How to see credit card terminal outside?
May 30, 2016 2:31 PM   Subscribe

New chip compliant credit card terminal for farmers market is impossible to read outside. How can we shade it to see what it says and still be able to reach the keys?

Even though the booth is under a canopy there is so much ambient light that the screen is unreadable.
We've tried the steps recommended for attempting to see a laptop outside. Even put one of those anti-glare plastic films on it. All to no avail.
Terminal lies flat on the table. Screen is not vertical like on a laptop.
Senior & handicap customers and market staff are very frustrated.
Geeky nerds out of touch with our reality should have to actually use the equipment they design.
Open to any suggestions on how to make this $695 useless tool work.
Thanks for any help!
posted by Mesaverdian to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Return it?

If some salesman made this choice for you, knowing your use-case, it should be that salesman's problem to solve.
posted by yesster at 2:40 PM on May 30, 2016 [7 favorites]

Supposedly this'll do the trick. No personal experience.
posted by WCityMike at 2:46 PM on May 30, 2016

There are lcd hoods meant for digital cameras (for example), although you could build one out of foam core pretty easily. I don't know how big your screen is, but I can't imagine it's that different.
posted by O9scar at 2:51 PM on May 30, 2016

Yeah, if it's at all possible to switch devices (or even credit card processors), I'd go for one like that lets you take payments on an iPad (e.g. Square), since on those the brightness tends to go high enough to be readable in shaded daylight. If not, then a hood like O9scar's suggestion seems like a good option.
posted by Alioth at 7:41 PM on May 30, 2016

Yeah, I'd try making a hood out of cardboard or something. You could also make a little stand for the device to prop it up at an angle.

I'd share though that likely zero thought was put into the creation of that device beyond its bare functions. It's all commodity parts that were thrown together into a case, not lovingly designed like some other things. So there were probably no nerds or geeks involved...
posted by reddot at 5:30 AM on May 31, 2016

Can you adjust the contrast?
posted by srboisvert at 5:45 AM on May 31, 2016

Thanks for the suggestions.
Can't return it because we hustled 2 grants to get it paid for.
Contrast can not be adjusted.
Will research the anti glare film. Got some from best buy and it did nada.
Can't take SNAP ebt cards on the square and market can't afford a smart phone anyway.
Will play with the hood idea - still need to be able to get hand in to swipe cards, enter data and then for the customers to enter their pin numbers.
I'm hoping other outdoor markets who upgraded to handle the chipped cards will start clamoring in and some engineer somewhere will figure out the easy and hopefully inexpensive fix.
Thanks again to all for offering ideas.
posted by Mesaverdian at 4:29 PM on May 31, 2016

A picture of the device or a model number would help us be less hand-wavy with our suggestions.
posted by misterbrandt at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2016

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