Accessories for point of sale systems continue to pace the POS industry as both demand and supply of the products remain in the upward track. The sector is fast moving beyond the growing stage and already becoming an important line among many businesses.

POS systems, sometimes referred to as Point of Purchase, make up the checkout terminals where the purchase transaction usually occurs. They consist of hardware and software components and manage the selling process through a user-friendly interface managed by a salesperson. The system is responsible for creating the bill of payment and the receipt.

Most systems essentially include a thermal printer, a bar-code scanner, and a keyboard. Other accessories are LCD displays, kits, and cash drawers.

A thermal printer produces the more tangible aspect of the purchase and creates the receipt. The paper used in it is the thermochromic or thermal paper, which turns black in the heated areas. Most models in the market are very cost-effective when compared to traditional dot-matrix printer, which is often too cumbersome to use and noisier.

The majority of thermal printers come in basic form factors. Most are entry level and mid-range lines. The high-end products are usually replacement for printers that are included in original complete systems and often have wireless modules and better aesthetics.

The price considerations of the printers available today focus on compatibility, printing speed, and the ingress protection of various housings. For instance, most models use direct printing method and ESC/POS emulation. They can print at speeds of at least 150 mm/s and has 8 dots/mm resolution.

New releases from many suppliers can connect with many terminals and can be installed easily on different platforms. Newer printers, particularly the upscale selections, are integrated with Bluetooth modules for wireless connectivity. They are also suitable for use in rugged sites. Most of these feature easy-to-clean housing that are resistant to moisture, corrosion, and mildew. Expect more portable and handheld models in the coming months.

Barcode scanners or readers are electronic devices for reading printed bar codes. They consist of a light source, a lens, and a light sensor that converts the optical impulses into digital codes.

Mainstream scanners used in the retail sector come in handheld or gun-type shapes, and freestanding or undercounter bed scanners. The handheld type uses single-line scanning, while the bed or freestanding scanners are omnidirectional. Both CCD-based and laser units adopt 1D scanning. The latest pricier models use 2D and can read squares, dots, hexagons, and other geometric patterns in images.

High-end wireless units are seen to gain traction in the next few months.

Keyboards for POS systems come in conventional and encryption units. The first commands the market and are tagged for the low-end and mid-range markets. They are mostly manufactured by PC input device suppliers. The second type is considered upscale and is widely used in banks and many other financial institutions.

The accessories for point of sale systems are expected to address the demand of the market while pursuing product development for future transaction systems. Expect R&D for the sector to focus on scanning speed, read area, and ergonomics.

Source by Khristina Evans