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The Visible Value Blog

Generation Z – Building a Printer Product Family for Tomorrow

Posted by Zebra EMEA

July 10, 2014 at 7:03 AM

ZT400_web_banners_300x250

Several years ago, we started on a programme to build the next generation of printers.

Informed by the constant feedback we get from you, our customers (thank you!), we wanted to build a family of all printer types – mobile, desktop, card and industrial, that were significantly easier to use, integrate, manage and maintain. That offered benefits to customers with a single printer as well as those with thousands.  This is our goal for the Generation Z printer.

This is our goal for the Generation Z printer, including the recently launched ZT400. So what makes a Generation Z printer?

On the outside a strong visual identity and ease of use

Many products have a strong visual identity, something that makes them instantly familiar. We see this everyday - cars, clothing, food and consumer electronics etc. This shared Industrial Design is more than just the outer appearance, it makes the things we use easier to learn and understand.

For Zebra Technologies the Industrial Design we’re using on Generation Z printers, not only gives you this strong visual family identity, but enables you to easily move from using one printer type to another.

ZT410_full_rewind2_mr

ZT400 printer

As a simple example, we use colour, Yellow (or Robust Gold officially), within the printer to indicate a part that can be touched, moved or adjusted. You’ll see it on the open latch of the QLn420 mobile printer, the media supply guide of the ZT230 industrial printer and the moveable sensor of the ZD500 desktop printer, and in many other places as well.


ZT230_open_mr
ZD500R_open_mr

ZT230                                                                                                                               ZD500R 

Many other examples of the common design are present on Generation Z printers – for example the icons used on the control keys, consistency of the user interface, the product names and even the part numbers. This is what makes our products easier to use and helps reduce training costs for you.

Internally a common platform for connectivity to any location

The Generation Z printer uses a common hardware and software platform to deliver a consistent high performance, connected and secure environment for your applications and data. The most obvious example of this is with Link-OS, which makes Generation Z printers easier to integrate, manage and maintain from any location.

Mobility is important as well, but it’s not just about moving the printer; it is also about managing and connecting to static printers from any mobile device. With common Link-OS features such as Print Touch and Profile Manager, all Generation Z printers can benefit from the improved efficiencies of secure connected mobile devices.

Generation Z printers are also designed to adapt and evolve and are cloud-ready, ready to print from your applications and services as they migrate from the on premise data centre to the cloud. Allowing your business to take advantage of the emerging benefits of cloud based applications without the expense and disruption of a hardware refresh.

Solving customer problems

So Generation Z printers, including the new ZT400 series, with more yet to be announced, are easier to use and more efficient to deploy, are ready for the next wave of cloud based solutions. And as the number of printers and printer types increase, the Generation Z benefits only multiply, giving you higher levels of productivity and visibility.

 

Richard Hughes-Rowlands

EMEA Product Marketing, Zebra Technologies

Topics: Link-OS Environment, APAC, North America, Latin America, EMEA