Sharp National Dealer Meeting: Foxconn Benefits, Smart Office, Smart MFPs, Smart Meetings, and More
New A3 mid-speed copier/MFPs that’ll be available early next year consist of: the Mono Advanced 30/35/40/50/60 and Mono Essentials 30/35/40/50/60. New A3 mid-volume models available next year consist of the Color Essentials 26 and Mono Essentials 26. Sharp will debut its new next-generation A3 color copier/MFP in its fourth quarter.
Also new are Sharp’s next-generation A3 high-volume color systems for light production and/or high-volume office, the MX-8090N/MX7090N, which feature faster print speed at up to 80/70 ppm. But perhaps more of note are the systems’ image-quality enhancements, particularly fuser enhancements. The MX-8090N/MX7090N replace the MX-6500N and MX-7500N, respectfully, and feature three optional controllers, including two optional EFI Fiery Print Servers that feature the latest FS300 Pro and FS300 platforms. They’ll be available early next year.
With its copier/MFPs and production printers, Sharp is on a three-year product-refreshment cycle. Products will feature a common interface, shared supplies, the same accessories, and common parts.
As part of its category-diversification strategy, Sharp also introduced the Thecus file-sharing device. Last year, Foxconn acquired Thecus, so this is likely an example of products we may see available from Sharp through its connection with Foxconn.
The “Bot” and Amazon Alexa for Business
As part of its smart-office vision, Sharp executives also introduced what they’re (temporarily) calling “the bot,” a small black device that’s about a foot high and can sit on a desktop (an official name should be coming in January). With it, users can employ voice-activated commands to start a meeting, open materials, remotely communicate, and end meetings. It can take notes, and, at the end of meeting, can be configured to print the contents of the meeting. It has a 360-degree camera for photo recognition for security.
Although initially designed to assist in the meeting room, Sharp says it’s going beyond the meeting room with the bot – other forms will be suitable for the office, and will “bring you the information you need where you need it.”
Underlining its AIIoT strategy, Sharp also announced that it’s the first copier/MFP vendor working with Amazon Web Services on Amazon’s Alexa for Business voice-recognition command system. With Alexa for Business, workers can initiate meetings, turn on video-conferencing equipment, dial-into a conference call, and gets a meeting going. It can also be configured to provide directions for around the office, find an open conference room, report a building-equipment problem, order new supplies, make calls, send messages, find information in popular business applications such as Salesforce, Concur, Splunk and more.
Sharp also showed its new 8C-B60A 8K (60p) professional camcorder (below), said to be the world’s first system integrating video shooting and recording, playback, and line output. It’s part of Sharp’s strategy to disseminate 8K image content and establish an 8K ecosystem.
See News from Sharp’s 2017 National Dealer Meeting, from a deeper dive into these new products.