Semtek Innovative Solutions Corporation has released a magnetic stripe card reader for use on Palm Powered devices called PDA Swipe. The device can be used to turn a Palm handheld into a credit card readers and is aimed at applications where mobility is a major concern. According to Semtek:
Semtek Innovative Solutions Corporation announced today the availability of PDA Swipe, a three-track magnetic stripe cardreader for Palm Powered devices. Targeting industries requiring m-commerce, age/ID verification, mobile point of sale (POS), or lead retrieval, PDASwipe is a cost-effective solution for large and small organizations alike. Specific industries include restaurant/bars, professional consumer services, law enforcement and healthcare among others.
With the PDA Swipe, a Palm VII or wireless modem equipped PDA becomes a mobile credit card processing terminal. In law enforcement, police officers with a PDA Swipe-enabled device, can access driving records by swiping a driveris license, removing the need to radio a dispatcher. For age/ID verification, nightclub and bar owners can verify the authenticity of driveris licenses and can log the data. Waiters in restaurants can accept payments at tables, rather than having to return to a central location. In retail, payments can be accepted while customers wait in line. In both retail and food service industries, using PDA Swipe has the potential to increase operational efficiency in addition to improving the customeris experience and strengthening the brand of the company.
The device can also be used in a variety of professional consumer services, allowing sales force representatives and service people to collect payment information and other data on existing and potential customers. PDA Swipe can be used at trade shows and other marketing opportunities to gather information about potential leads quickly and accurately. In healthcare, the device can be used to identify, access and update patientsi medical records. It can also be used to verify prescription orders and process payment information.
The PDA Swipe requires no batteries; power usage to the device is minimal, since the card reader remains in a "sleep" mode when not in use. The handheld computers fit into the PDA Swipe just as they do with the HotSyncÒ cradle that enables bi-directional synchronization with the usersi desktop PCs. The card reader design allows the PDA to remain attached to the PDA Swipe while performing the synchronization to the host PC in the HotSync docking cradle. When a card is swiped through the reader, data on the card is decoded and transferred to the PDAis database.
You can find more information about PDA Swipe at Semtek Innovative Solutionsi Web site. PDA Swipe costs the end user US$195.00 and works with Palm III, Palm VII, Palm V, HandEra 330, and the TRGPro.
Note that this product is platform independent, as it is designed to work with a Palm. From there, one needs Mac software to use the data taken by the reader to use with your Mac.