Poort Technologies Inc.

Counter Computer Retires iPads, Ignites Restaurants

The Poort's flexibility allows a quiet dining experience by day, morphing into a raucous cantina or roadhouse by night.

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Vancouver, BC -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/24/2014 -- Poort's Counter Computerâ„¢ converts an iPad (and 10"Android tablets) into a fixed appliance with strong audio. It doesn't take up valuable counter space and can deftly conceal the entire power outlet and associated cable clutter. Made of thick cast aluminum with a washable enamel finish - it introduces a new computing form factor, with many possible applications.

As a fixed wireless portal, Poorts offer a refreshing approach to dormant markets such as kitchen electronics, restaurant entertainment, industrial controls, alarm housings - anywhere access is needed without intrusive or damaging installations.

In use a Poort draws just 10 watts - even doing duty as a night-light if left running - and it is always fully charged. An internal 4 port USB hub with a 5 foot power cord is included, for installation anywhere. A small aperture along the top ledge of the housing allows access to its internal USB hub - and with all cables neatly tucked inside, two cellphones can be charged. The modular Poort holds great promise as a solar-charged device in developing countries.

Non-destructive Mounting
Installation is novel, in that it utilizes industrial mounting tape for strong, rattle-free assembly and hanging, avoiding the need to drill holes in high value or impervious areas - previously a barrier for consumer electronics.

Available as a kit
For enclosing an existing 10" tablet, most notably a legacy iPad, the Counter Computer is also sold complete, with an optimized 10" Android tablet supporting WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional cellular connections - ideal for homes in rural or solar areas. Easily dismounted, it can be lifted in seconds from its city perch, and travel with you to the cottage.

Audio as you need it
Because it is shaped like an acoustic horn the Poort gathers the weak audio from a tablet's speakers and bounces it off your work counter, amplifying and mellowing the sound. When you want more than that, Poort includes a strong internal speaker bar and optional Bluetooth headphones.

Restaurants Next
Poorts can replace expensive kiosks and stands for generic POS and menu tablets. The robust housing protects its components in messy areas, is easily cleaned and recyclable, and serves as an adaptable and economical industrial enclosure.

As tablets begin to appear in restaurants, Poort has produced an open source, modular platform and tighter form factor than its competitors. Only the heavy Poort casing is proprietary, with 12"x8" outside dimensions and a screen aperture of 9"x6". So it is easy to check whether a 10" tablet from Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and others will fit. The casting is 3/16" thick.

In booths, Poorts are fixed at one end of the table, and offer the full Internet to customers, not just canned content and up-sell listings. Speakers can be turned off during family dining hours,and then engaged when an atmosphere of cascading music, video and laughter is to be encouraged.

Open Architecture Strategy
Poort CEO Dwight Jones thinks being non-proprietary gives the device key advantages. "Poorts will always be the least expensive hardware - small operators can run used tablets just fine." he says. "But a Poort's real advantage lies in its open architecture. Both owners and app developers can offer any kind of utility, in any operating system. It's a modular hardware design that pioneers using a tablet elegantly, in fixed locations. What people assemble from there - it's going to be very interesting."

Whether joyfully enhancing the cooking experience in a kitchen, or bringing an entire restaurant to life, the new Poort form factor promises a whole new way to serve up the music, video and web connectivity we have come to savour with tablets.