Monday, September 3, 2012

Android Printer may present new opportunities

Samsung recently announced that they are using Android to power their printers. This is nothing new as back in 2010,  I've already thought HP would have done it using WebOS, an OS similar to Android, and I written about it in a post here.

Putting Android in printers got me thinking of other nice-to-have functions in printers. One idea I thought of is something that all enterprise customers wish they have; OCR. For example, if the printer is powered by Android, it would be possible for the printer to do automatic optical character recognition (OCR), and translate it to a word document / ODF / copyable PDF document, and send it to you via email. Or better still, you may even be able to scan a document, sign the document from the printer console, and the printer will PDF both the document and the PDF, and send it off to the recipient.

Won't that be great? Just a simple act of buying a printer will give you OCR, and the ability to convert some documents (not all of course) to a writable format. Android is powerful enough to do such features, and may even be able to talk to real application systems by sending any faxes or documents directly to the system automatically instead of through a mailbox.

Possibilities are endless. Security however will be another issue though. Hmm... I wonder if Samsung will do it, or HP will think of something. HP is after all a leader in printers for a long time.

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