SEYBOLD UPDATE: Companies Unveil Slew of Products

Publishers, electronics manufacturers and electronic-commerce Web site developers presented a plethora of announcements here at the Seybold publishing show this week regarding the way users interact with text and images in the digital medium. While vendors such as Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Adobe Systems garnered the majority of attendees' attention, a number of players in the publishing space also presented their latest developments.

The following were announced during the course of the show:

-- Minolta Corp. added two products to its MicroPress cluster printing system in an attempt to improve productivity in print-on-demand environments with heavy usage of scanning applications. The MicroImager software announced Tuesday reportedly gives users increased scanning and hard-copy document controls for MicroPress document production. The MicroScanner F50 product works as a high-speed scanner for the Minolta print-on-demand system. The suggested retail price for the combination of the two products stands at US$10,995. The scanner offering requires MicroImager for usage in the MicroPress environment. Minolta, based in Osaka, Japan, can be reached at +81-6-6271-2251 or http://www.minolta.com/.

-- IKON Office Solutions Inc. -- a publishing products and services provider -- presented the most recent generation of the EDOX color document servers and Velocity Balance software as part of the company's strategy to supply differentiated products in the office, production and outsourcing environments.

Both the servers and software were developed by Electronics for Imaging Inc. -- a vendor focused on networking printing products. IKON claims that the combination of offerings adds load balancing and color management capabilities to the EDOX server family. Additionally, the vendor touts a series of color tools aimed at aiding graphic-design application and some document building and variable data technology for personalized marketing. IKON, based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, is at +1-610-296-8000 or http://www.ikon.com/.

-- For users in search of business or personal storage, Panasonic Industrial Co. -- a division of Matsushita Electric Corp. of America -- confirmed that it started volume shipping of 4.7G-byte DVD-RAM drives. With pricing similar to the first generation 2.6G-byte/5.2G-byte DVD-RAM drives, the new format can store 2 hours of videos and has an increased transfer rate of 22.16M bps (bits per second), according to Panasonic. The storage cost is also lowered by the new product from 2.3 cents per M byte for a hard drive to 0.005 cents per M byte, the vendor claimed. Panasonic, based in Secaucus, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-201-348-7000 or http://www.panasonic.com/pic/.

-- Sharp Document & Network Systems of America unveiled Tuesday its first series of color inkjet products. The vendor will make available the AJ-1800 and AJ-2000 printers along with an all-in-one machine known as the AJ-6010. The higher model printer -- the AJ-2000 -- and the all-in-one machine are directed toward home and small business users. Sharp, based in Mahwah, New Jersey, can be reached at +1-201-529-8200 or http://www.sharp-usa.com/.

-- More news came on the scanning front when Umax Technologies Inc. announced the mid-September availability of two high-resolution Internet scanners. The AstraNet e5420 will have 1,200 x 2,400 dpi (dots per inch) resolution and the ability to scan images directly to the Internet. The scanner comes packaged with free Internet access via ISP (Internet service provider) NetZero Inc. in addition to 50M bytes of Web storage and an online photo album both provided by Image Online Corp.

The AstraNet e5470 includes a built-in UTC (universal transparency cover) that allows users to scan slides, positives and negatives. Both scanners permit users to scan straight to a disk drive, printer, e-mail address or Web-based photo album. The AstraNet e5420 starts at a suggested price of $149, while the UTC-equipped version, the AstraNet e5470, will cost from $199.

-- Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Inc. introduced a new design of its digital camera products with the FinePix 4900 ZOOM model. Available in September, the camera touts two shutter-release buttons to accommodate both horizontal and vertical shooting as well as both automatic and manual operation abilities. A built-in, miniature LCD (liquid-crystal display) view finders along with an LCD playback monitor also come with the Fuji product. The suggested price for the camera should be under $1,000. Fuji, based in Elmsford, New York, can be reached at +1-914-789-8100 or http://www.fujifilm.com/.

-- ASP (application service provider) Convoq Ltd. exhibited its interactive conferencing service TeamProof Tuesday at Seybold. The company said that the interactive conferencing service gives art directors, marketing managers and production personnel a way to use the Web for viewing and annotating graphic arts documents.

By working via the Convoq Web portal, a user can create a virtual meeting room and invite other participants to log on and share documents. The shared files automatically open on all users' desktops. Changes can be made to the shared documents online which all users can see immediately. The TeamProof client can accommodate up to 16 users and is available at no charge from Convoq's Web site to registered users. Convoq, based in New York, New York, is at +1-212-953-9571 or http://www.convoq.com/.

-- Group Logic Inc. demonstrated the latest version of its high-speed digital file transfer, remote proofing and remote workflow software. The vendor claims that MassTransit 3.6 increases file transfer performance by over 20 percent up from previous versions of the Group Logic software.

Shipping immediately, the series of applications should also help with monitoring and controlling file transfer operations from anywhere on the network via the Web, Group Logic said. The capabilities should give remote users a chance to check the status of a file transfer, view and modify queries of both incoming and outgoing files as well as initiating a file transfer or proofing connection to a remote site, the vendor claimed. Group Logic, based in Arlington, Virginia, can be reached at +1-703-528-1555 or http://www.grouplogic.com/.

-- For users interested in Web applications, Running Start Inc. gave the first public demonstration of its ArticleBASE 3.0 Web content management and workflow publishing system here. With added support for Java, XML (extensible markup language), and WAP (wireless application protocol), the vendor's product is designed for companies wanting to move toward the e-business segment.

Scheduled to ship in the third quarter of this year, ArticleBASE's integrated XML and WAP support should allow for data exchange with other XML-based applications and allow site access from any browser, PDA (personal digital assistant) or cell phone, according to the vendor. Running Start, based in Tucson, Arizona, can be reached at +1-520-296-3370 or http://www.running-start.com/.

-- Canon U.S.A. Inc. announced Tuesday four new color output devices, including the CLC 5000 for high-end color production, the CLC 3100 designed for entry-level environments, the Color imageRUNNER C2050 for corporate office use, and the BJ-W9000 for wide-format applications.

The CLC 5000 product should be available by the first quarter of 2001 with a suggested price of $89,500. At that time, the imageRUNNER and BJ-W9000 should also be ready; however, pricing has not yet been set. The CLC 3100 will be available somewhat sooner with an Oct. 1 target date already set and a suggested retail price of $63,100.

Canon, based in Lake Success, New York, can be reached at +1-516-488-6700 or http://www.usa.canon.com/.

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