Anyone who has ever had to install a TV onto their living-room wall, or an LCD monitor on to a stand or swingarm, will be familiar with the Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI), more commonly known as the VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS), or VESA mount for short.
First introduced in 1997, the VESA MIS now spans a range of seven sizes, each of which has more than one variant, all designed to cover the wide range of TV and monitor sizes that are now on the market. After all, a bracket that is suitable for mounting a 27-inch LCD monitor is not going to be much use for a 55-inch signage display.
However, while the VESA mount is most commonly associated with displays, it can also be used to mount business mini PCs to the rear of LCD monitors and signage displays. This can provide a neat solution that is suited to a number of business applications.
Here are five such business applications of a VESA-mounted mini PC.
The signage PC
Digital signage is so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget in how many areas of our everyday life we come into contact with it. Whether it is airports, doctor’s waiting rooms, restaurants, shopping centres or just in the office, display signage is everywhere. So, a great way to configure your own signage system is by using a VESA-mounted mini PC. These simply attach to the customised VESA mount and plug into the display connections at the rear of the signage display, making them invisible to the customer.
Depending on your requirements, a low-power fanless mini PC like the ASUS PB40 could be used in this scenario. This minimises power usage and ensures silent operation too, which may be useful for libraries or other locations where people need some peace and quiet.
The Kiosk PC
Where signage displays are great for pushing adverts to customers who may only have a few seconds to scan the information, kiosks are designed to engage with customers in a way that adds value for them and drives additional revenue for you.
For example, a kiosk in a coffee shop could allow customers to order directly and save waiting time, or even deliver customized offers based on facial recognition or by scanning a loyalty card. All your business needs to gets started is a VESA-mountable mini PC and a touch LCD monitor or signage display.
A space-saving office PC
Office space is expensive, so you want to make optimal use of the space you have. Mini PCs are ideally suited to this task. Simply fix one behind an LCD monitor and you have a powerful office PC without the footprint of a regular desktop system, or even a laptop.
However, small doesn’t have to mean reduced performance. The latest mini PCs come equipped with powerful hardware, such as a Core i7-8700T processor with 6-cores / 12-threads and a Turbo clock speed of 4GHz. Remarkably, a mini PC with such a powerful CPU, such as the ASUS PB60, still manages to be energy-efficient, consuming only 11.7W when idle. This not only saves your business money, but also reduces noise levels too, since efficient CPUs can be cooled very quietly.
A point-of-sale PC
A mini PC mounted to a compact touch LCD screen is a great way to configure a flexible and space-saving point-of-sale (POS) terminal. The latest generation of mini PCs are equipped with a broad range of connection options, from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to USB and COM ports, meaning you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of POS peripherals, including printers, card readers, scanners and coin drawers.
Crucially, mini PCs such as the ASUS PB40 include important security features, such as a built-in Kensington Lock slot and read/write control for the USB ports. There’s even an intrusion alert feature that lets you know if the chassis has been opened since the last launch.
A video conferencing system
Video conferencing is a powerful way to conduct business, face-to-face, without actually having to jump on a plane or sit in traffic to reach a meeting. A VESA-mounted mini PC offers a range of options for configuring video conferencing systems, whether it’s a fully-fledged conference room with a dedicated signage display or small meeting rooms that use a mini PC mounted to the rear of a regular LCD monitor.
Signal interruptions and issues with video quality need not be a concern either, because the latest mini PCs offer powerful performance with up to 8th-gen Intel CPUs, gigabit Ethernet and high-bandwidth 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Add a Bluetooth input device, speakerphone and (if required) a webcam, and you have an affordable, attractive and unobtrusive conferencing system that can fit into any office space and meeting room.