By Charles McGlade
Poort introduces a new role for iPads and 10″ Android tablets.
As a fixed wireless web portal, Poorts offer a refreshing approach to dormant markets such as kitchen electronics, restaurant entertainment, industrial controls – anywhere access to the Net is needed, without extensive and destructive installations.
Efficient In use a Poort draws just 10 watts – even doing duty as a night-light if left running – and it is always fully charged. A small aperture along the top ledge of the housing allows access to its dual-port internal USB cube charger – and with all cables neatly tucked inside, a cellphone can be charged on top. The versatile Poort holds great promise as a solar-charged device in developing countries.
Non-destructive mounting Installation is novel – the Poort can be hung from two slim screws in any of four orientations, or used as an inclined controller off a flat surface. Or, it can utilize industrial mounting tape for strong, rattle-free assembly and hanging, avoiding the need to drill holes in high value backsplashes – previously a barrier for consumer electronics.
Available as a kit For enclosing an existing 10″ tablet, most notably all standard 9.7″ iPads, this counter computer is 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, Poorts connect to optional Bluetooth speakers and/or headphones, and integrates with home automation devices.
Restaurants beckon 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 proprietary competitors.
- 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 menu listings.
- Remote 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. You can buy older iPads now for $100.” he says.
Whether delivering content in the home, or bringing a restaurant to life, the new Poort devices serve up the Internet, whole and organic. Kitchens will never be the same.