What is COSU?


person touching a public tablet

According to a recent study published in The Harvard Business Review, digitally transformed organizations—so-called “digital leaders”—quantifiably outperform their counterpart “digital laggards.” What often distinguishes these “digital leaders” is their commitment to rethinking their business models and operations through the lens of digitization. One way that organizations are transforming their business models and operations is through corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) Android devices.


COSU is a device configuration capability built into Android for Work. It leverages widely available, inexpensive, pre-built Android devices to create white-labeled hardware. Engineers can then leverage the free Android Open Source Project and tools available in Google’s Android Studio to efficiently build out custom interfaces.

black POS kiosk cosu android device

Examples include:

  • Kiosk single-function devices a.k.a. Smart Panels
  • Corporate-owned lockdown devices for individual users
  • Corporate-owned lockdown devices for multiple internal or external users

What are the Benefits?

This technology allows companies to experience the dramatic improvements of digitization without a significant drain on resources. For example, when companies want to mobilize or digitize a business process, they typically have two options:

  1. Find a pre-manufactured device with out-of-the-box, generic software
  2. Manufacture a custom embedded device and build software with the exact desired specifications

Both of these options are costly and time consuming. But because COSU leverages inexpensive, pre-built hardware, and allows engineers to easily build on top of existing OS, it enables engineers and product managers to accelerate the speed-to-market of their digital tools and experience significant cost savings.

Additionally COSU configuration gives companies more control over how employees (and customers) use the product.  It also compartmentalizes the operating system to deploy in a locked-down environment, running a single application or a specific set of apps. Often just one application is intended to run on the device; that’s it. By locking devices down to execute on a small range of tasks, COSU can improve security, efficiency, processes, compliance, and user experiences.

COSU In Action

Here are three examples of how COSU Android devices manifest in the real world:

big touch screen in public spaces cosu device

  1. Retail – Have you ever experienced a kiosk that came to life as you approached, or one that predicted your order before you ever made it? Chances are that you interacted a COSU Android device for retail. Today’s Point-Of-Sale Mobile Kiosks – enabled by COSU – are moving beyond simple payment enablement to include voice integration, facial recognition and predictive order algorithms.
  2. Healthcare – As healthcare becomes more connected, COSU devices are helping healthcare providers manage patient data and provide secure patient communication. For example, these devices are hard at work:
    • Assisting labeling and code application of medical records
    • Administering drugs and monitoring patient care
  3. Home SecurityHome security providers, such as Nortek Security & Controls, are offering self-contained security and control platforms – complete with smart panel COSU Android devices – that allow customers to manage a wide range of home security variables, including:
    • Temperature
    • Lights
    • Alarm, and
    • Locks

Nortek 2GIG GC3 panel exploded view revealing the encasing and the android COSU tablet

From Point of Sale, to Healthcare, to Home Security— Android COSU devices are helping a variety of industries transform their business models and operations.

Reach out and book a free consultation with the Dev IQ experts to discuss the needs of your business and how COSU can help.


Let’s build something beautiful together.

blog author Lauren Berv

Lauren Berv

Digital Alchemist at Dev IQ, hot salsa lover, and automation expert.

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