March 12, 2014
by Mariette Dusseldorp
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Empowered customer care in banking

The banking industry is being transformed. Thanks to branch automation management, banks using the Customer Visit System® (CVM) have improved services, personalizing the customer experience with a more friendly touch. 

There are plenty of people in the bank, plenty of lines to wait in, and plenty of time to be lost waiting to get to the teller window. But on this trip, it’s a little diffferent. On the way to the bank, you remotely place yourself in a queue using a smartphone app. You walk in, the bank managers wanders over and greets you by name. Maybe she asks how your last business trip went, or how you’re settling in to the new house. There’s not a lot of time for talk though, as it’s your turn at the window. The teller gretts you by name as well and asks how the new car is running. It’s all quite surreal: you might feel a bit as if the bank is being run by your best friends.

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March 12, 2014
by Pauline Huang
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Small Footprint Excellency for Embedded Applications

In the 21st century, the ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT) technology has already generated many new applications that improve human life, bringing us the comforts, convenience, and efficiency of digital signage, bank queuing systems, bus arrival prediction systems, and automobile parking service systems, to name just a few. These applications are usually carried out by thin-client computers and devices hooked to a network with a centralized server. Many of the terminal-end computers are deployed in commercial, industrial, or transportation spaces, indoors or out, and they need to be rugged and durable; smaller form factors and less power consumption are desirable, with a view to saving space, cost, and energy.

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February 27, 2014
by Mariette Dusseldorp
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Makes waiting for a table easier

La Pasta is a popular Italian restaurant chain in Taipei, with several locations in the city, including the upscale Tianmu area and the Neihu technology corridor. Their popularity often leads to long waits for tables which average about 20~30 minutes. Many potential customers give up rather than enduring the wait.

Restaurant owners were quick to identify the problem and wanted to find a solution that would make customers happier as well as capture the additional business…

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February 27, 2014
by Mariette Dusseldorp
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Swipe, pinch, zoom & tab – All you want to know about Touchscreen Technology

Medical computers with touchscreen technology need to meet stringent medical standards. Completely sealed for easy cleaning and touchable with gloves to perform accurate touch-based inputs in patient records in medical clean rooms like operating theaters are a must. Avoiding additional physical keys on the panel, or extra devices like keyboards, mouse or touchpad is efficient as these can harbor bacteria. A touchscreen can detect the presence and location of a touch within the display area, usually one or more fingers or a stylus. The touchscreen enables the user to interact with what is displayed without using an additional keyboard or mouse. Touchscreens are widely integrated in gaming consoles, all-in-one computers, tablets, navigation devices, smartphones, ATM devices and information kiosks. There is a variety of touch technologies that offer different methodologies of sensing the touch. All technologies are related to the X / Y coordinates of the touch sensitive area. The way how to sense the touch point is explained in the next paragraphs.

February 18, 2014
by Pauline Huang
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BICOM Increases Advantech’s Digital Signage Power

For the past two years, Digital Signage has attracted a lot of attention. Advantech has been cooperating with BICOM Information Technology, which was responsible for software design and was involved in this technological development in the early stages. In 2012, Advantech officially merged with BICOM, which has made Advantech’s Digital Signage products more competitive.

Integration Leads to Better Opportunities

Vice President of Advantech Intelligent Services R&D Development, Jim Yeh, who was the former General Manager of BICOM, noted that in addition to hardware devices, software functionality is also important for Digital Signage. And since it is a new medium, only a few suppliers can provide software services. So hardware suppliers must have long-term partnerships with software vendors, similar to the cooperation between Advantech and BICOM, who face market challenges together. Continue reading “BICOM Increases Advantech’s Digital Signage Power” »

January 14, 2014
by Pauline Huang
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Smart Coffee Vending Tastes Even Better

Incredibly, over 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Perhaps even more astounding is that this figure continues to rise. Coffee has always been the beverage of choice for today’s mobile and urban workforce and as more and more people around the globe adopt aspiring lifestyles, the demand for high quality, fresh ground and brewed coffee constantly grows, trending away from lower quality instant products. Consequently, coffee shops, restaurants, and vending machines have never been busier. However, whereas vended coffee beverages from newer, smarter machines that address today’s market dynamics are set to take off, offering convenience, efficiency, cost savings, and up-selling opportunities, coffee shop operations are damaging profitability in many smaller shops and restaurants due to lack of controls on production. With the current procedures in place, staff can produce drinks without payment for friends and family and even commit employee fraud. Continue reading “Smart Coffee Vending Tastes Even Better” »

