Apple Store Handheld Payment Units Can Open Cash Drawers

The new portable POS units being introduced by Apple in its retail stores will accept cash by wirelessly popping open money drawers sprinkled throughout the establishment, according to Apple Insider, which has several wonderful close-up shots of the new devices. The units will allow Apple to (finally) toss out the window the embarrassing Windows CE-based portable POS units it has used since at least 2005 in its otherwise Apple-to-the-core stores.

The units combine iPod touch features with a magnetic stripe reader, advanced barcode scanner and Apple-written software to speed plastic and cash transactions. The portable units "consist of a hard plastic, two-piece slip-on shell with a grip texture. The magstripe reader is tucked onto the back of the shell, and the barcode scanner is installed within the top of the device. Hidden inside the shell is a rechargeable battery to power the card reader and scanner. A set of four tiny lights on the back indicate the unit's state of battery charge," the report said.