Apps Are For Printers Too: Your Next Printer Will Be Smarter

lexmark-pro905_large.pngIn August 2009 I referenced a Business Week story about Lexmark and other vendors enabling new lines of printers with programmable applications.
The printer has traditionally been a device that you use to print to from your computer. However, as more vendors manufacture printers that have programmable applications, the printer will be a device that becomes less dependent on the computer and more dependent on the corporate network or Internet for printing information.
Lexmark, for example, recently launched three new ink jet all in on printers – The (AIO) devices – Interact, Prestige and Platinum. Lexmark printer apps, called Smart Solutions are freely available for these printers here.
“Using these SmartSolutions is so simple and intuitive that it requires no IT expertise at all,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark executive vice president and president of its Imaging Solutions Division. “Each user can save the functions that make their business more efficient on the touchscreen in the form of a quick menu and then perform frequently recurring tasks in as little as one step, saving the user valuable time.”


Imagine these two scenarios. Instead of having to open Outlook and print your week calendar. You could press one button on your printer to have this calendar printed to you. Maybe you could press another button to have it routed to your secretary and other colleagues.
If these solutions sound like similar solutions you could program into your printer today, they are…similar. But there’s more, such as web connected applications as well. Right now your printer can’t access RSS feeds from a web site.
Here’s a bit more on a few Smartsolutions applications:
Instant document distribution: Scan-to-E-mail
One example of the efficient functions SmartSolutions provide is Scan-to-E-mail. Specifically, a user can send an update of hard copy information, such as new collateral pieces or sales figures to a large number of colleagues. With the SmartSolution Scan-to-E-mail, he or she can create a freely selectable mailing list to which the scanned document is delivered directly by e-mail. That operation required several process steps until now. Scan-to-E-mail permits communicating a hard copy document to a predefined group by just pushing a button – without using a PC.
Fast scanning and archiving of paper-based documents: Scan-to-Folder
When installing the SmartSolution Scan-to-Folder, the directory location of the folder can be selected on a predefined computer. The icon for quick selection of this SmartSolution can be created on the touchscreen with a definitive name. Once the SmartSolution is installed, documents to be saved in this folder are scanned by a single button touch and are immediately saved in the predefined target folder.
Simplified copying: ID Card Copy
With the pre-installed function ID Card Copy, the front and rear of ID cards, such as a driver’s license or medical card, can be copied swiftly and conveniently on just one side of a sheet of paper. The AIO first scans the front of the pass, waits until the original has been turned and then copies the front and rear on the same side of the paper.
Instant access: Web-connected touchscreen
Stock prices, weather reports or sports news: businesses can subscribe to whatever RSS feeds they want from the SmartSolutions center and have them downloaded directly to the touchscreen for display without using a PC.
These are just some examples of the variety of SmartSolutions Lexmark offers at https://smartsolutions.lexmark.com to help users automate complex process steps or access information quickly and efficiently. After registering, users can choose the smart functions they need and install them free of charge on their Lexmark Interact, Prestige and Platinum. Lexmark will continue to expand the range of its SmartSolutions offerings.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook