Why Bluetooth Low Energy is the Best Option for Mobile Printing

People most commonly think of Bluetooth as the wireless technology that allows them to connect a mobile device to a car or an earpiece. Bluetooth has given rise, however, to a newer generation of wireless technology – Bluetooth low energy (BLE) – which was first introduced in 2011. Today, BLE is the best option for mobile printing and other devices that require short bursts of connectivity.

In order to understand why BLE is perfect for all mobile printing needs, it’s important to know the difference between Bluetooth and BLE. Bluetooth connectivity is designed for devices like wireless headsets and speakers, mobile phones, and is ideal for streaming applications such as Pandora or Netflix. In comparison, Bluetooth low energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0) is exactly what its name says: low power consumption wireless technology.

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How does BLE work?

Bluetooth and BLE both operate on the same 2.4 GHz ISM band. Unlike regular Bluetooth that uses a lot of power, BLE stays in sleep mode until a connection is initiated with a mobile device. The connections are short bursts because the data is traded quickly. Bluetooth low energy devices’ energy consumption levels are so low; one device can run on the same battery for years. Obviously, Bluetooth low energy isn’t going to work for Netflix, but its’ perfect for devices that only need to exchange data quickly and intermittently, like a mobile printer.

Who can use BLE devices?

BLE is perfect for devices that don’t need to stream large amounts of data continuously. This universal-low power wireless standard makes it easy to connect any product to a smartphone or tablet. BLE is the wireless technology used for personal fitness devices (like Fit Bits), as well as for monitoring sensors and mobile printers in taxi, rideshare, and delivery applications.

Where can you use them?

Bluetooth low energy mobile printers are small and light, and can easily be carried by servers in restaurants, delivery drivers, and workers in intermodal facilities and warehouses. They can be used to print invoices, labels, receipts, and other documents.

Star Micronics has several BLE-enabled printers ranging from compact models that measure only a few inches and fit into a pocket or apron, to more robust options all at affordable price points. Star’s mobile printers are perfect for indoor/outdoor use, field service and restaurant environments where they could get wet or dropped. These devices also come with an external power cable so they can be charged anytime, anywhere, even on the road.

Easy to use, even for BYOD workplaces

BLE printers are compatible with a large installed base of mobile phones, tablets, and computers. Star’s line of mobile printers is easy to use with any Apple iPad® or iPhone® BLE device and doesn’t require pairing. There’s no limit on the number of devices that can be connected to the mobile printers, making it the ideal solution for a BYOD (bring your own device) workplace. Employees don’t need to hunt for “their” tablet or mobile device; they can grab any equipment to complete the task at hand. Star’s mobile printers are also compatible with other operating systems, including Windows and Android.

BLE connectivity is the perfect option for mobile printing. These compact mobile printers are energy efficient and cost-effective for restaurants, rail yards, airports, and delivery services that need to print on-the-go receipts, labels, and create invoices. Learn more about Star Micronics’ SM-L200 and SM-L300 BLE portable printers.

4 Reasons to Use Bluetooth Technology in Restaurants

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In the restaurant business, one of the most important things to do is to keep your customers satisfied. One can do this by making sure their customers are receiving the correct order and in a timely fashion, but by also making sure that their staff is equipped with the technology to provide customers with a unique and satisfying experience. By enabling Bluetooth point of sale technology, restaurant owners can take their customer experience to the next level by creating a smoother workflow for employees, and a convenient way for customers to order and pay. Here are the top four benefits of using Bluetooth POS technology in your restaurant.

1. Simple Set-up

One of the biggest benefits of using Bluetooth point of sale technology in your restaurant is the simple set up. With Bluetooth enabled receipt printers, users can eliminate the need for messy cables, and simply pair their tablet or mobile device with the Bluetooth printer to easily print kitchen orders or receipts. Another benefit of wireless Bluetooth over WiFi connectivity for your point of sale is that you no longer have to worry about outages due to network connection issues.

2. Table-side Service

By pairing a tablet or mobile device with your receipt or kitchen printer, this allows for servers to take customer orders right there at the table and send the orders directly to the printer. Restaurant owners and managers no longer need to worry about the server forgetting to enter the order after taking it, because it is all being done in real-time. Additionally, Bluetooth POS technology allows restaurants to equip each table with their own tablet device, so customers can sit down and order as they please without needed to wait for their server in a busy restaurant.

3. Improve Order Accuracy

By enabling table-side service in your restaurant, you are ensuring improved order accuracy. As the server is taking the customer’s order, they can simultaneously send the order through the point of sale system to the kitchen for preparation. This means that there will be less miscommunication between the customer and the server, and between the server and the kitchen staff. There is less chance of there being missing item from the order or having an order placed incorrectly. The server can also remember to upsell add-ons or suggest a new item, because the full menu is right there in front of them as they enter the customer’s order. This not only improves customer satisfaction, but can result in an increase in revenue for the restaurant owner.

