Digi Enables 'PC-Free' Retailing

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Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) today announced the introduction of the Digi ConnectPort, the industry's first remote networking solution to utilise display, serial and USB Over IP technology. The ConnectPort is a network-enabled video display hub that allows standard video displays and other devices to be located anywhere on a Local Area Network (LAN) or other IP network without a locally attached host PC or thin client. The ConnectPort provides the freedom of relocating or even removing PCs or thin clients at points of service and is ideal for retail applications, restaurant chains, banking, kiosks and information signage. Digi will showcase its new ConnectPort at the Retail Solutions Show 2005, stand number P21.

"The ConnectPort enables 'PC-free' computing by allowing a host PC to be relocated or even eliminated from high-traffic areas or environmentally severe locations to a secure back office or other remote location," said Steve Popovich, vice president and general manager, Inside Out Networks, a division of Digi International. "In retail applications where space is a valuable commodity, the ConnectPort creates smaller point-of-service (POS) stations to free up space for additional use. This dramatically changes the paradigm for POS stations by significantly reducing the high support costs associated with PCs, increasing security, improving reliability and considerably reducing life cycle costs."

The ConnectPort is Ethernet attached and provides a single VGA or SVGA video port, two serial-over-IP ports and four USB-over-IP ports. The product provides instant drop-in replacement for legacy terminal applications with "everything over IP" for migration to IP-based solutions. The ConnectPort also supports standard terminal emulation allowing end users to deploy the ConnectPort into an existing terminal-oriented configuration and migrate to a newer graphic display whenever desired. The ConnectPort comes in a standard configuration but is customisable for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Beta units will be available in July 2005.

Alliance Helps Convenience Store Retailers Reduce Cost of Doing Business

AutoGas, a leader in retail fuel automation, recently partnered with Digi International to provide its customers in the convenience store industry with the new ConnectPort. It is available within the company's REGAL product line. By eliminating the need for dedicated CPUs at every POS lane, AutoGas will expand its interest in deploying high performance, high reliability, centralised CPU solutions that improve up-time and simplify service calls.

"We provide our customers an extensive range of innovative technology solutions that help convenience store retailers increase revenue," said Randy Nicholson, president and CEO, AutoGas. "We are working with Digi and plan to implement the innovative ConnectPort into a variety of convenience store retail applications. Because of the wide use of display technology in convenience store retailing, our customers can realise significant cost savings and increased efficiencies through implementing this new and innovative technology."

The ConnectPort features VNC client software that can communicate with a variety of free open source VNC server applications. This enables remote displays to communicate with the host without changing existing application software. Remote displays can be centrally managed and monitored from a remote server or PC via an IP address. The ConnectPort features Digi's patented RealPort COM port redirection technology for serial over IP communications. It also utilises its patent-pending Digi RealPort USB technology for USB over IP connections.

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