The popularity of the Internet and the digital revolution will sustain the printing industry as an evolving technological industry, according to Lexmark chairman and CEO Paul Curlander.
Speaking at the company's annual forum "20/20: Vision on Print" in Berlin last week, Curlander predicted home printing will almost triple in the next decade, with inkjet remaining a dominant technology which will "drive an acceleration of colour devices into the office.
"With the evolution of the Internet and resulting proliferation of data at our fingertips, paper consumption in the home and office will possibly increase from three to eight trillion pages by 2010," he said in his address.
The burgeoning Internet appliance market will also have a positive impact on the printing industry, according to Lexmark's vice president for research and development, John Zbrozek, who said the ability to print documents would provide a key sales advantage.
"Printing from PCs will continue to grow substantially," he said. "At the same time, handheld devices enabling access to information remotely and rapidly are proliferating."
To this end, the company has already entered into a number of manufacturing partnerships, such as with PC giant Compaq and Eastman Kodak.
Kodak has just released its first line-up of inkjet photo printers to complement its digital camera offering - the Personal Picture Maker 200 and 120. The models do not need a computer to print images directly from a digital camera. Rather, the user can plug the camera's memory card directly into the printer. It features a 1.8 inch colour LCD display for previewing pictures and uses Kodak inks.
Lexmark also unveiled a multifunction device - the W810Z - which scans, prints, copies and faxes using a touch screen. Also still only available for customised application, Lexmark will soon roll the W810Z out into the wider market.