4. Pay at the Table Capability

When providing the convenience of table-side ordering to your restaurant guests, it is important to compliment that with table-side payment capability. Ordering and paying for food either online or through a mobile application is quickly gaining popularity, and consumers are now looking for this same convenience when dining out. With pay at the table capability, customers can simply swipe their card and receive their receipt right at the table, or pay through a mobile app offered through the restaurant without having to wait for the server to bring the check, return to collect the payment, and then print the receipt. Again, allowing customers to pay at their own convenience will help to increase customer satisfaction and allow restaurants to get more tables in and out more quickly, resulting in a reduced wait time and increase in revenue.

Sabor POS and Star Micronics provide a point of sale solution for restaurants that utilizes Bluetooth technology in order to guarantee total workflow efficiency and an increase in customer satisfaction. Learn more about Sabor POS and their support for Star’s TSP100IIIBi, TSP650II BTi, and SP700 BTi printers, and the all-in-one mPOP™ peripheral for restaurants.

Download our success story here: Star_Castrillo_Case-Study

Gorge Greenery Grows Their Business with Star Micronics and Green Bits

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Gorge Greenery, the only Clean Green Certified recreational marijuana dispensary in the Columbia Gorge, prides itself on providing the highest quality cannabis products from the best producers and growers in Oregon. Gorge Greenery was able to find a simple, yet reliable point of sale solution for their upcoming dispensary through Green Bits and Star Micronics.

Gorge Greenery had no choice but to install a cloud-based point of sale system in their dispensary. A cloud-based system was the best option for Gorge Greenery to keep their initial investment at a reasonable cost, while also having the ability to access live sales information and reports from anywhere, at any time, without remote access software. “Our ability to remotely log-in from anywhere via the cloud was key,” says Kirsten Cook, Owner of Gorge Greenery.

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After researching their options, Gorge Greenery found Green Bits’ point of sale software with Star Micronics’ peripherals to be their best option. Green Bits application suite along with Star’s Bluetooth printer is what won over Gorge Greenery.

The ability to operate the point of sale on mobile devices and Apple iPads® that function seamlessly with Star’s TSP650IIBTi printer, was a true selling point for Gorge Greenery. The Green Bits software allowed dispensary management to easily see customer sales, state compliance, inventory management, and sales analyses reports all on one, easy-to-use platform.

The Green Bits and Star Micronics point of sale system was a huge benefit to Gorge Greenery. The solution gave them the ability to keep track of sales and analytics by budtender in order to see which employees are performing well, compared to which ones could use further training. Gorge Greenery can now also keep track of cash management, inventory control, and hourly sales reports which in turn help them to efficiently schedule and decrease their labor costs.

 

“This technology allows us to present and expedite a professional experience to our customers. We are able to streamline the point of purchase process by four-fold. The Green Bits iPad-based system with Star’s wireless printer has helped us to reduce clutter, resulting in a huge increase of impulse sales at the point of purchase.” – Kirsten Cook, Owner of Gorge Greenery.

Download the full success story here: Gorge-Greenery-Case-Study

Bac’n Me Crazy Improves Customer Wait with Star Micronics and Wholly App

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Bac’n Me Crazy is a gourmet food truck based in Charleston, SC that specializes in out of this world dishes that are loaded with bacon. Bac’n Me Crazy was one of many food trucks in the Charleston area that was searching for a way to help their customers avoid the crazy and unpredictable South Carolina weather, and create a smoother workflow for employees. Wholly App and Star Micronics teamed up to provide Bac’n Me Crazy with the ideal solution for their food truck.

Bac’n Me Crazy, one of the most popular food trucks in Charleston, SC, was searching for a way to make ordering not only easier for the customer, but for the employees as well. The unpredictable east coast weather made standing in line at an outdoor food truck an undesirable prospect for customers. Always putting the customer first, Bac’n Me Crazy sought an online ordering solution from Wholly App that would help to make the ordering experience more convenient for customers, and create an easier and smoother workflow for employees.

By installing Wholly App’s solution with Star’s TSP650IIBTi printer and WebPRNT, Bac’n Me Crazy was able to not only create a better ordering experience for customers, but improve the overall daily workflow of their business. Wholly App was able to create a customized solution for Bac’n Me Crazy, allowing customers to order from their phones, and receive an alert when their order is ready. When the customer ordered, the order would be sent directly to the Star printer using WebPRNT. WebPRNT eliminates the need to install any drivers, and enables printing from Wholly App’s native application built specifically for Bac’n Me Crazy. Star’s TSP650IIBTi has the durability to withstand the rush hours, and offers ultimate mobility with its Bluetooth feature, allowing employees to move the printer throughout the truck as necessary.

