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What's new in printing
If asked to name one of the latest technological advancements in printing, it’s likely that the term “3D” pops into your head. Yes, 3D printing is noteworthy, but several other recent advances already on the market let you print effectively and help save you money today and should not be ignored.
A new dimension
First things first—3D printing is here, and the impact on the business landscape is yet to be determined. Potentially, 3D printing could be used to quickly create everything from medical devices to musical instruments—even cookies—that are as functional and expertly assembled as their handcrafted counterparts. CTO and director of HP Labs, Martin Fink, points out that 3D printing is still an evolving technology, which is why some companies like HP haven’t put their own versions on the market just yet. While HP Labs has confirmed that they are working on a prototype, they haven’t made any public product announcements as yet. One thing is clear however, it will be an exciting technology to watch.
So, let’s talk about the latest printing trends that you can use now. With so many employees traveling or working from home, ease of mobility is of the utmost importance for new technology in the business realm. Fortunately, there are quite a few advancements in printing that address this need:
- Direct wireless connections: This type of wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and laptops is secure and eliminates the need for a router or network connection. For example, HP wireless direct allows any Wi-Fi-capable device to be connected to your printer in the same way you would connect to a local wireless network or hotspot [1, 2].
- NFC touch-to-print capabilities: Now printing from a mobile device is as easy as simply touching that device to a Near Field Communication (NFC)/wireless mobile print accessory. Some of the newest printers, like the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476, actually have NFC capabilities built in so you can touch your device directly to the printer. Or accessories, like the HP JetDirect 1200w, allow you to add wireless direct printing and touch-to-print to your current printer or MFP.
- Printing apps: There are a variety of new apps available for smartphones that make on-the-go printing very simple. The HP All-in-One Printer Remote lets you check the status of your printer from your device, providing information such as how much paper or ink is left. It also lets you use your camera to scan documents and send them to the cloud or in an email.
Easy cloud access
Today’s printers can do more than just printing, scanning, copying and faxing. Multi-function printers use apps like HP Flow CM Professional , Box and Google Drive to provide direct access to the cloud, allowing you to send and print documents saved there.
Increasing mobility often raises concerns about security. In response, most new printers offer enhanced security features, such as peer-to-peer connections, that send files using encryption to keep them safe from outside threats. Many printers also include features like LDAP , which controls access to files by allowing you to set up user restrictions for scanning and emailing.
All of these new features and trends are making office printing much more simple, secure and convenient. So while 3D printing is quite revolutionary, now you know that there is also a lot more in the world of printing to get excited about.
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 An app or driver may be required to use HP wireless direct. For details, see hp.com/go/wirelessprinting. Wireless performance is dependent on physical environment and distance from the printer.
 Requires download of HP Printer Control app from third-party app stores. Mobile device requires wireless access point and Internet connection. Features controlled may vary by mobile device operating system. Scan/copy control requires mobile device and printer be on the same wireless network or through wireless direct connection to printer. For more details, see hp.com/go/mobileapps
 HP Flow CM Professional is available in US and Canada only and through select HP partners
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