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MPS solution transitioning technology developed

August 28, 2015

PrintTrackerPrint Tracker, a US MPS software provider, has added a ‘Customer List Import’ feature to its offering.

It works by populating the Print Tracker customer list with the dealer’s customer list, which acts as a reminder to let dealers know of clients or locations where deployment is still needed, MPS Connect reported. The feature can be combined with One-Click deployment to send site-specific deployment steps via email and quickly get Print Tracker monitoring a customer’s fleet.

The Customer List Import is a standard feature in the Print Tracker Admin utility, with a user’s guide and best deployment practice information available on the group’s website and blogs.

Print Tracker is an Idaho-based company which provides metre gathering software, fast metre capture, alert generation, service and metre viewers, customised reporting and TCO (total cost of ownership) estimators.

 

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Canon ColorWave 700 launches in South Africa

August 21, 2015

Canon ColorwaveThe printer is the first of the series to arrive in the country, following its European launch in February.

IT Online reported reported on the release of the “high-performance colour system” which is available as a printer only or as an MFP, and was first launched with the ColorWave 500 earlier in 2015.

Media up to 0.8mm in thickness are supported, while six loads of media can be loaded at once, making the device appropriate for wallpaper and banner printing.

Prakash Naidoo, National Product Maanager, Canon SA’s Business Imaging Group, said: “Our local customers already use ColorWave printers as central workstations for their businesses, from printing full colour technical drawings and illustrations to large scale poster campaigns.

“The Océ ColorWave 700 expands on this, adding more potential applications such as personalised wallpaper printing. Companies want greater versatility and more capabilities to empower creativity, without increasing the complexity of use.”

He added: “It is a highly capable all-rounder to suit high volume and high demand environments while remaining easy-to-use and intuitive.”

 

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US consumer awareness of cloud surveyed

August 21, 2015

canonpixmacloudlinkMost respondents do not pay for the service they use, although they were “receptive to the idea of ad-supported cloud services”.

American consumers were asked by InfoTrends about their awareness of how to use online cloud services for storing, protecting, accessing and sharing files, particularly personal photos.

Users generally know what the benefits of the technology are and think that it provides the features they feel are most essential to their work and are therefore happy to pay for the service, as an ad-supported version “may be an easier way to generate revenue than to rely on converting free users to paid subscribers”.

More than half of the cloud users in the survey were “interested in allowing vendors access to their photos”, a much higher percentage than in 2013, and InfoTrends recommends that providers look at starting or expanding partnerships with photo prints vendors and custom photo merchandise.

A report was released earlier this month predicted the cloud software revenue will surpass $112.8 billion (€102.2 billion) by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3 percent.

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Konica Minolta creates MFP customisation app

August 20, 2015

Konica-MinoltaThe Chameleon app, available on the OEM’s bizhub MarketPlace store, allows users to “fully customise” their control panel and “streamline workflow functionality right at the user interface”.

Unique interfaces can be installed via the app, enabling customers to reduce the number of clicks needed to perform a task; remove unnecessary options or ones that should not be modified by the end-user; highlight important features; customise the MFP to fit the organisation’s standards, MPS Connect reported.

Customers can add company colours, logos and/or images to the background, helping them “extend their company’s corporate culture and ensure corporate consistency throughout the workplace”. Once logged into Chameleon on bizhub MarketPlace, they can then drag and drop the functions they want to appear on the touchscreens, minimising the time and keystrokes needed to perform functions.

Streamlined functionality is also a feature of the Chameleon app, facilitating efficient management of bizhub MarketPlace apps and devices by various departments within a group. Administrators are also given more control over how apps and custom touch screens are displayed on the MFP, and can choose specific apps to feature on the Home Screen, or create a custom touch screen to appear when the printer is turned on.

One centralised location can be allocated from which this is all done remotely, while the bespoke design tool is free for all bizhub MarketPlace users. There is no limit to how many custom panels can be created, but a Custom Panel Device Licence must be purchased and installed before it can be installed.

Sam Errigo, Senior VP of Business Intelligence Services, Konica Minolta, said: “bizhub Marketplace Chameleon is a revolutionary offering; the first solution allowing customers to optimize their MFP user experience and reduce the number of button clicks needed to complete basic functions at the control panel.

“bizhub MarketPlace Chameleon addresses the most important challenge faced by companies: finding a simpler and faster way to work, save and share information.”

