Smart Retail Is Here. Drive It with GIGAIPC’s SBC-A Series 3.5-in. SBCs

March 09, 2022

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Smart Retail Is Here. Drive It with GIGAIPC’s SBC-A Series 3.5-in. SBCs

Smart retail refers to the concept of adding “intelligence” to traditional shopping methods. The global pandemic has expedited the smart retail process, as it allows the consumer to complete a transaction with little to no human interaction if desired.

Smart retail can be realized in a variety of ways, from smart kiosks to smart signage, to smart vending machines.

These smart methods could be added to menu boards and digital signage. With the ability to handle updates dynamically, the menu board is always displaying the latest offerings at the proper prices. And they can even base the offerings on the demographics of the customer, as the menu potentially knows something about the customer, including his or her age, clothing style, mood, etc. The boards can also be far more attention getting, using high-end graphics. Another place this smart boards make sense is in applications that require constant updating, like in airports and train stations, where arrival and departure times can fluctuate frequently.

Smart retail also applies to vending machines that are in operation 24/7/365, and require stable operation as well as continual communications. The biggest reason for the communications is to manage the inventory within the machine. Sending a technician to fill a machine unnecessarily is a waste of time and money.

A third smart retail application is in the use of interactive point-of-service (POS) terminals or kiosks, which can act as far more than a simple cashier. They can be programmed to perform a variety of functions, from taking orders in a restaurant, to buying tickets in a bus terminal or train station, to patient check-in at a clinic or hospital. The result is a rich, personalized, interactive customer experience that likely will enhance in-store shopping visits and increase revenue for the retailer.

The smart kiosks can expedite the sales process, reducing and potentially eliminating the lines of customers waiting to pay for their purchases. The result is a better shopping experience for the consumer, and better sales for the retailer. The customer journey is more pleasant, and the check-out process for the retailer happens more fluidly.

Add IoT and AI To the Mix

The advent of the IoT has made smart retail a reality, as the platform can be fully connected to the retailer’s backbone, ensuring that inventories are up to date and the right merchandise is being advertised. When you add artificial intelligence (AI) in to the mix, the possibilities of what can be achieved grow exponentially. For example, a shopper can virtually “try on” multiple sets of clothing without having to enter a dressing room using an AI platform. Again, this is a “pandemic friendly” process, as consumers aren’t touching any of the actual clothing.

The GIGAIPC SBC-A family of 3.5-in. SBCs brings smart retail to life. Designed with the latest 11th Generation Intel processors, these embedded computers will enhance the shopping experience for both consumers and retailers. In the lower image, you can see the various interfaces.

To make smart retailing a possibility, you must start with a high-end computing backbone, such as the GIGAIPC SBC-A series of 3.5-in. single-board computers (SBCs). That family includes the QBiP-1165G7A, the QBiP-1135G7A, and the QBiP-1115G4EA. GIGAIPC is an embedded solution-focused subsidiary of Gigabyte.

The QBiP-1165G7A is a 3.5-in. sub-compact board that’s designed with Intel’s 11th Generation Core i7-1165G7 microprocessor and integrated graphics processor, namely Intel’s UHD graphics. Other features include dual-channel DDR4 memory, one serial (COM) port, one 6-Gbit/s SATA port, and a host of interfaces supporting all generations of USB.

The QBiP-1135G7A is similar to the 1165G7A except that it is built around Intel’s Core i5-1135G7 microprocessor. The 1115G4EA also has similar characteristics, but holds an 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4E processor. All three compact boards are very power efficient. As a result, they can be used in a fanless configuration in a slimline enclosure, which is a requirement for many smart-retail applications.

Thanks to the abundant I/O, any popular terminal or display can be connected, or even multiple displays if necessary. Up to four independent displays with 4K resolution can be connected. The operating temperature range for the SBC-A series spans from 0°C to 50°C. And they can endure shocks up to 50G and vibrations up to 5 Grms.

The combination of Intel processors, graphics, and embedded solutions from GIGAIPC in smart retail applications is a winning formula. All the necessary technologies are available today. There’s no reason not to enhance that shopping experience—and increase sales—beginning today.

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