Epson releases Mopria-certified AIOs

September 19, 2014

Mopria_TM_Alliance_Pos_rgb_092413OEM launches its first printers certified under Mopria Alliance, making printing experience more accessible for mobile device users.

Epson announced that home and business users can now benefit from its latest Mopria-certified all-in-one (AIO) printers, which have been designed to deliver an “intuitive mobile printing experience” as the need for mobile printing increases with the growing ownership of smartphones and tablets; with ownership of such devices expected to reach 5.1 billion worldwide by 2018.

The Mopria Alliance was formed a year ago as a result of this growing requirement for mobile printing, with Epson, Canon, HP, Lexmark, Xerox, Kyocera, Konica Minolta and Samsung all joining the alliance to advance mobile print standards in order to allow business and home users to print “regardless of brand, device or operating system”.

Epson stated that its mobile print efforts aim to “embrace the rapidly evolving demands of mobile customers and the diversity of multiple operating systems”, with a “key initiative” being to deliver “intuitive” mobile printing.

The company’s Mopria-certified printers work with the Mopria Print Service New window and built-in Printing Framework in Android v4.4 or later. This means that Android 4.4 users can print from Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Drive and QuickOffice, as well as Adobe Reader and Kingsoft WPS Office App. The OEM added that 74 percent of global smartphones and tablets sold this year were Android-based, meaning that it has enabled intuitive printing for an “unprecedented” number of Android users.

Ian Cameron, who is responsible for Global Communications at Epson, said: “With global tablet and smartphone sales more than five times greater than desktop sales and two of five employees using smartphones on the job, the need for intuitive mobile printing options and support is apparent. Epson is proud to actively support an industry-wide movement to streamline mobile printing ease-of-use and accessibility.”

The Recycler reported in April on Lexmark’s announcement that several of its product lines received Mopria certification; while in June Konica Minolta announced it had become a board member of the alliance.

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Xerox releases new devices and software upgrades

September 18, 2014

Xerox's WorkCentre 6655

Xerox’s WorkCentre 6655

The OEM launched four new WorkCentre MFPs and upgraded its ConnectKey software.

Channel Biz reported on the product launch from Xerox, which has seen upgrades to its ConnectKey software and hardware and four new MFPs released to “meet the changing needs of a mobile workforce” and “improve mobile access” to its devices.

The upgraded ConnectKey 1.5 software has made it “easier for partners to customise” machine displays for user applications, with the software’s intent to “expand the capabilities of Xerox MFPs beyond basic print, scan, fax and copy functions”, with improved access to cloud printing and collaborative project generation. The OEM has concentrated on three central pillars – Expand, Connect and Simplify – to “serve existing customer[s]” and “acquire new customers”.

Device-wise, four new models were launched by Xerox under its WorkCentre range, including the 6655 colour A4 MFP, the 3655 monochrome A4 MFP, the 7970 colour A3 MFP, and the 5945/5955 monochrome A3 MFP. The 6655 features a print capacity of 1,250-sheets, duplexing and print speeds of 36ppm, whilst the 3655 has a capacity of 2,350 sheets and print speeds of 47ppm.

The 7970 meanwhile has higher speeds of 70ppm alongside folding capabilities and “enhanced productivity and flexibility in app creation”, while the 5945/5955 machines have a “clean-sheet design to offer sharp image quality”, using LED technology and emulsion aggregation toner, alongside print speeds of 45 to 55ppm.

Toni Clayton-Hine, Xerox’s Vice President for Channel Partner Operations, stated: “This idea of acquiring new customers is a very specific focus for Xerox. That’s why we are introducing something called The Keys to New Business.

“For those of us who have been in the channel for a very long time, we know that 80 percent of a partner’s business comes from existing customers. But when you look at the commoditisation of an actual product and margin pressure – not just for the product, but also for the services – a partner, no matter what type they are, can’t grow without focusing on capturing net new customers.”

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HP expands OfficeJet Pro range in UK

September 17, 2014

hp1Two new machines are said to “make printing easier” and “cut operating costs”.

The two new machines, the OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-AIO and the 6230 ePrinter, are said by the OEM to “make printing easier and help cut operating costs for small and medium-sized businesses”. The printers produce “laser-like” prints for “up to 50 percent less cost-per-page than competitive colour laser printers”.

The devices offer faster print speeds and higher duty cycles, which HP states help businesses “reduce operating costs while maintaining a high quality of printing”, with automatic duplexing, ENERGY STAR accreditation and mobile connectivity allowing for energy-efficient printing as well as mobile printing from a range of smartphones and tablets through HP’s own mobile printing services as well as iOS and Android products.

