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By Caterina Pontoriero
More than 2.7 million tablet devices will be shipped for use in North American retail and hospitality by 2015, according a recent report by IHL Group. The most popular of these devices is the Apple iPad, with retailers including Rite Aid and Pacific Sunwear recently deploying the technology to in-store associates.
As their popularity continues to skyrocket, tech companies are coming up with ways the iPad can work in retail. The Nemesis Store Proxy allows consumers to browse visual catalogs on iPads in-store without causing network connectivity issues. iPads can also be used in-store for digital signage with the MountMe devices that enable iPads to be mounted on any store surface and display promotional content.
Behind the scenes, the Line2 application for iPad adds a phone line that can make and receive conference calls. For management, the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad makes entering data easy by attaching a fully functioning keyboard to the device.
When the need to enter data into a device is hampered by the touchscreen interface, the Logitech Keyboard for iPad is the perfect solution. The attachable keyboard works well in retail thanks to its functionality. It includes a carrying case that easily converts into a stand, ensuring that the iPad and keyboard are always well-protected. The keyboard also includes keys to control functions and shortcuts on the iPad. www.logitech.com
With a little help, already convenient iPads can add digital signage to their ever growing list of functionalities. MountMe recently released its Freedom and Freedom II multi-functional case-mount hybrids that allow retailers to mount their iPad tablet devices on any surface. The Freedom and Freedom II securely hug the iPad and iPad 2 respectively as four suction cups and a heavy duty mobile mounting strap hold the device in place on any surface. www.mount-me.com
The Line2 application for iPad turns the device into a mobile office by adding a fully-featured phone line that can place and receive calls and text messages over the device’s data connections (WiFi or 3G). If the iPad does not have a data connection, calls can be automatically forwarded to up to six other phones. Line2 transforms the device into an on-the-go business tool for conference calls with multiple people in a room. The app’s advanced calling features include the ability to juggle multiple calls, visual voicemail and conferences for up to 20 people. www.aiderss.com
Improved In-Store Browsing
The Nemesis Store Proxy from SuperLumin Networks enables shoppers to browse visual catalogs and product videos on their iPads in-store. Mobile-enabled shoppers can also download coupons and share purchases with friends on social networking sites without the hassle of network connectivity issues. Content is stored on the local Nemesis Store Proxy at the store so when consumers use their iPads in-store to retrieve content, download times are minimized. www.superlumin.com
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