Still questioning whether consumer-grade mobile POS (mPOS) devices are a short-lived trend or a here-to-stay expansion of the broader front-end technology solutions at many leading mainstream merchants? Here is another strong point in favor of the latter: Epson, the global market leader in POS receipt printers, recently announced its Mobilink P60 mobile receipt and label printer supports Bluetooth connectivity to facilitate wireless pairing with all Apple i-devices and a diversity of other Bluetooth-equipped consumer-grade devices. The Company simultaneously introduced a new software development kit (SDK) for iOS, Android and Windows operating systems that is intended to expedite the development of mPOS and label printing applications that leverage the Bluetooth-enabled Mobilink printer.
As mPOS solutions gain stronger adoption among retailers and hospitality operators—sometimes as an enterprise’s exclusive POS system—the demand for reliable, easy-to-use printing solutions that complement the mobility and empowerment mPOS provides workers is growing increasingly strong. In response, a number of POS receipt printer vendors—including Epson—have been swift to launch portable versions of their standard, stationary POS printers. These portable printers are certainly smaller than their stationary counterparts and are “mobile” in the sense that they can be easily transported. However, while smaller in relative terms, they are not ideally sized to be wearable for the average worker.
For this reason, we believe a Bluetooth-enabled printer such as Epson’s offering will be well-received by many mPOS deploying merchants, especially those using mPOS “within the four walls,” as opposed to in field-sales or other remote applications. The deployment of Bluetooth-enabled stationary and portable printers enables mPOS-equipped associates to fulfill any printing requirements encountered during their shift while freeing them from the burden of carrying another device on their person. Furthermore, enabling on-the-go, mobile printing via shared Bluetooth-enabled (or other wirelessly accessible) devices allows enterprises to reduce printing hardware investment by eliminating the need to equip every associate with their own mobile printer. Accordingly, in the case of many mPOS deployments, we expect this approach to mobile printing will be favored both for its lower investment costs and freeing employees from carrying additional equipment.