Interview • 15.04.2011

“Mobile terminals are superior to smartphones in harsh everyday life“

Interview with Dr. Andreas Müller, Director of Research and Development at Skeye, Höft & Wessel AG

At the EuroShop we saw many applications for the new smartphones – including also some for store personnel use. Will MDE devices soon become obsolete? Not so, thinks Dr. Andreas Müller, because they are especially designed to withstand the harsh everyday life in retail and logistics. He also doesn’t believe that they will become smaller and smaller, because this would negatively impact their ease of handling. Retailers primarily use portable terminals with WLAN today. Höft & Wessel expects an increase in demand for equipment in tablet format.

 

Will smartphones become a threat to mobile data terminals?

The old term MDE (mobile data acquisition) device has possibly become obsolete, but the mobile terminal with smartphone functions will certainly continue to hold its ground. The reasons for this are obvious: mobile terminals are superior to smartphones in harsh everyday life. The very robust industrial-grade MDE devices can survive drops to the floor, are waterproof and can tolerate a large range of temperatures. Think about a cold storage house or retail warehouse logistics as examples. Only these types of devices offer commercial enterprises long-term investment protection. With our service, these devices can be used reliably for many years. Open systems make a quick integration into the company’s IT infrastructure possible. And finally with our Backoffice system, new program versions can simply be loaded by headquarters onto all devices. Smartphones cannot do all this and also don’t have to be able to do this by the way, since they are designed for individuals.

 

Ever smaller – ever unmanageable?  Are retailers asking for smaller and smaller MDE devices?

In our opinion the trend actually goes somewhat in the opposite direction. What’s important are great handling and a long battery life. For this, the device gladly can be a little bigger. A great operable keyboard in retail – still – is an important requirement.

 

Looking at this the other way: ever bigger. Do you see a threat in tablet-PCs that perhaps are also able to scan?

If needed, retailers of course also use equipment in tablet format, like for instance for sales support during a customer meeting or also at the warehouse on forklifts. And here the same thing applies again just like with the mobile terminals, because here we also offer very robust, industrial-grade devices of course which are better for use in a forklift than equipment consumers use.

 

Many MDE devices have a panel display format. You also supply a device with landscape format. What is the individual number of units? Which one is best suited for whom?

More than half of our equipment is delivered in landscape format. The big advantage is that a landscape display mode is better suited for navigating through lists. Once people have chosen this format, they won’t choose any other. Due to the landscape display mode, the device’s center of gravity also improves. It has an even better and safer grip in your hand. Unfortunately, many software houses are still very limited to applications in portrait format. Custom porting does not pay off until a certain installation size. Otherwise even more customers would choose the beneficial landscape format.

 

What does retail want: storing scanned items or transmission in real-time? Online or mobile radio communication?

Retail today predominantly uses WLAN. Complex transactions in inventory management require an online connection. Mobile radio communication is still rather the exception, but by now for several retail formats it has become quite interesting due to low priced data packages. For heterogeneous store landscapes like for instance cooperatives, franchises and third-party order suppliers, mobile radio communication is their top choice, because they can avoid having their own complex IT infrastructure.

 

A WLAN connection isn’t always secure. What can be done?

If the conventional WLAN safety standards are being adhered to, WLAN does not present a particular security risk any more.

 

What were your top topics at the EuroShop?

One topic was the update of our successful product skeye.allegro, which we also supply in a landscape display format. You can purchase this successful model in many stores in Germany. The users appreciate its easy handling, which by the way can also be done using just one hand. In addition, our robust handheld in tablet format, the skeye.e-motion, was in the spotlight; it is especially well suited for use in the harsh environment of warehouses. Since a version with Android operating system was just introduced for our PDA skeye.dart at the Mobile in Barcelona, this surprisingly was also met with great interest by retailers.

 

Were you pleased with the trade fair and the visitors to your booth?

Yes we were, although on the weekend there were only very few visitors at the trade show, so it all really took off on Monday. As a market leader in mobile equipment for retail stores, the EuroCIS is simply a must for us.

 

Interview by René Schellbach, iXtenso.com

 

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Quantity discount on the WIMIsys PT51!
05.08.2020   #POS systems #displays

Quantity discount on the WIMIsys PT51!