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Brother releases new scanners in UAE

August 20, 2015

PDS-5000The PDS-5000 and PDS-6000 are designed for high-volume scanning for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

Aimed at the healthcare, retail, education, finance and legal industries, the devices have a daily duty cycle of up to 6,000 pages and can scan single- and double-sized sheets in a single pass, in colour and black/white, at a maximum 60ppm, AlBawaba business reported. They can also scan at up to 600 dpi resolution and have numerous image optimisation features including multistream, edge clean-up, hole punch removal and despeckle.

Also featured is the Kofax VRS Compatible software, an ultrasonic multifeed detection and batch barcode support for file sorting, and the scanners are Windows, Mac and Linux compatible. The machines are part of a wider effort to help companies “optimise the use of printers and scanners”, addressing SMEs’ needs for document capture, increasing speed for higher quality and larger files.

Kofax VRS compatibility enables optimum quality through improved optical character recognition (OCR) processing. The models also work with a USB 3.0 interface and at speed up to 60ppm for the PDS-5000 and 80ppm for the PDS-6000.

Soichi Murakami, MD of Brother, said: “SMBs count on Brother for reliable and innovative business solutions. These new desktop scanners with enhanced features and interoperability can help SMBs transform manual paper processes into easy and efficient electronic document workflows.

“In addition, these scanners allow customers to store data and communicate information that historically has been locked in hard-copy form.”

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3D printer system for dentures cleared for marketing

August 19, 2015

DentcaThe US Food and Drug Administration ruled that Dentca’s Denture Base system was similar enough to Dentsply’s Trubyte Denture Base Resin System to not need safety checks.

Dentists may soon be able to make dentures at their offices as the innovation is cleared, although the system is designed for laboratory use, Medscape reported. The approved system begins with the standard casting impression of the mouth in the dentist office, which is converted into a digital image via an optical impression system.

A stereolithographic laser printer then adds layer on layer of material to create the denture base, which is then added to the preformed plastic teeth and cured in a light chamber. The finished dentures are sent back to the dentist for fitting.

In both the Dentca and Dentsply processes, the bases are made by adding multiple layers, which are each light cured before the next layer is added, but the Dentsply system has laboratory technicians manually create the layers, rather than a stereolithographic printer.

Researcher Hiroshi Hirayama experimented with the new technology at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, conducting prosthodontics research until his retirement last year. The Recycler reported on another medical printing innovation at the US university in July 2015, as researchers created a smart ink that could be used on medical gloves.

Patients at Hirayama’s private clinic were very satisfied with the 3D printed dentures, apart from problems with unstable fits. He said that “3D dentures have a huge potential to provide above-standard-care quality of denture treatment in underserved areas anywhere in the world by improving much more standardized digital denture protocols and measurements”.

Sun Kwon, CEO of Dentca, said: “This clearance completely revolutionizes the denture manufacture process, which has barely changed in over 100 years.”

“Dental schools should get the digital dentures in the curriculum and teach students how to do it,” he said.

Looking forward, digital scanning and computer-aided design may be used more to facilitate digital construction of denture bases, Hirayama predicts, although 3D printers may not be ready to be installed in dentist’s offices because of the cost. Yet Dentca still believes the technology has huge potential, citing an estimate by SmarTech Markets Publishing that the 3D-printed dental hardware, materials, and components market will be worth $2 billion (€1.8 billion) market in 2016, rising to $3.1 billion (€2.8 billion) by 2020.

 

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Canon adds AirPrint support to PIXMA range

August 19, 2015

canonpixmameThe feature is being added to the OEM’s new wireless devices, including the PIXMA MG7720, MG6800 and MG5700 series.

Canon said that the Apple AirPrint will be available on the PIXMA MG 7720, MG6820, MG6821, MG5720, MG5721 and MG5722 MFPs, allowing users to print from iPhones, iPads and iPods. As well as the newly released models, the technology will be available on the MG3620, MX922, MX532, MX492, iX6820 and iP8720 models.

A full list of the compatible PIXMA printers is available here: www.usa.canon.com/AirPrint.

 

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Innovation concerns fueling 3D printing slowdown

August 18, 2015

HP's upcoming immersive computer will feature 3D scanning

HP’s upcoming immersive computer will feature 3D scanning

Fear of timing innovations poorly and increasing competition have led to the recent earning slumps recorded by 3D printer manufacturers, an industry writer has said.