Other features of the devices include a “gesture-enabled” colour touchscreen featuring a “revamped” interface, and the 6830 is eligible for use with HP’s Instant Ink service, which it defines as an “ink replacement service saving customers up to 70 percent on original HP ink”, with the service already available in both the USA and the UK.

Mark Quiroz, Vice President of Current Business Management, Inkjet and Printing Solutions at HP, commented: “HP is committed to providing cost-friendly and effective printing solutions for small and medium sized businesses. With the addition of the HP Officejet Pro 6830 and HP Officejet 6230 to the SMB inkjet portfolio, we are providing a wider range of affordable and hassle-free mobile printing options to improve daily workflow.”

The Officejet Pro 6830 will be available in the UK from October for £129.99 ($212.60/€163.96), whilst the 6230 will be available in November for £69.99 ($114.47/€88.28).

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ECi integrates software with new company

September 17, 2014

The company’s subsidiary Digital Gateway will integrate its e-automate software with Etactics.ecilogo

Digital Gateway’s e-automate ERP (enterprise resource planning) software has previously been integrated with remanufacturer TonerCycle/InkCycle, and the new partnership with business services company Etactics will see the integration of the software “provide additional invoice and statement solutions to Digital Gateway’s 1,400-plus e-customers”.

This integration “will simplify creation and delivery” of the aforementioned invoices and statements, with the new relationship providing dealers with an “additional solution”, offering the option to provide Etactics with invoice data “that will allow them to re-engineer and deliver invoices or statements to their end-users in an automated manner”.

Dealers using the e-automate software will also be given the chance to “automate the invoice delivery process” , with business rules employed to “automate the delivery of the printed document using one of their four delivery methods – USPS, fax server, electronic presentment or a mobile device”. The well-formatted invoice’s quicker passage to the end-user will “have a positive impact on managing again receivables and allow dealers to better manage cash”.

Laryssa Alexander, President of ECi’s Service Technology Division, stated: “We are excited about this strategic alliance with Etactics. Our customers will have the benefit of creating custom invoices that incorporate their data and employ a format that makes it easy for the end user to remit payment.

“Our industry has complex agreements with high transaction volumes. Accounting for all of the transactional data an end user requires on an invoice or statement can be a challenge. DGI’s integration of e?automate with the Etactics products will provide the dealer community with custom invoice or statement solutions that best address these ever?changing requirements.”

Bill Salm, Jr., Vice President of Etactics, added: “We realise the importance of helping preserve the ERP investments of dealers by providing our complementary invoicing solutions to the e?automate dealer base. Our solutions enhance the robust nature of Digital Gateway’s existing ERP portfolio. It’s a resounding message to their dealer community that Digital Gateway continues to source partners that bring greater value to the relationship.”

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Inkjet printer used to diagnose diabetes

September 16, 2014

inkjetdiabetesA team of researchers created a diabetes testing system using an inkjet printer.

The Conversation reported on Tsinghua University’s Yifei Zhang and colleagues, who published results from an experiment in the Chemical Communications journal regarding their work on turning an inkjet printer “into a chemistry lab and us[ing] it to diagnose diabetes”.

The site notes that inkjet printers are “an astonishing feat of precision engineering”, due to their ability to “achieve more than a million different hues and shades” from “mere nanolitres” of ink with “pinpoint accuracy”, and Yifei and his team have “exploit[ed] that precision engineering” to “screen millions of different chemical reactions”.

The team had been “trying to understand reaction pathways in living things”, with chemical processes in living organisms “controlled by a cascade of reactions” that are “mediated by […] enzymes” in a procedure similar to “workers on a production line”, in this case creating molecules. Reconstructing the process is “difficult” outside of a living cell, with a “vast number of reactions” monitored at once using 96-well plates – small containers of a “unique combination of chemicals”.

Whilst these reactions “might be set up manually” or by an “expensive robot”, the process is often slow, and so the team used a printer for its cheaper operation, replacing the inks with “solutions of enzymes” to create a device “that has the potential to dispense more than a million different reaction mixtures”. The coloured reaction products were printed directly onto paper, with higher-intensity colours showing “which reaction mixtures worked best”.

As potential applications “extend beyond curiosity-driven research”, the team loaded the printer’s cartridges with enzymes that could “indicate the presence of glucose in a sample”, with glucose in urine “an indication of diabetes”, with the site predicting a future “where a trip to the doctors results in a printout of, quite literally, your urine and some enzymes alongside, after 30 seconds or so, a diagnosis and the prescription”.

