and other peripherals to POS systems. For example, smaller "mom and pop" retailers just starting to automate their point of sale can begin by purchasing the basics, such as a back-office PC, Logic Net, a keyboard and a monitor. Later, a bar-code scanner and cash drawer can be added, operating off the Logic Net.
Another benefit to VARs is easy maintenance. Logic Net has no moving parts, such as disk drives and fans, so VARs have fewer service issues to contend with, says Lum. Also, firmware upgrades can be done from the server. Each terminal is then automatically upgraded. Logic Net also performs self-diagnostic tests each time a system is turned on. It tests its memory and the attached Logic Stations. Another advantage over PCs is security. "Information cannot be copied onto a disk from a Logic Net station," says Lum.
Software Development Is Key
Lum notes that combined with the right software application, Logic Net will be an attractive option for VARs. Logic Controls provides a demo CD with Logic Net that includes Windows development tools and source code for creating software applications. "VARs with some integration experience can easily use Logic Net," says Lum. VARs who are also software developers have an opportunity to create an application based on the use of Logic Net. "A successful VAR will be able to package and sell the entire solution," adds Lum.