No doubt 2013 has been one of the more exciting years in recent memory for developments in printing technology. With the vast expansion in capabilities of 3D printing and mobile applications, it's now easier and more efficient to print than ever before. However, mobile app technologies have been shown to have many limitations. With a new type of technology, called Near Field Communication (NFC), printing from your mobile phone might get considerably easier.
How does NFC technology work?
NFC works in a way similar to wireless internet, except that it uses short-range radio frequencies to relay information between devices. By making a single click, your device can immediately transfer your documents to an NFC-enabled printer. This form of data transfer has powered smartcards in transportation systems for over a decade. Though you can still use a specific app to print from, you no longer need to connect directly to a WiFi network (which can be unreliable) or worry about the hassle of transferring documents into an application (which proves to be tricky when certain file formats aren't supported).
The only major downside of NFC printing is that your phone must also be properly enabled. Though many Android and Blackberry models are NFC-enabled, one of the most popular phones, the iPhone, presently lacks this technology. As a result, millions of individuals might have to wait until the next iPhone model is released.
Who's releasing NFC technology?
Currently there are no NFC printers available in US markets, though that might quickly be changing. Recently, Samsung announced that their newest line of color inkjet printers would be released with NFC technology in Korea. The three models vary in what they can do, including fax capabilities, but all print up to 18 pages per minute in black and white, and 4 pages per minute in color. These printing speeds make them well-suited for everyday consumer use.
One of the other major advantages is that by using NFC, you can be signed into Google Cloud to easily transfer Word documents, spreadsheets, or even presentation slides to the printer. As individuals increasingly rely on Google for business and personal use, this built in technology helps to streamline the printing process and save a considerable amount of time that comes from manually transferring documents from emails into these mobile applications.
Though it could be months before this technology is released outside of Korea, Samsung's innovative use of NFC shows how technologies that have been used by other industries have finally entered the printing world. By taking out the hassle of connecting to wireless networks and simply clicking a button to link your phone to your printer, the whole printing process could become easier and more intuitive than ever!
Would you like to see this type of printing in your own home? Feel free to share your thoughts below.