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ARLINGTON, Va. – NCR Corporation, the international manufacturer of ATMs based in Dayton, Ohio, has almost finished working on a prototype ATM that will run on solar power and batteries, the company said. “The product is still a prototype but we are working on ironing out the final problems,” reported Lorraine Russell, spokeswoman for the ATM manufacturer. The company anticipates offering the HARP (Handy Amounts in Remote Places) machines for placement in remote parts of India and China later this year and is studying them for offering them in the U.S. The machines do not actually run on solar power, Russell explained. They run on batteries that the solar panels charge, she said. There had been widespread doubt about whether the machines could draw enough power from the solar panels and whether the solar panels would limit the machines to very sunny climates. Not the case, NCR said, as it conducted research at its concept lab in Dundee, Scotland, which is not known for its sunshine, Russell said. Although the machines will not work indoors, Russell confirmed that without sunshine the batteries will be able to run the machines for three days. The machines will communicate with their processors through a cellular or wireless phone technology. Mark Grossi, chief technology officer for NCR’s Financial Solutions Division, explained, “The system can work anywhere where there’s daylight. Using just two batteries, one will run the ATM while the other is being recharged using solar power. The amount of sunlight required will depend on usage. In sunny parts of the world, however, even with high usage, continuous operation is possible. I can think of a number of situations where such technology could be used. It could even be the answer to cash at the beach for more remote resorts with high levels of seasonal usage.” The HARP battery-operated wireless ATMs have been in the works for a while. Designed originally as an event ATM, HARP could be installed for use at a sporting event or on a boat. Equally, machines based on this technology could be used in areas where there are power supply problems or in areas without land-line communications and with no dial-up infrastructure in place. Security concerns about having the lighter machines could be handled by having a system in place which, were the machine to be stolen, all the money would be coated with a colored dye. Each machine could contain a Global Positioning Device that can track it to within a few feet and can trigger the security device if the machine were to be stolen. [email protected]cutimes.com

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