Imagine a printer that senses you by your body heat and as you walk towards it, reads your intention to use it (the machine) and wakes up from sleep mode to serve you.

When you stand next to it and hover over it, it scans your face. Once the machine recognizes you, it offers you a personalized menu with a smartphone-like icon-based user interface (Gesture UI) to serve you.

This is not science fiction. Fuji Xerox is launching copiers this year that have exactly these features. In Fuji Xerox's parlance, their new models offer WelcomEyes Advance feature equipped with facial recognition technology.

The company will launch new series of its full-colour digital multifunction devices (MFDs) for office use-ApeosPort-V C and DocuCentre-V C series. A total of 20 models in Asia Pacific will be launched, the company announced on 31 October.

Smart WelcomEyes Advance

Smart WelcomEyes Advance is Fuji Xerox's proprietary motion sensor technology which comes with the human detection technology and facial recognition technology. This technology makes the new series of printers to be the first of its kind in the world.

"The human detection camera detects the movements of people around the multifunction device to determine whether one is going to use the device or simply passing by, whereas the facial recognition camera recognizes the face of the user standing in front of the device, making authentication simple and fast," said Hidetoshi Ohno, Manager, Office Group, Product Marketing, Global Products Sales and Marketing, Fuji Xerox.

"Once the function identifies the user, it recalls the user's personalized menu screen automatically, thereby improving user convenience significantly."

The Fuji Xerox sources said that combined with the technology for high-speed recovery from the sleep mode, these multifunction devices can automatically recover from the sleep mode in just 3.1 seconds after a user approaches the device, delivering a zero waiting time experience.

In the earlier models, the wake up (recovery from sleep mode) time was around 10 seconds and it was a manual function.

All the 20 new models of printers have incorporated the latest controller software to provide universal operability and software functions.

On top of that, these machines are best in the class in quietness.

Some of the other salient features of the new series of printers are as follows:

User interface that realises enhanced operability - All the latest models are equipped with a large 9-inch control panel with menu screens featuring easy-to-understand, icon-based buttons for higher visibility. With "flick" and "drag" operations, users can intuitively scroll, move to a next screen or preview.

Customisation of menu screen to streamline business operations - Users can take advantage of the free-of-charge add-on application called Easy UI Solution 2.0 that enables the customisation of menu screens to suit each user's needs.

There is a ScanAuto feature that enables scanning by simply pressing the start button without having to configure complicated settings.

To reduce total cost of ownership, the new models are incorporated with the Server-Less On-Demand Print function, said Ohno. "Users can print their documents from another multifunction device when the device which print instruction was initially sent to is in use. This reduces time to wait for document output and prevents unnecessary output, thereby contributing to the reduction of clients' total cost of ownership," he said.

These machines can be powered off from remote locations and other offices.

According to Ohno, the new technologies and features of these printers also help save energy. "The new models have adopted the proprietary Smart Energy Management technology," he said. "The technology contributes to reducing power consumption and CO2 emission by distributing power only to the device sections (the auto duplex scanning unit, control panel, output unit or controller) needed depending on the type of jobs to perform, when a device recovers from the energy saving mode."

"As for TEC value, which meets the International ENERGY STAR program, one of the new models has achieved 0.99 kilowatt-hour, more than 10 percent improvement as compared to its previous model," said Ohno.