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Adecade ago, the Mopria Alliance emerged with a simple, yet revolutionary ambition: to unite printer brands to make printing as effortless as possible. And we did! As devices broke free from proprietary technologies in favor of the Mopria standards, we embraced the freedom of universal connectivity. And the story doesn’t end here. As we stand at the cusp of a new decade, it’s time to turn the page and envision the next chapter for Mopria and printing.

What will the print landscape look like in 2034? Will the familiar hum of the printer fade into nostalgia, or will paper, with its tactile familiarity, hold its ground as the digital transformation continues?

To unravel the possibilities, we turned to the Mopria Alliance members who shape the future of this dynamic industry. Their voices, insights, and innovations hold the key to unlocking the potential of the next decade.

 

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

Dilinur Wushour, President, Kyocera Document Solutions Development America, Inc.

In an era where environmental awareness reigns supreme, the spotlight is now on the eco-friendly evolution of printing practices. The traditional environmental footprint of printing can no longer be overlooked. Fortunately, strides in technology and materials are paving the way for a more sustainable future.

The innovations in printing technology, such as energy-efficient printers and eco-friendly inks, are minimizing the environmental impact. Furthermore, the integration of recycled and bio-based materials in printing processes is gaining traction, reducing waste and conserving precious resources.

Scanning practices are also getting a green makeover with the rise of paperless technologies and efficient document management systems. Embracing these advancements in both printing and scanning not only maximizes eco-consciousness but also sets the stage for a more sustainable approach to document handling. It’s time to print with a purpose, leaving a greener footprint on the planet.

 

Security in the Spotlight

Eric McCann, Manager, Technology Portfolio Architect, Lexmark

As data becomes increasingly critical to our digital world, printing and scanning technologies will need to adapt to ensure robust security measures. To safeguard sensitive information, there will be a need for novel approaches that balance security with streamlined user interactions.

One of the key security measurements of a document is to set basic expectations. While there are a variety of tools and services to ensure document security, many of those are focused on only high-risk situations. We need to apply basic security across all business workflows, creating a comprehensive security plan that addresses the concerns but also remains intuitive for the end users. One common misconception is the only way to create a secure document workflow is to create a hindrance for end users. With security measures such as secure print, workflows remain secure with little customer interference.

Scanning directly into backend systems leveraging authenticated sessions, audit logs for access activities, and indexing documents so they can be easily found in future searches. Printing will rely on only creating hard copies when necessary while leveraging secure print solutions to ensure document access. While these may be basic, they provide common ground across all business workflows.

 

Personalization Reigns Supreme

Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Strategy & Technology, Adobe

Applications are emerging on the web, mobile, and desktop that make it easy for individuals to create designs that they love without having to invest large amounts of time. You can start from a template using solutions like Adobe Express, making it easy to design a holiday card featuring your family or to create place settings for your wedding featuring the names of your guests. You don’t even have to use predefined templates – you can create your own and use them across one or more projects. If you have an existing PDF of a design that you’d like to personalize, you can even upload it and make changes. Print is a tactile media, and users love to design, print, and hold their creations – it’s now easier than ever.

 

 

AI: Printing Like Never Before

Michael St. Laurent, Print Software and Consumer Services Chief Architect, HP

The print industry is undergoing a transformation as artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more widely available and affordable. AI offers the potential to enhance and extend the capabilities of traditional printing technology, enabling new levels of personalization, interactivity, and efficiency. AI can also help bring users closer to the content they consume or create, by allowing them to generate, edit, and customize their own printed materials. Moreover, AI can enable complex and time-consuming tasks, such as image processing, layout design, and text analysis, to be performed near real-time, opening the door for exciting new solutions that were previously not practical. The print industry can benefit from the integration of AI with its existing infrastructure and expertise, creating new opportunities for innovation and growth.

 


Phasing out 3rd Party Print Drivers Before the end of This Decade

Kris Iverson, Partner Group Software Engineer Manager, Microsoft

Microsoft announced in October 2023 that it would phase out the “v3” and “v4” print driver architecture in Windows. This was part of the print platform that required “3rd party” hardware manufacturers to create custom printer drivers, pass a complex test suite, and submit to Windows Update for automatic delivery to customers’ PCs. In the enterprise, system administrators had to update and manage printer drivers on their Windows print servers. This architecture is outdated, even though it supported the industry for two decades.

Microsoft launched a new era of printing technology with the arrival of Windows 10. The company offered an inbox implementation of Mopria standards that connected all Mopria certified printers to Windows without any 3rd party drivers. This was further improved with the addition of Print Support Apps (PSA) which gave a new way for printer manufacturers to tailor the print experience for customers and highlight the special features of their devices. The PSA framework is the same for both consumer and enterprise print, including Windows print server and Universal Print. This marks a new chapter in printing technology, where efficiency, security, and ease of use are the main focus.

With Windows 11, Microsoft added a new level of security for enterprises: Windows Protected Print (WPP). This feature ensures that clients only use the inbox implementation of Mopria standards. WPP provides security and trust in organizational printing infrastructure by blocking the use of 3rd party printer drivers.

 

The Human Touch Endures

Jack Rieger, Director Digital Innovation, at Epson and member of Mopria Alliance

Jack Rieger, Director Digital Innovation, Epson America, Inc.

The world is slowly adopting a paperless environment, but the decline in paper is not across the board. The need for paper differs across groups and applications. Digital is more efficient for rapidly changing information such as news and weather. Digital tickets offer one less thing to carry when you are already carrying your phone. Printed hardcopy, on the other hand, continues to provide benefits for many applications. Younger children and special needs students can learn better with paper. Legal/regulatory requirements still favor saving and archiving with paper documents. Some adults prefer reading and editing with paper vs. using a digital screen. As Mark Twain said in 1897, “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”; so too are reports of the demise of paper.

These are just a few glimpses into the fascinating possibilities ahead. As members of the Mopria Alliance step forward for a peek into their visions, we’re poised to witness a new era of innovation where print still brims with possibilities.

We’re ready to unlock the next decade, one printed page at a time.

To learn more about the Mopria Alliance, visit mopria.org.

Mopria Alliance

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