AR-160129982 “This solution has been a dream come true for us,” says Jason Broz, Founder of Bac’n Me Crazy. “Wholly App and Star Micronics’ solution allowed us to increase our business and make the lives of our customers easier – which is really the most important thing to us.”

“When developing this app for Bac’n Me Crazy and thinking of printing options, Star was our first choice,” says Mike Werner, Found of Wholly App. “The TSP650IIBTi with WebPRNT made our job so much easier by providing a mobile and durable solutions that could print orders right from the app.”

 

Download the full success story here: Star – Bac’n Me Crazy Case Study

Processing Shipment with Enhanced Label Printing

With the mobile POS industry rapidly growing with new technology and continuous innovation on the horizon, manufacturing and warehouse facilities, along with the retail industry are discovering new ways to improve productivity and profitability.

It is essential for the shipping and receiving industry to properly print labels on-the-go as their employees are moving quickly within a warehouse environment. By printing labels on-the-go, employees will have an increase in efficiency and better control of production. As for retailers, in order to track items accurately to the stockroom from point of sale transactions, inventory associates will need a portable printer that allows flexibility in printing and applying barcodes instantaneously for inventory management.

 

Enhanced Label Printing Star Micronics SM-T400i

Mobile printers can be an asset in eliminating the distance that workers travel from a single station just to acquire their labels. As a result, Star Micronics has label options for their SM-T400i, rugged four inch (112mm) portable Bluetooth printer. Supporting iOS, Android and Windows operating systems, the portable receipt and label printer is also Apple MFi certified, which can be use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. With a rugged design and a wide 104mm printable area, the SM-T400i is perfect for outdoor applications, field service, and warehouse operations.

To learn more about Star Micronics SM-T400i portable Bluetooth printer, please click HERE.

Bluetooth and mPOS, A Perfect Pairing

Have you ever made a hands-free call in your car or listened to music on a wireless headphone? If so, then you probably used a device running on Bluetooth technology. These days, almost any personal electronic device comes with Bluetooth – from your laptop to your mobile phone. Named after 10th-century King Harald Bluetooth, who was temporarily able to unite several warring Scandinavian tribes, Bluetooth is a protocol for short-range wireless communications.

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When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, this is called pairing. The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology means any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another.

The key features of Bluetooth technology are its ubiquitous use in consumer electronics, low power consumption and low cost. The Bluetooth Specification defines a uniform structure for a wide range of devices to connect and communicate with each other.

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Bluetooth technology offers an easy way for businesses to set up a wireless point of sale solution operating in an mPOS ecosystem. Star Micronics has an extensive catalog of Bluetooth supported products ranging from desktop receipt printers, portable receipt printers, impact kitchen printers, label printers, wide format printers, secure medical prescription printers and secure wireless cash management solutions. All Star Micronics Bluetooth receipt printers and Bluetooth cash drawers are dual chip Apple MFi certified with Bluetooth iOS support for iOS and all Apple iDevices as well as Bluetooth 2.1 support for Android and Windows based mobile devices.

 

To learn more about Bluetooth solutions from Star visit http://www.starmicronics.com/printer/technology/bluetooth

Star Micronics and MMF POS Cash in on mPOS Solution

MMF POS, a leading supplier of cash drawers and accessories, has chosen Star Micronics to help strengthen its mobile POS (mPOS) cash management solution.  Star Micronics’ DK-AirCash units will enable wireless control of MMF cash drawers, including the Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer as well as the VAL-u Line® Series drawers.

MMF’s  Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer is a robust printer-driven 24V Cash Drawer with Star® Interface Kwick Kable bundled all INABOX. This package also comes standard with the patented LockIt™ feature, a hidden locked compartment beneath the currency till for safe storage of larger bills. In addition to its Advantage® ADV-INABOX Drawer, MMF’s VAL-u Line® Series 13”x16” and 13”x13” drawers (Electronic 24Vdc version) offer customers a cost-effective and compact cash management solution with durable construction and high-quality standards.

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“We chose Star Micronics because of their progressive mPOS technology,” Phil Oyos, Sales and Marketing Manager, MMF POS, said. “Integrating the DK AirCash enables us to offer a complete, robust mobile solution and empowers our customers to keep pace with the rapidly growing trend towards mobility.”

Once integrated, Star’s DK-AirCash enables communication from a tablet device and mobile printer with the cash drawer. Traditionally, cash drawers are controlled manually (key operated), by a wired connection to a PC or through a wired connection to a printer. The DK-AirCash enables the control of the cash drawer either directly through an Ethernet, Bluetooth or MFi certified Bluetooth connection. Star’s DK-AirCash makes wireless operation of cash drawers possible. With MFi certification from Apple®, Star’s DK-AirCash is compatible with popular Apple® devices such as iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® in addition to devices running on Android and Windows platforms.