By Brian Albright, Business Solutions magazine
Smart printers can be the basis of new cloud-based revenue centers.
Printers of every stripe and purpose have been treated as commodity peripherals for some time, crucial but largely interchangeable boxes that serve the POS solution. Printers, however, have benefited from the advancement of faster, cheaper processing power just as much as any other device, and a new generation of smart receipt printers has emerged that is changing the way VARs and retailers deploy these devices.
“A smart printer is one that supports a feature relevant to the retailer that is not directly related to printing without the device actually being an all-in-one PC,” says David Salisbury, global marketing center director for Star Micronics. Those features include the ability to store “mini” applications and transactional information, connect to and deliver Wi-Fi for personal mobile devices, and external peripheral control (bar code scanners, MSR [magnetic stripe reader], NFC [near field communication], and other printers). Some even facilitate payments and have touch screens to allow direct consumer engagement.