3DPrint.com’s Brian Krassenstein says that the current slowdown for groups like 3D Systems and Stratasys is “more than just a cyclical lull”. Similar to the regret a consumer feels when having brought the latest smartphone and a new model comes out just two weeks later, “companies are afraid of purchasing a 3D printer that’s on the market new for fear of bad timing”.

As Brian Drab, Analyst for William Blair & Co., told the Wall Street Journal: “We’ve gone through an early adopter phase where [companies] bought printers to convey innovation. We’re going into more mainstream adoption where you’re going to look silly if you make a capital investment in a printer that runs at 5% of the speed that’s coming onto the market. Why not wait?”

Krassenstein comments that there are devices being developed that could improve on what is currently on the market, giving the examples of HP, Carbon 3D and “others […] working on 3D printers which could drastically improve quality and turnaround times of printed objects”. HP said in April 2015 that it would launch its Multi Jet Fusion technology for 3D printing in late 2016, and it was announced in July 2015 that its upcoming immersive computer would feature 3D scanning technology.

The writer adds that “there is little doubt” that groups like Stratasys and 3D Systems have their own research going into upgrades, yet “businesses may be waiting a year or two for their next major capital expenditure”, reducing overall revenue for the major industry players for now.

This last consideration brings his thought on to the effect of competitors on the current slump, as “it’s not necessarily true that they [customers] will be purchasing their next new machine from any of the major established players” who currently dominate the industry. Mentioning HP’s Multi Jet Fusion project and Carbon3D’s CLIP 3D, Krassenstein said that along with a growing demand for 3D printing is the supply, as “new startups as well as established tech companies enter a space which has traditionally been ruled by only a handful of manufacturers”.

Growing competition will cause prices to drop, while R&D expenses increase and margins shrink, as “is to be expected within any growing industry”, and has just begun to happen in the 3D printing space. “The established companies will need to leverage their intellectual property and use their experience to outwit, outpace and outperform the competition”, he writes, “ in order to remain on target with their current guidance”.

Krassenstein concludes that despite the difficult climate for investment, technology enhancements will improve product reliability and encourage a fall in prices, and “we will likely see a major increase in the adoption rates of new machines by businesses around the world”.

 

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Cloud software revenue to surpass $112.8 billion by 2019

August 18, 2015

cloudThe market achieved $48.8 billion (€44.2 billion) in 2014, at a year-on-year growth rate of 24.4 percent.

According to a study by IDC, cloud software will surpass $112.8 billion (€102.2 billion) by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3 percent. The research group also predicts that SaaS delivery will be far more successful than traditional software product delivery methods, growing almost give times faster and becoming an important growth driver to all functional software markets.

IDC further anticipates that by 2019, the cloud software model will account for $1 (€0.90) of every $4.59 (€4.15) spent on software.

Robert P. Mahowald, Program Vice President of IDC’s SaaS and Cloud Services research practice, said: “Figuring out how to find and capitalise on the enormous cloud services transformation is the number one strategic goal of all major IT product vendors. SaaS, and broader public cloud opportunities, represents both a tremendous challenge to meet change head-on and a huge opportunity to realign with partners, create new capabilities, move into new markets, and define new leaders.”

 

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Canon extends PIXMA range with cloud devices

August 18, 2015

Canon MG7720The PIXMA MG7720, MG6800 and MG5700 series MFPs allow printing directly from an Instagram account or public images from feeds.

Cloud compatibility is built into the printers and connection to a computer, tablet or smartphone is not needed, TechRadar reported. They also have SlideShare printing and scanned images can be uploaded to OneNote from the printer, avoiding the need to connect to a PC.

Canon said that each model can print and scan directly “to several of the most popular online social platforms and services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, Dropbox, Evernote, Creative Park, Google Drive and Microsoft® OneDrive”. The OEM said that the new devices are up to 30 percent faster than the models they replace, offering a “better experience” printing from a smartphone or tablet, via the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY mobile app.

Also featured in each of the devices is “Auto Power On/Off functionality, Auto Two-sided Print and PictBridge printing via wireless LAN for a direct connection to select Canon Digital Cameras”, while the printers come bundled with Canon’s My Image Garden software for editing and sharing photos.

The MG7720 is intended as a flagship model in the PIXMA lineup. It features a 3.5-inch touchscreen with the OEM’s touch UI to facilitate navigating the menus and features six individual ink tanks that Canon says produce “photo lab quality photos at home and professional looking documents”. It is available in black, white, gold and red for $199 (€179).

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