For several years, I’ve been pretty adamant encouraging vendors to fill what I feel is a hole in the document scanner market. That is connecting mobile scanners to mobile phones. I mean they are both marketed as mobile devices, why can’t one talk to the other in a truly mobile, i.e. wireless, fashion?
Last month, I ran this article on Canon’s WU10 appliance, which can be used to power a Canon mobile scanner, and contains a wireless radio that can transmit scanned images directly to a smartphone. In the article, I mistakenly described some of Visioneer’s technology which accomplishes the same thing. Visioneer’s Xerox Mobile Scanner contains a custom built Eye-Fi card that enables it to capture multi-page PDFs and transmit them wirelessly to smartphone. I was only familiar with an older version of the Visioneer mobile scanner, and I apologize because apparently this new version has been on the market for more than a year.
Visioneer President and COO John Capurso pointed out my mistake. This let to a discussion on smartphones and their role in the capture and printing space, which was predicated by a previous blog post: Document Scanners, MFPs, and Mobile Phones. My premise in that post was the tablet computers and smartphones pose a bigger threat to the MFP market than they do to the document scanner market (you really have to read the post for that to make sense.)
John does not see smart phones as a threat to either set of devices. His position is that mobile devices are (going to be) the new PC. “Mobile devices are going to be the focal point of a lot of usage of MFPs and scanners,” he said. “They are going to be the peripherals that we utilize with our mobile devices, just like they are the peripherals that we utilize with our PCs today.”
Great point. Basically, here’s the use case he defined. If I receive a document on my mobile device that I need to print, I wirelessly access my network through my smartphone/tablet and print it on the most convenient printer. Conversely, depending on what type of document I need to capture to my mobile device, or to the cloud by passing it through my mobile device, I connect wirelessly (presumably utilizing some sort of capture app) to a dedicated document scanner or MFP (or if it’s a single page document just maybe use the camera on the mobile device), drop the paper in the feeder, and drive the scanning process through my app.
Does that all make sense? It’s all about creating paper capture options for the end user, which are mobile, wireless, and hopefully easy to use. Then, of course, you need to combine those paper capture options with some other data capture options on the smartphone/tablet and you’ve got yourselves a business solution for the future!
Cheers. I look for many of you at AIIM 2013 Conference.