It’s Monday 28th, 2009.
You’re at Heathrow, at the start of what promises to be a nightmare press trip.
These occasions are never enjoyable, but for the next three days you’ve got to babysit the two biggest winkers in IT journalism (and that’s up against some pretty stiff opposition!). Let’s call them Don Cher-Know and Hugh Whyam. Put them together, and it’s murder.
The press trip’s off to a terrible start. Don’s forgotten his passport. And Hugh’s lost the lead to his laptop, and desperately needs to file his urgent story, for his blog “Comments Nil, Trackback Nil” right now.
Luckily, there’s a number of Smart MFPs in the airport. Hugh refuses to use the one in McDonalds, and Don won’t patronise Starbucks. But finally, you find a free one in the airport lounge.
Through the MFP’s browser, you manage to locate a copy of Don’s passport (on an Al Qaeda site, where they’re mass producing them) and print it off, In astonishingly good colour.
Meanwhile Hugh is handwriting his enormously important blog. This can be scanned into the MFP, which then uses OCR to turn the characters into text, which can then be posted onto Hugh’s blog.
How did we get here?
That’s the question I want to answer in a feature for Microscope.
How did today’s dull MFPs become tomorrow’s exciting new workplace environment?
What work was carried out, by the various printer manufacturers, to create this new generation of what Gartner calls Smart MFPs?
The key here is: how do you enable MFPs to run networked applications. I want yo to think about that this week-end. And come up with some answers.
What were the challenges in creating an efficient interface between networked applications and MFPs.
What were the different approaches taken by various vendors?
Xerox, for example, uses web services to create a development platform for partners to work on. Whereas HP relies on Java.
Most importantly of all, what are the money making opportunities that were created for Microscope’s readers, the legions of resellers, dealers, ISVs, developers and systems integrators.
Can anyone help?
In future, MFPs will be smarter. The workplace will be even more complex. And journalist will still be winkers.
But what’s your client’s vision of the future?