We do realize that for many, the holiday season is still the be all, end all of the entire technology world this week. The media is cranking out gift guides and predictions of the hottest toys, consumers are hitting the Best Buys and Staples of the world in search of the perfect gift and manufacturers are dominating both TV and the web advertising in hopes of convincing "procrastisantas" to purchase their products.
But, as all real techies realize, there is a more important event lurking on the horizon - the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show!
The show floor officially opens January 6th but product announcements and leaks have already started hitting cyberspace and beyond while major manufacturers, exhibitors, press, consumers and more gear up for a week of straight technology in Las Vegas, the original Sin City.
Today, we'll be taking a look at what we believe will be three of the hottest printer trends at both CES and for the coming year on the whole. So get excited for CES 2011 - if you can forget about the holiday season for a few moments - and make sure you stop by PrinterComparison for all things CES 2011!
We first talked about touch screens as an emerging technology for consumer printers at CES 2010, but over the past year, several manufacturers have added "new" touch technology to devices including Canon's Intelligent Touch System which allows customers to own a touch screen but avoid the nasty fingerprints thanks to technology that allows the printer to react to electric currents in our fingertips.
Not to mention touch technology has also become a way of making navigation simpler by eliminating unnecessary buttons and functions during printing.
All of this leads us to believe that it will once again be a hot topic at CES 2011 and beyond. Expect to see touch technology to become even more mainstream and perhaps make the official jump from consumer products to SMB devices from many major manufacturers.
Cloud based printing and web apps
As we saw last year, popular technology in other areas such as netbooks, smartphones and digital cameras often makes its way into corresponding print products. At CES 2010, all the manufacturers discussed mobile printing adding free applications for consumers so they could print from their smartphones and Bluetooth enabled devices.
Over the past year, we saw manufacturers add web based applications similar to what we've seen from several smartphone manufacturers that allow consumers to print coupons, maps, travel documents, kid coloring books and more with a touch of a button.
But most exciting, HP announced the first cloud based technology, ePrint, allowing consumers (and eventually SMB customers) to print directly from any e-mail enabled device to the printer by giving each new HP product its own unique e-mail address.
We expect to see much expansion in both these markets as manufacturers continue to provide unique ways for customers to print from a host of mobile devices.
ISO print speeds
As a site editor of PrinterComparison and reviewer of many print devices over the past few years, nothing troubles me more than to realize that many, many manufacturers get away with labeling their products with false print speeds. A major indication? If you see a consumer inkjet product that offers print speeds over 30 pages per minute. That does not happen in today's market, not even when printing in the quickest draft mode and cutting out all processing time.
But it seems that some manufacturers have decided to drop the bunk print speed advertisement in exchange for new print speed testing standards provided by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). These new print speeds are much more accurate giving consumers information they need; cause while it's nice to have a fancy touch screen and web-based applications, isn't it more important to know what kind of performance you'll get from your printer? That's why you bought it right?
We believe that at CES 2011 and in the coming year, more - if not all - print manufacturers will feature ISO print speeds, especially as print head design and technology improves and print speeds continue to improve.
Want more? Visit the TechnologyGuide CES 2011 home page for the latest and greatest news and products out of Vegas!
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