December 12, 2013
by Pauline Huang
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Discover New Location for Signage Display

In order to quickly reach beneficial result, today’s marketing activities turn to focus on targeted groups in specific locations. People start to look for a new medium tool for those venues where they are never mentioned to play advertising or promotions in rich multimedia. Elevator is one of exciting places where people shuttle through every day. To meet the market’s requirement, Advantech provides an alternative – DSD-5038 stretched signage display, its super wide letterbox shape perfectly fits restricted elevator space.

The elevator is usually fast but small, so passengers do not take much time on elevators. Therefore, the display must be slim to fit an elevator’s inside limited space. Meanwhile, it should support multimedia playback to draw passengers’ attention in a short time. Lastly, the signage display is installed in the upward position, so the display is required to be viewed clearly from varied angles, especially from the bottom. Continue reading “Discover New Location for Signage Display” »

November 14, 2013
by Pauline Huang
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Roving Reporter: Securing the Internet of POS

We would like to share with you again an interesting blog from Mark Scantlebury, writer for the high tech industry. Original url: http://embedded.communities.intel.com/community/en/blog/2013/11/12/roving-reporter-securing-the-internet-of-pos

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Most consumers, myself included, harbor very real fears of our private information getting in the hands of those who could steal our identity and money, as well as damage our credit ratings. Whether it’s using a credit card or virtual wallet or typing in a PIN, there’s always in the back of the mind a concern about where that data is going and who might have access to it.

Obviously, there’s good reason for this fear. As concepts such as the connected store and Internet of Things (IoT) gain speed and spread globally, so does the potential for data, security and privacy breaches. The people who commit these crimes keep right up with the technology trajectory, looking for new opportunities to create havoc and pad their pockets. This makes it imperative for retailers to constantly upgrade their ability to secure the POS systems, interactive kiosks, and any other retail devices that are part of or connected to a retailer’s transactional systems. The consequences of a security breach or failure are too great to ignore, including everything from substantial fines to loss of consumer trust and damage to a company’s brand.

Fortunately, companies like Intel, McAfee, and Microsoft are constantly upgrading security technology and the security features of their products. Equally important, board companies, particularly members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance, are taking advantage of these security technologies and features to enable developers better ways each year to give retailers transactional products delivering ever higher levels of security. Continue reading “Roving Reporter: Securing the Internet of POS” »

October 16, 2013
by Pauline Huang
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Advantech Brings Digital Content to Life at Integrated Systems Europe 2014

Advantech will present its complete hardware portfolio of digital in-store solutions in the Digital Signage Hall 8 stand

M210 at Integrated Systems Europe from 4 to 6 February 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Advantech will demonstrate solutions serving a wide variety of applications including retail & hospitality, self-service, public services, transportation, education, entertainment and corporate use. Continue reading “Advantech Brings Digital Content to Life at Integrated Systems Europe 2014” »

October 4, 2013
by Pauline Huang
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Unique Intelligent Building Management System for Swansea Metropolitan University

Everyone is looking to save energy costs these days as wholesale prices of oil and gas constantly increase. The pressure is on to try and balance energy efficiency with sustainable consumption and minimum environmental impact. Swansea Metropolitan University based in South Wales, UK, has been a major centre for the delivery of vocational higher education since 1853. The University employs more than 500 staff and teaches more than 6,000 students. The Welsh Assembly (Welsh government) sets energy targets for large organizations to achieve, and by doing so they receive rebates in the form of tax credits. So, investing in an integrated building management solution optimizes energy efficiency, indoor climate, security, and safety of buildings for small enterprises up to large university campuses. The goal for SMU was to create the best possible learning environment while reducing capital and operating expenditures, so recently the university commissioned a new energy saving Building Management System (BMS) which needed to be custom built to specific requirements. This was implemented by Highland Services, HardwarePT, and the University M&E maintenance department with SCADA automation software provided by Bubble Automation. Continue reading “Unique Intelligent Building Management System for Swansea Metropolitan University” »