Imagining The Future
Technology, innovation, and, of course, Artificial Intelligence — those were the themes that surrounded HP’s Imagine 2023 event last week in Palo Alto, California. It was a dizzying array of high-tech, high-impact, and highly futuristic products and services, which only served to highlight the role technology plays in our lives both today, and into the future. It also put a spotlight on print, and how it’s role in our lives isn’t going to disappear any time soon.
Overall, the theme of the event — which pervaded every presentation, tech demo, and conversation — was innovation, and HP certainly has a lot to go around. As print people, it’s easy to focus only on their large-format division and the print technologies, but this event served as a great reminder of the true breadth and depth of HP’s product portfolio.
In particular, Enrique Lores, the president and CEO of HP, noted that there are three major trends the company is watching right now that inform every element of the business:
- This is an era of flexibility and hybrid life. The way people work and live has fundamentally changed, he noted, with COVID only speeding up a transition that was already in progress. At the same time, only 27% of people define their current relationship with work as “healthy” he said, “and almost all of them believe technology can help solve those problems.”
- This is the age of AI. Whether we like it or not, he noted that AI is going to be an increasing part of the way we work and live. It will help companies provide better services and products, and it will help individuals be more efficient and productive with their time. “We’re going to go from a personal computer to a personal companion,” Lores said. He believes there will be an increasingly lower cost of entry for AI products and applications, which in turn will only continue to drive innovation on that front.
- The value of trust is increasing. Finally, Lores noted that trust is only going to get more important as technology continues to evolve — both an individual’s trust that their data and privacy is being secured, as well as trusting that the companies they do business with live up to the values and believes they claim to uphold. Elements such as corporate responsibility and sustainability will only continue to either drive trust in a company, or destroy it, and it’s up to businesses to practice what they preach.
Where Does Print Fit?
There were a host of presentation from the fill gamut of HP solutions, but of course, Tuan Tran, president of Imaging Solutions, was the one that addressed the world of print specifically. And, he notes, “HP printing innovation has been on fire this year.”
Launched at the event specifically was the new lineup of DesignJet presses designed for the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) sides of the industry, as well as for copy shops looking for fast and efficient wide-format presses.
A few highlights:
- The HP DesignJet T850/T950 saves time by moving from A3 to A1 prints. It can produce high-quality CAD and renders on any size and application, and it simplifies remote collaboration with one-click scan and copy workflows from the front panel.
- The HP DesignJet XL 3800 keep projects moving with the fastest color printer in its class at 6 A1/D color pages/min, and first page out in 20 seconds. It has excellent CAD lines and graphics applications in mono and color and optimizes space with 20% more compactness. It is designed specifically for copy shops and enterprises.
- The HP DesignJet Smart Tank T858/T908 MFP, available in certain Asian markets, maximizes efficiency with reduced energy consumption, spill-free refills, and 85% less ink used for routine cleanings. It is designed for high-volume copy shops, with speeds of up to 90 A1 pages/hr for the T858 and 120 A1 pages/hr for the T908 MFP.
Tran also talked about the new HP Latex 630 printer series, launched at the end of September, and which will be on display at PRINTING United Oct 18-20 in Atlanta. The press is designed to be an entry-level wide-format latex printer at a more affordable price point for smaller shops, while also not sacrificing on features such as white ink. The HP Latex 630, Tran noted, “Can print on almost anything, can wrap almost anything, and it is waterproof and durable, with designs as vibrant as your imagination.”
Tran also noted that even with all the amazing digital technologies on display at the event, print still has an important role to play. In fact, he noted, when it comes to print or digital, “it’s an ‘and’, right? We’ve done studies on this, and people have different learning styles. … [Print] is also more transient — you have it, you recycle it, and we’re doing that. But it is also powerful, and we see that there will still be occasions where print is going to stick.”
He continued, “this is one opportunity where we can take AI. With our sensing and telemetry capability in our connected printers, you can not only have a new ink cartridge shipped to you when you need it, but it can also help you figure out what’s gone wrong when there’s a problem and have that support 24/7 to help you out.” He also noted that there is a great deal of opportunity to be had in merging technology with workflow, to help streamline the process and make presses even easier to use, making them more intuitive for new users, which in turn will help shops be more efficient with fewer people — a positive in today’s tough labor market.
And to h ear more about the latest wide-format innovations, as well as a vision for where print fits into the future of communication, watch this video with Daniel Martinez, global head and general manager of large format for HP.