Researchers have previously used inkjet printers to print living cells, as well as eye cells, and recently computer memory was printed onto paper through an inkjet printer.

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Printer hacked to run video game

September 16, 2014

Credit: Context IS

Credit: Context IS

Canon Pixma printer’s security flaws highlighted by security researcher, who was able to run the video game Doom on the device’s hardware.

BBC News reported that security researcher Michael Jordon took four months to hack into a Canon Pixma printer and run the Doom videogame on its hardware, with the hack demonstrating security issues many printers have.

The Canon Pixma range, as with most other printers, can be accessed via the internet to enable users to check on the device’s status, but Jordon, who works for Context Information Security, found that this function had not been adequately secured by Canon as he explained that “the web interface has no user name or password on it”; meaning that anyone would be able to access the device’s status once they find it using a search engine.

The article states that “thousands of potentially vulnerable Pixma printers” are “already discoverable online” via search engines such as Shodan, although “there is no evidence that anyone is attacking printers” using the same method as Jordon.

Jordon found that the issue with the printer’s remote access feature was that hackers would be able to update the printer’s firmware via the interface, despite the firmware being encrypted, as “it was possible to crack this protection system to reveal the core computer code”. It was also found that by “reverse engineering” Canon’s encryption system, Jordon was able to write his own firmware which “the printer should accept […] as authentic”. As a result, he was able to run the 1993 videogame, Doom, on the printer.

Jordon explained that while the printer’s colour palette wasn’t quite up to scratch, “the game is recognisably Doom”, adding that “the printer has a 32-bit Arm processor, 10mb of memory and even the screen is the right size […] I had all the bits, but it was a coding problem to get it all running together”.

Months of coding was involved in order to get the game running, as “the printer’s firmware lacked functions provided by the operating system on any PC or other device it was running on” and so the game needed to be converted “so it coped with the internal idiosyncrasies of the printer”.

Jordon said: “The colour palette is still not quite right […] but it proves the point and it runs quite quickly, though it’s not optimised.”

Canon commented on Jordon’s blog about the work that it intended “to provide a fix as quickly as is feasible” to prevent further hacks to its Pixma printers; with this reportedly set to involve “adding a user name and password field to the web interface for future Pixma printers and issuing an update for existing owners to add the same feature”.

The Recycler has reported on numerous printer security breaches in the past, with HP forced to issue a critical security update to patch a security problem with its LaserJet Pro printers last year and the OEM recently launching a portfolio of printer products and services designed to offer devices with the same level of security as PCs and servers.

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HP launches two new inkjet machines

September 15, 2014

The OEM released two AIOs.

HP's OfficeJet Pro 6830

HP’s OfficeJet Pro 6830

ITWire reported on a range of new products from HP, including two new AIOs, the 7640 e-AIO and the OfficeJet Pro 6380 e-AIO, both under the Envy brand. The 7640 features print speeds of 14ppm in monochrome and nine ppm in colour as well as wireless connectivity, NFC (near-field communication) technology and mobile printing compatibility.

The 7640 is said to be at the “top end of the home budget” at $229 (€176), and uses HP’s Tri-colour cartridges alongside a separate black cartridge, with two lower-specified models available as well – the 5640, at $149 (€115), and the 5530, at $119 (€91), to “cover all bases” for consumers.

The OfficeJet Pro 6830 meanwhile features print speeds of 18ppm in monochrome and 10ppm in colour, with a 15,000 page monthly duty cycle alongside four separate inkjet cartridges. The device, the site adds, is “aimed at small workgroups that want internet connectivity and e-print compatibility”, and uses four separate inkjet cartridges “for better economy” at a price of $229 (€176).

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Sexism prevalent in UK tech industry

September 9, 2014

INPE0988Survey finds 71 percent of women working in the tech industry label sexism as an industry problem.

A survey conducted by UK online accounting firm Crunch Accounting has found that 43 percent of female respondents who work in the tech or IT industries have witnessed or experienced sexism in the workplace, with 71 percent labelling it as an industry issue.

500 IT workers from across the UK were polled between 1 and 22 July 2014 about their experiences relating to sexism and gender discrimination, with views differing between male and female workers. Over half of female respondents described the workplace sexism problem as ‘moderate’ or ‘extreme’, compared to 32 percent of male respondents. Meanwhile, 28 percent of male respondents indicated their belief that sexism was not a problem in the tech sector, compared to 14 percent of female respondents.

The problem worsens as it was found that just 45 percent of respondents said they would report a sexist act to management, while 29 percent said they would leave the issue unreported and 26 percent said they were unsure if they would take the issue further.

