This Week in Imaging: What Epson’s 100-PPM A3 Inkjet MFP Has, Doesn’t Have; Voice-Driven Samsung MFPs?

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Among the big news this week was Epson America’s new 100-ppm, A3 color-inkjet WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590, which Epson is distributing via Business Technology Association dealers. As seen in the photo below, it appears to offer everything that traditional laser-based A3 MFPs offer, including optional document-finishing and expansive paper capacity:

It also features a 9″ touchscreen, PCL and Adobe PostScript print drivers, mobile printing, standard wireless and wired connectivity, etc., and the Epson Open Platform for incorporating solutions such as PaperCut MF for tracking activity and limiting access, and an SDK to assist partners in developing solutions is available.

What doesn’t the WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 have? Well, for one, its only consumables are five ink cartridges (two black ink cartridges, and one each of yellow, cyan, and magenta), shown below – but no imaging drums, fusers, belts, developer, etc., making for much easier consumables-replacement.

There’s also fewer moving parts, and less heat required, and fewer steps in the imaging process, for better reliability and less parts-replacement:

As for eco-friendliness, its power consumption is just a fraction of that of laser-based counterparts. Maximum power consumption is a measly 320 watts, and standalone copying consumes just 180 watts. A typical laser counterpart uses up to about twice that.

Last, but not least, it works with 110 V panels, so a dedicated outlet isn’t required.

All-in-all, this appears to be a compelling offering from Epson, and, while many customers (and dealers, due to a potential decrease in supply and service revenue) will still probably favor laser over inkjet, there’s a lot to like here.

Today, we can drive our television and entertainment – and tell our cars where we want them to take us – with the Alexa voice system, but what about our printers and MFPs? Wouldn’t it be nice, instead of programming a touchscreen to make five sets of a document, to just simply just tell the MFP to do so? Or to tell it to scan and scan a document to a colleague’s email address?

That scenario might not be too far-fetched. This week in a blog post, the head of Samsung Printing Solutions’ Software Development Lab, Kim Hyuck, discussed the development of Samsung’s Smart UX for Samsung MFP control panels. Hyuck also intriguingly commented on what may lay in store for Samsung MFPs – including auditory capability:

“We included an audio system with an audible guide and special buttons on the current GUI, which was intended for the visually impaired. I believe that the next-generation GUI will involve more in the way of audio technology—one that will perhaps listen to user’s commands and take actions.”

The most likely pitfall of voice commands would be that the system would hear and interpret the command incorrectly – for instance, it would make 10 copies of a set instead of five, or send a scanned document to the wrong email address or account at Google Drive. To prevent this, the touchscreen would most likely have to display the specified command – and the user would have to confirm it – so that the user could take corrective action if needed. But, other than that, what’s not to like?

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