From now until September 30th: 10% discount on the WIMIsys PT51 POS System when purchased together with a Swissbit TSE solution

Are you looking for TSE compliant POS solution for your customers in bakery, restaurant or retail shop? ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Smart solutions for the retail of tomorrow
28.09.2020   #video surveillance #video cameras

Smart solutions for the retail of tomorrow

Increase sales in retail?

Use intelligent technologies to set the right buying impulses at the stationary PoS by continuously adapting advertising messages to the situation in real time.Learn more about it in the video! ...

Thumbnail-Photo: POS TUNING tuned its pushfeed system
02.07.2020   #product presentation #product classification systems

POS TUNING tuned its pushfeed system

The supplier optimizes the compartment systems C60 and C90

Never change a running system?Who doesn't know this saying? Changing something well-tried always has something to do with risk. The danger that something suddenly doesn't run as well as before is always there. But standstill has never ...

Thumbnail-Photo: CCV announces consolidation of its international payment division,...
02.07.2020   #mobile payment #payment systems

CCV announces consolidation of its international payment division, focuses on market innovations

Under the flagship of CCV GmbH, the company plans to bring its innovation into specific international markets

CCV Group B.V. has announced that all of its international business activities will now be consolidated and run within its Germany-based division - CCV GmbH. CCV GmbH will carry out the activities of the former CCV Deutschland GmbH and CCV Easy, a ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Knowledge is (retail) power
07.09.2020   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

Knowledge is (retail) power

The Germany Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) wants to attain knowledge to assist the retail sector and creates digital twins of stores to make it a reality

Knowledge for all retailers - DFKI has launched the Knowledge4Retail (K4R) project series to achieve this goal. The driving force is an open-source platform for complex AI and robotics applications in retail.  The project relies on a digital ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Automated delivery services sprang up during China’s Covid-19 lockdown...
03.06.2020   #coronavirus #delivery

Automated delivery services sprang up during China’s Covid-19 lockdown

Retail technologies at Smart Retail Expo (SRE 2020)

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, China’s retail giants JD.com and Meituan both deployed their smart deliver robots/vehicles in heavily locked down cities, such as Wuhan and Beijing. Insiders believe automated delivery technology will be ...

Thumbnail-Photo: “Dear shopping cart, please show me the way!“...
06.07.2020   #self-checkout systems #scanner

“Dear shopping cart, please show me the way!“

Shopping Cart 2.0 – gimmick or idea with intrinsic value?

Not all shopping carts are the same... far from it! Digitization and automation also put their stamp on this aspect of the retail sector. What’s usually a plain, large basket on wheels that makes it easier for shoppers to transport products ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Offline stores sales in US department stores decline by 75% in Q2 2020...
25.09.2020   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

Offline stores sales in US department stores decline by 75% in Q2 2020

... as e-commerce is set to grow by 20% in 2020

According to the research data analyzed and published by StockApps.com, US department stores reported a 75% drop in sales during Q2 2020. The report estimated a decline of 60% for the whole year, while predicting a 20% increase in e-commerce for the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: New chain of toy stores in strong collaboration...
29.09.2020   #brick and mortar retail #digitization

New chain of toy stores in strong collaboration

Kids Coolshop is booming with new toys stores in a pressured market where competition is fierce

The chain has started installing electronic shelf labels in its physical stores. The electronic price tags are linked to a strong e-commerce engine and must help ensure competitive prices across all channels.Kids Coolshop was launched in 2017 ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Checkout-free service at Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café+Market store...
07.09.2020   #self-checkout systems #app

Checkout-free service at Giant Eagle’s GetGo Café+Market store

Retrofitting an existing store

Grabango announced the launch of commercial service with one of its retail partners, Giant Eagle, Inc, owner of GetGo Café+Market. Grabango’s checkout-free system is now available to save shoppers time by letting them skip the line. The ...

Supplier

Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
SALTO Systems GmbH
SALTO Systems GmbH
Schwelmer Str. 245
42389 Wuppertal
Axis Communications GmbH
Axis Communications GmbH
Adalperostraße 86
85737 Ismaning
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Poindus HQ - Taiwan
Poindus HQ - Taiwan
5F., No.59, Ln. 77, Xing-Ai Rd.,Neihu Dist.
Taipei City 114
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Max-Planck-Straße 10
70806 Kornwestheim
CCV GmbH
CCV GmbH
Gewerbering 1
84072 Au i.d.Hallertau
Apostore GmbH
Apostore GmbH
Uferstraße 10
45881 Gelsenkirchen