Xerox enables remote printing from smart phones

Xerox Corp. on Tuesday added remote printing capabilities to its enterprise print services portfolio, bring a new way for smart phone users to print documents while on the go.

The Xerox Mobile Print Solution allows users to print e-mail messages, documents and presentations from mobile devices like smart phones and tablets on remote printers, the company said. For example, users with smart phones will be able to print Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF documents on remote printers at the nearest office. 

Beyond smart phones, users can print documents from mobile devices with e-mail capabilities, even tablets like the iPad, a company spokeswoman said. Users need to e-mail the file to print to a secure server, and a confirmation code, which can be used to print a document at a remote location, is then e-mailed back to the user. 

Xerox’s competitors offer similar services. Hewlett-Packard Co., for example, offers remote printing capabilities for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices. That service allows users to locate, select and print documents from the closest printer in hotspots like cafes, airports, libraries and hotels. 

The spokeswoman said that the remote printing capability is designed to remain within a firewall, and is good for applications like remote office printing. That helps retain the security of documents. The company did not immediately comment on whether users would be able to select the remote printers through a mobile device.

The remote printer or multifunction device needs to be compatible with Xerox’s Extensible Interface Platform software platform, which allows developers to write applications for printers. According to Xerox’s website, the service is compatible with only certain Xerox WorkCentre or ColorQube printers.

The remote printing capabilities will be available worldwide in early 2011, the company said.

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