Since working at gap intelligence, I have seen my fair share of product brochures, detailed data sheets and product manuals. My brain carefully archives these nuggets of data and processes them to be plugged away into our reports. I’m embarrassed to say that I find myself checking out the dimensions and features of copiers everywhere I go.
If there is one thing that all the categories tracked at gap intelligence have in common, it would be product specifications. All products from cameras to refrigerators to copiers have requirements that highlight their function and help one to compare products to their competitors. Specifications provide detailed technical characteristics of a device. The past few years, there have been new features added to multifunctional printers (MFPs) to enhance efficiency and productivity for companies. Thanks to advancements in technology, here are three of the most prominent features commonly seen in newly released MFPs in the past year.
Since 2013, near field-communication (NFC) has become an increasing standard and optional feature on multifunctional devices (see also NFC Gains Support in Inkjet Industry September 18, 2013). The technology allows for two devices, in this case a smartphone and a copier, to communicate with each other by bringing them in close proximity. Canon, HP, Konica Minolta and Ricoh are among the vendors featuring this type of connectivity with their newly launched A3 MFPs.
Image credit: veracode.com
In our busy and mobile world, mobile printing allows people to print with the use of their smartphones. Along the lines of NFC, mobile printing has been popular especially with the advent of cloud based printing. Samsung is just one example of a vendor who has heavily invested in mobile solutions with their Android-based Smart UX solutions platform for their A3 MFP copiers. (see also Samsung Printing Solutions Wants to Put a Dent in Samsung's $400B Goal February 9, 2016).
Image credit: pmi.offess.com
Tablet-Sized Touchscreen Displays
Displays have taken up more real estate on multifunctional devices in the past four years. Ten years ago vendors featured devices with 2-line LCD displays or at most a 5-inch touchscreen. The latest displays provide users an intuitive interface similar to mobile devices. Today, displays can be as large as 17-inches and look and function just like a tablet.
Image credit: ricohconfigurator.com
Multifunctional devices are constantly offering new features to differentiate from their competitors. It’s exciting to see the latest developments in MFPs as technology evolves over time and the needs of users change. What’s considered popular now may not be popular tomorrow. We’ll just have to keep checking those specification sheets to see what’s new.