The home printer has become the centerpiece of many home offices, providing services that would have once required a trip to the print shop. This trend is only increasing as the future sees even more capabilities added to home printers, whether they are full-fledged home office printers or low-cost units. Whether for ink jet or laser printers, the future of home printing systems is a bright one, both in terms of functionality and convenience.
The Rise of Multi-purpose Printers
The original view of a home printer was one of a single function printer. However, modern and future home printers are increasingly incorporating a variety of functions. They can serve as scanners, fax machines and print collators, while providing ever-crisper print quality.
This has resulted in the transformation of the home office or computer room from an untidy mass of cables and separate computer peripherals to a room with a stylish multifunction printer that does not detract from the over all appearance of the room. More importantly, these multifunction printers drastically reduce the typical power consumption of a home office system, as well as the number of cables that must be connected to the desktop computer.
The Wireless Revolution: Freeing the Printer From the Cable
Another major development that is quickly becoming universal among home printers is the use of wireless technology to eliminate the need for physical connections. This not only allows the owner to dispense with unsightly cables, but to allow the networking of his or her home printer with multiple home devices, especially mobile systems like smart phones and tablet computers.
In addition, by decoupling the printer from any fixed location, it can be placed in an area convenient to the entire household, rather than near the computer. This can be very useful in a home with multiple users, especially since wireless printers are almost always multifunction units.
Stand Alone Printer System and Home Productivity
Perhaps the most dramatic change in home printers is the rise of the stand-alone printer, or a printer that does not require a computer connection to operate. These multifunction devices can print, scan, fax and copy, all without the aid of a computer, making them extremely useful for household users.
In addition, stand-alone printers usually include slots for memory cards and USB units, allowing them to read and even edit both image and text files. In fact, some projected designs may be able to dispense with the home computer in almost all cases, allowing the user to directly modify the files before printing, faxing or storing them.
The future of the home printer is one of an increasingly multifunction and independent system. This can free the owner, not simply from the need to leave his or her printer in a single location, but the dependence on a fixed computer. As such, the future home printer may become an independent productivity hub, and take on many functions that have traditionally been associated with desktop and laptop computers.
Allan is the Manager of one of the largest printing businesses in Australia. His company provides state of the art printing services and he believes it wont be long before the same technology is available in homes.
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