In the early years of computing, printers only had one function, and that was to print pages in black and white.
Even so, printers often had a difficult time of it, often jamming and producing unreadable text. If the reader has never experienced the horrendous screech of a dot-matrix printer, they should consider themselves lucky. Like early computers, the functionality of early printers left a lot to be desired.
Fortunately, technology has improved, and not only did printers get better at their core function of printing text and images, they also took on other functions as well. Many multifunction printers now scan, copy, and fax, allowing a small office to use only a printer for functions that used to take multiple devices. In fact, many of these printers are now referred to as MFPs or multifunction printers.
Xerox recently has announced new breakthroughs that promise to make working lives easier through technology. How? By harnessing the power of apps, which are small computer programs, much like those on your phone or tablet.
Computer or Printer? You Decide!
All of Xerox’s new printers have their own computers inside, which can use apps. The user can communicate with the computer within the printer by using a tablet interface that’s built into the unit. Just like a regular tablet, the user can swipe, pinch, and scroll by using his or her fingers. Collectively, this technology is known as Xerox ConnectKey, and there’s a lot it can do.
This new line of printers is compatible with all your mobile devices. No longer will you need a computer to manage your printing – your phone or tablet will do just fine.
Also, these printers allow you to connect with some of your favorite file sharing services. Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive are all supported out of the box by AltaLink printers using ConnectKey are designed for larger offices. If you have a smaller team, Xerox also has you covered. VersaLink printers are also supported after a quick app download. All you have to do is enable the optional Wi-Fi feature.
ConnectKey Apps – Useful in Many Situations
Xerox ConnectKey apps aren’t just for file sharing. Xerox provides apps that aid productivity over a wide variety of situations, such as translating documents to different languages.
As a matter of fact, the Xerox Easy Translator App can translate your document into more than 40 languages, including Japanese and French. A company’s reliance on professional translation services would be diminished, and reliance on internet translation programs can be stopped altogether.
Virtual Assistants – Why They’re Handy
The Xerox app studio offers many other apps that increase functionality. Xerox refers to their printer and app combinations as a “Xerox office assistant” or as a “Xerox virtual assistant.” It’s easy to see why. Xerox allows users to create custom apps which are unique to their businesses.
Working much like macros in certain software packages, these apps can copy any document the MFP scans to cloud-based storage, without any additional inputs on the user’s part. You can even scan a document to a secured file which is then sent to one individual, again without many additional inputs from the user.
Of course, technology continues to progress, and Xerox continues to innovate. Through its partnership with IBM, Xerox is using AI along with voice recognition to create a printer which recognizes specific users and can obey their voice commands. Employees will not have to stop what they’re doing and walk to the printer to input what they want to get done. Instead, they simply tell the printer what task needs to be completed, and it gets done. It really is that easy.
However, some may ask how robust the voice recognition is in Xerox’s AltaLink printers. Quite simply, Xerox’s virtual assistant is easily on par with its competitors.
Xerox uses IBM’s Watson technology. Watson was renowned for defeating the world’s greatest human competitors in a nationally televised game of Jeopardy in 2011. Since then, IBM has worked on improving the Watson system, and now, supercomputer technology is available to understand your needs and work towards fulfilling them as soon as possible.
Xerox: Striding Ahead in a Crowded Field
There’s no question that printer technology has advanced since the days of dot-matrix printers. Printer technology has brought us to a new threshold of productivity. Xerox innovation may raise that bar even further.
If you’re ready to discover what Xerox’s technology can do for your productivity, contact a QBSI-Xerox expert today to discuss your needs and your options.