Major printer manufacturers form ‘Mopria’ mobile printing alliance

As the Smartphone and Tablet industry continues to expand and the computing industry has now gone beyond the desktop PC, the technology to print from handheld devices has fallen behind. But, a new alliance of printer manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Canon, Samsung, and Xerox, called Mopria, hopes to change all that.

The Alliance announced the formation of Mopria on September 24. It believes it will make printing from devices much easier with newly developed interfaces that give mobile operating systems more simplified printing software and allow apps to draw on that ability.

The Mopria technology will also govern printer technology so print jobs can sent by Wi-Fi Direct wireless networking or by tapping a printer with a phone that supports near-field communications (NFC).

Phil McCoog, technologist with HP's printing business, said "If you are a printer vendor, and if you are solely attached to a PC, where is your future? We are moving from a device that is a PC peripheral to a mobile companion," and added "You need to be able to print or you're going to force people to go back to their PC when they want or need to print."

 Smartphone’s and tablets give the printer industry a chance for a fresh start. Mopria is scrapping a lot of print driver technology that's decades old.

"What we're trying to do is not just make it as good as desktops, but to make it better than desktops," he said.

For example, people using Mopria technology you will no longer have to mess with the arduous task of finding and installing print drivers, Mopria lets a computer talk to a specific printer.

Printer manufacturer’s profits are reliant on selling "consumables" like printer ink cartridges and toner cartridges, so this Mopria alliance is very eager to see the much profitable printing industry doesn’t fall far behind in the mobile technology market.

McCoog doesn't see printing as an endangered business.

The more information is archived digitally, he said, the more gets printed.

"We see it exploding content in the world," he said. "If you increase the content a thousandfold, and if printing drops by 1 percent, that's still an increase overall. We're not seeing the threat of printing going away."

The alliance has not released details on its immediate plans or whether it plans to invite other companies, such as 3D printing companies, into the group. However, they are planning to use Mopria as a brand for spreading its interfaces throughout mobile printing technology.

We might be seeing “Mopria-certified” labels on printers in the future.


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