The Epson 2018 launch was chock full of goodies that fill specific market niches. A 20,000-lumen laser projector for digital signage and store décor, a high-speed mono inkjet printers because 90% of printing is black, large format plan printers, high-speed business printers, a FastFoto scanner and the new Moverio smart glasses.

GadgetGuy was at the Epson 2018 launch. Here is an overview of the most interesting devices.

FastFoto FF-680W scanner $799

 The FastFoto FF-680W scanner drew my attention. You see I have several large boxes of photos spanning most of my sexagenarian life. Yes, my Millennial friends, in my day we used good old Kodachrome and sent it off to get expensive prints. Vale Kodak. Thank goodness for low cost digital!

Epson claims it is the world’s fastest personal photo scanner. Indeed its auto document feeder can spit out a 300dpi scan of a postcard pint at the rate of one per second. What is more, you can mix different sizes, and it handles them with aplomb.

Epson 2018 launch

The software is pretty slick too. It can ‘fix’ old photos adding more contrast or bringing out details. The results were pretty impressive on old black and white shots.

General Manager – Sales & Marketing for Epson Australia’s Consumer Division Bruce Bealby said

There was a need for an ultra-fast and easy scanning solution that enabled people to digitise hard copy photos often stored in albums or boxes and vulnerable to many kinds of irreversible damage. The new FastFoto FF-680W not only saves these photos but also comes with a host of new features, making it easier to save and bring memories back to life using the latest digital technology.

It is also a document scanner, can scan in 600 and 1200dpi (slightly slower) and has Nuance Omni-page OCR for editable PDF, Word and Excel files. Technically it is capable of 90 inches per minute scanning rate – that is fast.

GadgetGuy’s take: I have one on order. Once I have used it, I will send it to my two siblings for their use. At last, a digital history of the Shaw clan. My take – it’s a tad expensive but it is fast, and the added software functionality adds value.

EcoTank Mono ET-M1100/ET-M1120   15ppm $339/349

According to Epson 90% of inkjets use is for mono -occasional colour only. If you have a niche like a small workgroup or an invoice printer, at .004 cents per page this is one of the lowest cost to run printers ever. The first page out is eight seconds, and replacement ink tanks are $24.99 for 6,000 pages. The ET-M1120 adds Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and iPrint to the standard USB connectivity.

Epson 2018 launch

Bealby said

The market for high capacity ink tank has been growing at a rapid rate in Australia. Mono EcoTank meets the needs of a sizeable section of the market that includes individuals, families, small businesses and home offices who want to print large volumes in black and white at an incredibly low cost per page.

GadgetGuy’s take: Cheap to run, not so cheap to buy. But let’s assume that a comparable ink-jet costs around 1 cent per page you will recoup the capital cost in a few reams of print.

Laser beating ultra-efficient inkjet business printers

Epson introduced two mono and two colour WorkForce printers. The monoprint up to 40,000 pages per replaceable eco tank and the colour print up to 50,000 mono and 20,000 pages for each colour. Epson’s precision core inkjet technology uses up to 87% less energy and is faster for the first page out and sustained print speeds.

Epson 2018 launch

They support Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Epson’s Print Admin and Device Admin software, PaperCut, and Epson Document Capture Pro6 – intelligent document management of scanned invoices, purchase orders, delivery dockets, contracts and other important business documentation.

Website and prices TBA

 General Manager of the Business Division at Epson Australia, Craig Heckenberg, said

These laser-beating inkjet printers save money, energy and time, and are packed full of business productivity and document management features. They keep cost-saving at the heart of what they do. The low intervention and environmental benefits make these devices ideal for specialist verticals too, such as education, healthcare, public administration and retail, to meet both their print and corporate social responsibility needs.

Large format technical printers – T3160-5160 and T3460-5460

These are 2400 x 1200dpi models with borderless print speeds ranging from an A1 roll sheet in 22 to 34 seconds. They will also print on A4 and A3 sheets. They are for the low-to-mid-range CAD, AEC, GIS, POS poster and education markets.

Epson 2018 launch

 Epson Australia’s GM sales & marketing of their business division Craig Heckenberg said

The SureColor T3160 and T5160 are for the technical community including engineers, designers and architects who are looking for a fully functioned and compact printer that fits neatly in their office. These new printers also produce quality colour posters and displays, and they enable users to wirelessly produce accurate and vibrant prints from tablets and smartphones virtually anywhere.

NextGen Moverio BT-25E smart glasses $1199

Epson is in AR (augmented reality) for the long haul. Moverio is a self-contained, binocular augmented reality (AR) system to help combine the digital world with the real world.

Its first ‘public outing’  was the BT-200 smart glasses in early 2014. When Google gave up on its Glass concept, Epson powered ahead finding use cases. It released the BT-300 in November 2017, and one such case was the remote flying of drones. Another use case was from the Griffith University’s School of Pharmacy to help students retain teaching by enabling walking through a patient journey in 360° from the ambulance to discharge.

Bealby reeled off dozens of uses

  • Providing sightseeing commentary atop a tour bus
  • Sports performance (Manchester United use the glasses and drones for athlete/game analysis)
  • Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 racing team (that use it for analytics, training, and performance tuning), Live Opera (for subtitles)
  • Sports matches (for live updates and sports statistics)
  • Real estate companies and engineers to survey ground or housing
  • Remote field support such as the checking of power lines health
  • Visitor experience in museums and galleries where ‘wearable’ information is the best way to communicate facts.

The Epson Moverio is the first real smart glasses to have truly made it into the mainstream with their wide variety of uses and apps in the consumer, government and commercial worlds. They represent a major leap forward in mobile AR smart eyewear with their comfortable, lightweight form factor and powerful display engine. Si-OLED enables higher contrast levels, a wider colour gamut and true display transparency which makes it game-changing technology.

Epson 2018 launch

The BT-35e updates the BT-300 with HDMI video input, USB-C DP Alt Mode, 5MP camera and the latest smarts. A major advantage is that they fit over prescription glasses.

Epson Projectors

Epson claims it has over 60% of the Australian projector market. GadgetGuy attests that its 3 LCD colour system produces superior colour to DLP systems.

One interesting item was the LightScene EV-100 that resembles a spotlight seen in many store lighting rigs. The barrel-shaped 2,000 lumen, laser light powered (20,000 hours use), the 3LCD projector offers enormous flexibility in both design and location use.

Epson 2018 launch

 It can be used to provide information, show video or moving patterns, and even projection map imagery onto small objects. It comes with Epson Projector Content Manager Software, which allows single or multiple playlists to be easily loaded via SD Card and changed using remote control by employees, with no need for a computer. The software also allows you to add overlay effects including colour and shape filters to permit tinted and irregularly-shaped images, as well as creating and editing playlists, timetables and custom filters.

General Manager of the Business Division at Epson Australia, Craig Heckenberg, said,

The LightScene EV-100 is a completely new type of projector solution from Epson Australia and a great addition to our range of laser signage solutions. The design is stylish and visually unobtrusive, without compromising performance, versatility or reliability.

Epson also had three new large venue projectors and said these are popular in the staging rental market. Features include HDR, sealed light source, remote installation, geometry correction assist and edge-blending assist etc.

Epson 2018 launch
Epson 2018 launch

These new projectors solve many of the issues commonly encountered by rental and staging companies by integrating features such as backward lens compatibility, swappable interface boards, robust and compact chassis, new tiling assist alongside geometry correction assist and an edge-blending assist.

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