What Has Printing Got In Store For 2012
As with all sectors and technologies, there is often a trend to look at what is going to be big in the upcoming year. However, a lot of the time, many of these lists can be a certain amount of guess work.
It can make a little more sense to wait for things to start moving again in the New Year before predicting what will be big over the remainder of the calendar year.
That's certainly the case within the printing world.
Obviously, many within the industry will have known about the huge potential for 3D printing to really take hold during 2012 and that has certainly been the case after it wowed many at a technology convention in the US earlier this year.
However, now that the dust has settled and the New Year celebrations are a firmly distant memory what better time to take a look at what has been announced thus far and what could snowball in 2012.
First of all, there is the exciting news that McAfee plans to integrate a great deal of its security software into Xerox printers.
The plans come amid fears that many employees within companies are not taking the threat of printer security seriously enough. This has led to the two companies teaming up to offer a range of measures.
In a survey released by the two companies, it was revealed that more than half of employees didn't always follow their organization's IT security policies while a further 21 per cent were unaware of what the policies were.
Just 13 per cent of employees said their company requires them to enter a password or pass code to access their printer, clearly a sign of a need for change.
In a further study of European and US enterprises by research firm Quocirca, it was revealed that just 15 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about losing data from printers.
In a similar development, Hewlett Packard (HP) has also announced a new feature that will be built within a certain number of its printer fleet.
That feature being a search function, with software provided by autonomy.
Frank Gillett, analyst at Forrester, told the Financial Times: "It would create an electronic document storage system that could be linked to an online HP service.
"The printer might even be able to say 'hey that looks like an insurance document and the last date of the insurance is coming up, do you want to renew?'"
As well as printers, this software could even be rolled out to mobile phones and remote devices, something which features heavily in the other predicted trend for 2012.
That trend, of course, being the ability to print wirelessly from a phone or connected laptop using 'the cloud'.
It has mainly been used via applications such as Google's Cloud Print and it means that you can easily download something in a document, on the way to work say, and then print it straight away in the office.
Alternatively, companies such as Apple, HP and Lexmark have all released similar apps and services to throw their hat into the remote printing ring.
When it comes to specific printer models, it's becoming clear that 2012 will see a rise in the benefit of cost-efficient printers.
This means that companies will have to focus on the cost of their ink cartridges and the price per page of the printers they put out.
In fact, this has become such a hot topic, that it is even set to be the subject of a discussion in US Assembly Chambers.
Posted by Fred Bugenhalgen.