Friday, September 12, 2014

A Distinctively American Printer

Perhaps working from all the jokes about how Americans are all, um, plus-sized and lazy, Fuji Xerox has introduced an office printer that brings your prints to you.
So if the fat office worker needs to print something, but finds the walk down the hall to get their printer output too much, they can just have the little robot "fetch" for them, like an oversized (and slightly retarded) puppy.  It's a natural for the American market.  As a Lardo-American I'm both offended and secretly happy.

Just kidding.  This has nothing to do with appealing to oversized Americans.  The intent is to ensure secure prints for business travelers and others who might want to keep their printouts from prying eyes, but don't have their own dedicated printer at the airport or hotel.
Fuji Xerox - a joint venture between the two firms - has been testing the printer this month at a business lounge in Tokyo.

Each desk in the lounge is given a unique web address from which to print. Users access the address and upload documents to be printed.

Once the printer receives the job, it moves to the intended recipient who then has to display a smart card to activate printing.
The Roomba-like robot not only hand-delivers documents, it also features sensors that allow it to maneuver through the objects in a room and a tracker to find the person who requested the print. For example, in the trial, the robot was programmed with a map of an office layout and the directions to each employee. When John requests a print, Xerox will use its laser-powered navigation system to get to John, while successfully avoiding all obstacles in its path.
I'm not sure I can see this taking off.  I'm sure some travelers need to print more often than I have (very rarely), and the hotels I've been staying in tended to have a dedicated office area for travelers to use for a few minutes.  Need to check in and print out a boarding pass for your next flight?  I've seen some single-purpose terminals you can use to do that without touching the dedicated office area.

Maybe it's technology for its own sake, but it is kinda neat.  What do you think?


  1. I love the tongue in cheek intro but I am afraid that WILL be the the motivation if it ever makes it to the USA.

  2. Yeah, should be coupled with a small snack cart for the US market!