16 Sep Two Cool Products Advance Printing Capabilities
Oy. I’ve got three more days before I can share the details of the products that will be at DEMOmobile. Until then, you’re going to have to trust me that this is an exciting lot of products. (If you haven’t registered to be at the conference, it’s not too late. See below for details.)
So while I wait out these few days, I’ll share with you two new products I discovered last week while keynoting the HP Imaging and Printing Developers Conference in Boise. (I know, you’re thinking: “Wow, that Chris gets to go to all the most exciting places!”)
It is odd, perhaps, that I met these two companies in Boise, because one is based in Milano, Italy, and the other in Natanya, Israel.
The first, Oberon Service, has solved a key problem for device computing. Mobile devices – phones, PDAs, BlackBerries, and the like – have proliferated, yet solutions that integrate mobile-device-based data into the work flow of the desktop environment are seriously lacking. (Note, however, that we will see one other excellent solution introduced at DEMOmobile on Thursday morning.) Oberon begins to address this issue with its PDF Direct application. In essence, the product enables a printer to accept and print input directly from a handheld device – a device without the memory or processing power to handle printer drivers, mind you.
PDF Direct is stored on a Flash DIMM that works with a range of HP LaserJet and multifunction printers. In effect, the product acts as a resident print driver, translating native PDF, TIFF, Multi-TIFF, and JPEG files into the printer’s native PostScript format. Oberon General Manager Giorgio Gesi gives an impressive demo, snapping a photo with an unmodified Nokia 3650 camera phone and sending the image via Bluetooth to a LaserJet photo printer. PDF Direct is a simple product with tremendous benefits. You’ll find more details at
The second product comes from AutoFont, Ltd. The company calls SafePaper a “cheap and easy” solution to document fraud. I call it an elegant solution to a serious problem. Businesses trade in a multitude of documents – contracts, specifications, term sheets, and the like – that if tampered with can have serious consequences for the business. Most anti-fraud solutions focus on securing the digital file, yet once printed, it can be quite difficult to be sure that a document is, indeed, unadulterated.
SafePaper imprints a unique authenticity seal on documents produced by HP LaserJet printers. (The software comes on a DIMM installed in the printer.) It requires no special paper or toners, nor does the seal affect the background of the document, as some watermarking technologies do. Encoded in the seal, which resembles a three-dimensional barcode printed in the margin of the page – is a hidden image. Place a special credit card-sized clear plastic decoder over the seal to reveal the image. If the document has been scanned and reprinted or photocopied, the image is not preserved and cannot be decoded by the plastic view lens.
AutoFont provides an array of secure printing solutions, and you can learn more about them at
Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld’s DEMO Conferences,Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years.Shipley has extensive experience in online publishing, having developed online content and communities on every major platform, including AOL and the Web. Before oining IDG, Shipley established a consulting practice to help Silicon Valley technology companies define their media strategies. Shipley is a frequent speaker at technology industry forums, and acts as an advisor toseveral startup ventures.
The annual DEMO and DEMOmobile conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products, which are hand-selected by executive producer Chris Shipley from across the spectrum of the personal technology marketplace. TheDEMO conference has earned its reputation as the singular event that consistently identifies tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies. DEMO has served as a launch pad for companies such as Palm, E*Trade, Handspring, and U.S. Robotics, helping them to secure venture funding, establish critical business relationships, and influence early adopters. DEMO is held in February each year and features approximately 60 new companies, products and technologies. The next DEMO conference is DEMOmobile September 17-19. For more information please visit http://www.demo.com
The DEMO community also benefits from the award winning DEMOletter. A weekly newsletter designed to reach the people who are creating companies, building products and launching new ideas, DEMOletter provides smart insight and analysis of entrepreneurial business issues. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.demo.com Chris Shipley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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