Commenting on the findings, Laurence Barry, Development Manager at Crunch Accounting, said: “There is a serious shortage of skilled tech workers in this country and yet we may be discouraging half the potential candidates from a sustained career in this industry with outdated sexism. It is a problem that the entire industry needs to address. That needs to start with all tech workers, male and female, taking responsibility for reporting and responding to any sexism they experience in the workplace and with managers treating it as a serious problem.

“We also need more women in STEM education at all levels, so that the tech industries are recruiting higher numbers of female STEM graduates. This leads to a virtuous circle, because the more women we have in technology the more we see how false that gender gap is and we breakdown those barriers.”

He added: “We are seeing huge growth in female entrepreneurship amongst our clients and have a growing number of women in our Development department at Crunch, so I think we can see a very bright future where sexism in the tech industry is just a distant memory. But we still have work to do, as an industry, to achieve that.”

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Epson launches “world’s smallest” A4 inkjet printer

September 8, 2014

Epson workforce wf-100wWorkforce WF-100W is aimed at mobile workers due to its easy transportation.

Techradar reported on Epson’s launch of the Workforce WF-100W, said to be the world’s smallest and lightest commercial A4 inkjet printer, with the device being “slightly thicker than an A4 reach and […] about two-thirds the size” and weighing 1.6 kilograms.

The printer can also be “comfortably transported: due to its “brick form factor”, and has an “integrated Li-Ion battery” which is able to be recharged using a USB port or a bundled AC adaptor. Other features include a “tiny” LDC display showing “essential characteristics” of a print job along with the printer’s status; a paper tray with a 50-sheet capacity; and Wi-Fi capabilities as users can connect to it “directly via Wi-Fi or as a networked printer” as well as through an Epson app. It is also compatible with Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint.

In terms of cartridges, the device uses two ink cartridges and pigment ink.

Aimed at “mobile workers looking to print low quantity invoices, designs or other documents on the move”, the Workforce WF-100W will be available in Europe at a price of €299 ($387).

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Samsung introduces Android-powered MFPs

September 5, 2014

samsung_smart_multixpress_android_1m10 MFPs the “first of their kind” to run on Android operating system.

Samsung announced the release of 10 Android-based MFPs in the European market, with the devices described as having “a more independent, intuitive and scalable design” to benefit “all types” of business environments.

The OEM claims that the Smart MultiXpress MFPs are a “world first” in terms of them being equipped with an Android operating system, and feature Samsung’s Smart UX Center, enabling them to operate independently without a PC. They each feature a 10.1-inch touchscreen panel through which users can search and print from web browsers, emails, maps and images without needing to connect to a PC or server, with the touchscreen also providing users with the ability to preview, edit and annotate documents prior to printing.

In terms of connectivity, the Android OS enables the devices to have “limitless printing app scalability”, allowing for on-the-go connectivity via Samsung Cloud Print. The MFPs have also been upgraded to NFC Pro in order to meet the changing needs of the B2B market, with the new Samsung NFC Pro allowing for easy access from smartphones for mobile printing, a stronger authentication process, and improved IT administrative functions; including the ability to “clone” identical security settings onto multiple MFPs by tapping on the NFC Pro accessory.

Samsung stated that the launch of the new machines “will both increase business customers’ efficiency and productivity” and enable faster document processing, with output speed “up to 1.5 times faster” than previous 1GHz single-core CPU due to its 1GHz dual-core CPU, with more than one user able to print and scan documents “without disruption”.

In terms of consumables, the devices offer longer lasting toner and drum technologies “resulting in superior reliability and lower total cost of ownership”.

Dr. KiHo Kim, Executive Vice President of Printing Solutions at Samsung Electronics, said: “As Samsung continues to strive for user-centred innovation, the introduction of the first Android OS-equipped MFPs will enhance Samsung’s smart office experience for business customers and allow for greater multidimensional and advanced printing technologies. Our new printer line combines Samsung’s best in class IT technology and OA device know-how to create more innovative products for the new office automation market.”

Kim added: “As our B2B customers’ work styles and processes continue to become more mobile and untethered from PCs, Samsung will continue to provide new printing solutions that feature intuitive user interfaces, superior performance, and above all else, increased efficiency and productivity for the mobile and fluid workplace.”

The new Smart MultiXpress series consists of: the X4300 series of A3 Colour MFPs, including the X4300LX, X4250LX, and X4220RX models; the K4350 series of A3 monochrome MFPs,including the K4350LX, K4300LX, and K4250RX models; theM5370 series of A4 monochrome MFPs, including the M5370LX and M4370LX models; and theM4580 series of A4 monochrome MFPs, including the M4580FX and M4583FX models.

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