March 3 2014: The world's leading printer makers have come together in an alliance to leverage the huge public need to print, easily from their mobile devices. Called the Mopria Alliance, it is a non-profit membership organization of leading global technology companies with the goal of providing simple wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Founding members are Canon, HP, Xerox and Samsung. Executive Members include Brother, Lexmark, Ricoh, Konica Minolta, CSR, and Marvell.
Epson became the latest organization to join Mopria last month: “The Mopria Alliance is dedicated to advancing mobile printing to allow busy people on-the-go to conveniently print wherever or whenever, regardless of brand or operating system,” said Ian Cameron, responsible for global communications at Epson. “Epson is committed to making printing as easy as possible for its customers, and is honored to collaborate with like-minded organizations to improve how we meet and anticipate customer needs in today’s increasing mobile culture.”
The Alliance is seeking members from additional mobile device and printer manufacturers along with mobile device operating system providers. In addition, the Mopria Alliance is pursuing software application developers to deploy print functionality within their applications.
Their mantra is : Print should be an embedded function in the Operating System (OS) (no set-up, no software installation)
Their mission: developing execution specifications for existing standards, promoting interoperability among mobile and print devices. In addition, the Alliance will host plugfest events and operate a Certification Program to foster compliance and global interoperability, and will conduct marketing activities to teach businesses and consumers about the benefits of mobile printing.
The Mopria Alliance standard defines four key components that must come together to facilitate
1 Connection: Users can connect to printers in a variety of manners, including:
• being on the same network as a printer;
• via Wi-Fi Direct to connect peer-to-peer to a printer (i.e., neither a PC nor wireless access point is required);
• Or Near Field Communications (NFC) is supported as an optional means to connect that further simplifies the user experience.
2 Print System: The Print System is built into the mobile operating system; no special apps are required. It is based on the industry standard Internet Printing Protocol and Wi-Fi Direct Services (WFDS) Print. WFDS Print specifies the Page Description Languages (PDLs) used to send and accept print jobs between an application and printer. The PDLs allow content to be formatted to the paper size rather than the width of the device screen. Over time, the standard will expand the PDLs to encompass
more file types.
The Print System also allows printers to be discovered before establishing the peer-to-peer network connection to a particular printer. Printers on established network connections may be discoveredusing the Bonjour protocol.
3 User Experience (UX): Guidelines define minimum requirements – i.e., to keep user interfaces simple,consistent and intuitive across devices and applications. The Print user interfaceconsists of a list of printers available, a Print button provided upon printer selection, a minimum set of Print options, and is designed to be in sync with the mobile user’s lifestyle.
4 Open Application Programming Interface (API): A simple Open API allows Mobile App developersto integrate the print function in their apps with minimum effort.
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