Intel Compute Card brings new flexibility to kiosks
Photo courtesy of Contec.
The Intel Compute Card has found its way into a very new and innovative way of delivering input/output capability.
The Compute Card by itself is a great innovation, but, as we all know, kiosks are i/o hungry. We need to be able to port multiple devices to make a kiosk work. Peripheral devices like touchscreen display controllers, credit card readers, printers, bar-code scanners, motion detectors, bill acceptors and the list is actually endless. iOS solutions have an even more significant challenge since the Apple iPad platform doesn't support USB, so all their devices have to be Bluetooth.
To address this wide range of market demands, Contec, a supplier to the industrial and embedded technology markets, has developed the C5 Embedded Computer. The C5 leverages the Intel Compute Card and its low-power, high-performance platform to enable a compact footprint backed by proven Intel architecture.
A flexible i/o suite
Using Intel's credit-card sized modular platform gives system designers a recognizable form factor and trusted infrastructure, with multiple development partners. In addition to all the elements of a full computer, including wireless connectivity, the Intel Compute Card also provides a flexible i/o suite for application optimization.
Designed to be externally accessible and handled in the end use environment, the Intel Compute Card allows for upgrades and scalability within a family of products and remains secure via an integrated locking mechanism. The C5's modular computing architecture differs from other modular platforms by providing added functionality which facilitates field maintenance, servicing and upgrades in a groundbreaking new way.
Industrial applications of any kind are under constant pressure to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and expand functionality. Trying to migrate legacy technology to address these demands adds yet another requirement to this process. Current system building blocks have reached a price plateau, and advances in enabling technologies like SSDs are reaching the point of diminishing returns.
Further complicating this process is that the total cost of deploying and maintaining a product can be significantly more than the system's original purchase price. Issues such as servicing, reliability and operational maintenance are key concerns when considering the total cost of deploying a solution. These factors often lead customers to seek out next generation embedded technology with features that reduce future expenses related to maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.
Future upgrades possible
Contec has taken an Intel Compute Card and given the kiosk industry a flexible, upgradable and connectable solution. Not only can I use the cutting edge technology of a Compute Card, but the C5 computer supports the 7th generation Intel Core Processors (including the vPro models) or Celeron and Pentium processors to ensure that there will be enough compute power for virtually any application. I can upgrade the processing power by changing the Compute Card of a C5 in the field in just a matter of minutes.
Editor's Note: The author of this blog is not an Intel investor, employee or contractor.
Ben Wheeler, known as The KioskGuy, is a long time kiosk industry executive who assists companies with kiosk solutions.www