This Week in Imaging: Robots Next for Konica Minolta? New Hardware from OKI, Canon, Epson, Xerox; More

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKonica Minolta seems to be one of those companies always willing to experiment and take chances – for instance, it’s the first office-imaging firm to market 3D printers in the United States – and this week we got a look at that at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.’s annual dealer meeting.

While Konica Minolta announced several important new offerings at the event, it also showcased interesting new technology from third parties that it’s been exploring – including robots from Knightscope Robotics. Pictured below, these roving robots are equipped with video camera, thermal-imaging sensors, laser-range finder, radar, air-quality sensors, and a microphone, all used to detect crime or potential crime. They’re not supposed to replace human security guards, just to provide another set of eyes and ears. Is this something office-equipment dealers could sell? Well, back in the day, there was a lot of doubt about whether they could sell printers – but that doubt was quickly put to rest – and these days, what large enterprises couldn’t do with something extra to keep an eye on things?

On the office side of things, A4 keeps seems to be doing well for the firm, with a 23-percent increase in sales of A4 mono units, and a 71-percent increase in sales of A4 color units. For the latest look at Konica Minolta’s entire financial results, see our February 2015 story, Healthy Growth for Konica Minolta as Business Technologies Business Drives Sales.

Also new this week was Canon Inc.’s announcement that it’ll be targeting some 4 million SOHO customers in India with its new MAXIFY series of business-class inkjet printers and All-in-Ones. We’ve had the opportunity to get our hands on several MAXIFY models for testing, and came away impressed by their performance for the most part. As with most printers, MFPs, and All-in-One that we’ve tested, they’re not quite perfect, nor industry-leading, but they are highly competitive and showcase Canon’s considerable manufacturing prowess.

Feature Stories

  • Konica Minolta to Provide MWAI Forza ERP Platform for Easier Dealership Management, Expands EFI Offerings – Read more here.

Product News

  • New OKI C931e, C941e for Both Traditional and Unique Graphic-Arts and Production Printing   Read more here.
  • New Oce ColorWave 500 MFP for CAD and GIS, Oce 700 Printer for Color Graphics   Read more here.
  • New Epson Demonstrates SureColor F-Series’ Textile-Printing Power at NYC Fashion Week   Read more here.
  • Canon Launches Maxify Business-Inkjet Models in India, Aims to Reach 4 Million SOHO Customers   Read more here.
  • Xerox’s Unique New DocuMate 5540 Scanner Features Both Platen and Document Feeder   Read more here.
  • New $69.99 Desktop Document Scanner, Perfection V19, from Epson – Read more here.
  • New Mobile-Friendly Xerox Desktop Color Printer, MFP with Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, WiFi-Direct Mobile Printing   Read more here.

Legal Briefs

  • International Laser Group Agrees Not to Sell Disputed Toner for Use with Canon Printers   Read more here.

Other News

  • IDC: Western Europe Printer, MFP Shipments Show Slight Decline, Business Inkjets Make Gains   Read more here.
  • Canon Now Providing Dealer Gateway Cloud-Based Solution for Easier Product Info Access   Read more here.
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