Automated butlers were a major component of the “Home of the Future” exhibits of the mid twentieth century. They’d bring you the morning paper and your tea and vacuum the floors. Well it seems like the world is getting closer and closer to that technology now more than ever. We already have motion sensing mini vacuum cleaners that zoom around the home sucking up dust and now Xerox and Fuji, the unlikeliest of pairs (at least in this situation) have teamed up to make a printer that delivers your documents to you.
It looks like a quaint little feature that should come as part of a package at a luxury hotel for businessmen. Its shaped like a giant trolley with a screen and a slit for the printed documents. It’s battery lasts for up to a day. It is currently being tested in a business lounge in Tokyo. Each person is assigned a desk with a separate web address that the mobile printer identifies.
It works simply enough. A message is sent to the machine to print a certain document along with the user ID. It immediately zips over to the user and delivers the documents to him after the user shows it a smart card. This allows the documents to be secure in a contained environment.
Though people are skeptical about its practicality, some compliment its design. Analyst Bryan Ma from the International Data Corporation has commented that the ingenuity of the design is commendable if nothing else. That being said, he also says that it seems like ‘technology for technology’s sake’.