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Kyocera builds power of A3 into A4 MFPs

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Kyocera Document Solutions SA has introduced a range of colour A4 multifunction printers that it says delivers levels of quality, reliability and performance usually only found on more expensive A3 machines.

The three new additions to Kyocera’s Taskalfa range, the 406ci, 356ci and 306ci, have respective print speeds of 40ppm, 35ppm and 30ppm and come with up to 1200 dpi for the best quality document output. They are aimed at workgroups and departments which require the highest levels of functionality and paper handling, combined with reduced upfront costs and low running expenses.

They are aimed at small to large workgroups who use a colour A3 MFP because of the functionality, yet print on A4 most of the time. The new range offers up to 3100 sheet paper tray capacity, double sided printing, scanning, copying and faxing, and full finishing options. Thanks to their fast output, scanning speeds and finishing versatility, the new MFPs boast high productivity, with all key functions being easily accessible using an intuitive menu on a large touchscreen.

“Our new A4 colour multifunctionals are ideal for workgroups and departments who have tight IT budgets, yet need high-capacity printing and advanced finishing options,” says Brandon Zabielski, hardware product manager at Kyocera Document Solutions SA. “SMMEs, educational institutions, legal firms, and the hospitality industries are just some examples of the type of organisation that will appreciate the functionality, affordability and flexibility of these MFPs.”

Kyocera proovided the following information:

The new Taskalfa 406ci and 356ci combine the high volume capacities and advanced paper handling options of larger devices with the easy installation, footprint and flexibility of a more compact MFP. “Their exceptional functionality streamlines document processes, while vivid, high-quality colour printing adds value to your business,” says Zabielski.

All three machines can be easily integrated into existing workflows and tailored to meet the specific needs of an organisation by using Kyocera’s open software platform HyPAS. Combining Java and Web Services technology, Kyocera’s HyPAS-enabled software (including virtual fax system, integrated capturing solutions, print management solutions, advanced workflow capabilities and the ability to index and store documents for easy search and retrieval) can transform these MFPs into a business tool that goes beyond the traditional functions of a normal MFP, improving printing, security and usability easily from the control panel.

They can be quickly and easily set up using the control panel. With their excellent compatibility, the MFPs fit perfectly into your office environment when using ordinary business applications such as Document Management Systems or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). From mobile and cloud, to cost control and security solutions, Kyocera also offers a robust portfolio of Business Applications that seamlessly integrate with Kyocera MFPs.

Features of Taskalfa 306ci

·         Fax available as an option

·         4.3 inch full-colour touch panel and Home button provides ease of use

·         High speed controller with 1 GHz CPU and 1GB memory

·         Superior standard paper handling capabilities

·         75 sheet reversal document processor with support of A6 scan

·         Scan of banner pages via document processor

·         Scan at up to 40ipm

·         500 sheet internal paper cassette supports up to 220g/m²

·         Duplex up to 100% print productivity, up to 220g/m², custom size

·         500 sheet output capacity for larger print/copy job

·         Blue Angel Eco Label

·         Energy Star V2.0

·         Outstanding paper handling options

·         Internal Job separator can separate incoming faxes from printouts

·         5 bin mailbox or 300 sheet internal finisher with 50 sheet stapling

·         Up to 3,100 sheet paper for high print volume

·         Up to 5 trays for highly flexible media type handling

Features of Taskalfa 356ci and TASKalfa 406ci

·         Fax, dual fax, Internet fax and dedicated fax memory available as an option

·         7 Inch Full-colour touch panel provides ease of use

·         1,200 dpi print resolution for outstanding print quality

·         High speed controller with 800 MHz Dual Core CPU and 2 GB memory

·         320 GB HDD standard on Taskalfa 406ci and optional for Taskalfa 356c

·         Scan documents from A6 up to large banners at up to 120 ipm

·         2015 Good Design Award

·         Blue Angel Eco Label

·         Energy Star V2.0

·         Outstanding paper handling options

·         Optional 75 sheet RADF or DADF (Dual Scan) document processor

·         5 bin mailbox or 300 sheet internal finisher with 50 sheet stapling

·         Up to 3,100 sheet paper for high print volumes

·         Up to 5 trays for highly flexible media type handling

·         Same paper handling options as Taskalfa 306ci

·         1,000 or 3,000 sheet Document Finisher with stapling and punching

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Smart home arrives in SA

The smart home is no longer a distant vision confined to advanced economies, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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The smart home is a wonderful vision for controlling every aspect of one’s living environment via remote control, apps and sensors. But, because it is both complex and expensive, there has been little appetite for it in South Africa.

The two main routes for smart home installation are both fraught with peril – financial and technical.

The first is to call on a specialist installation company. Surprisingly, there are many in South Africa. Google “smart home” +”South Africa”, and thousands of results appear. The problem is that, because the industry is so new, few have built up solid track records and reputations. Costs vary wildly, few standards exist, and the cost of after-sales service will turn out to be more important than the upfront price.

The second route is to assemble the components of a smart home, and attempt self-installation. For the non-technical, this is often a non-starter. Not only does one need a fairly good knowledge of Wi-Fi configuration, but also a broad understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) – the ability for devices to sense their environment, connect to each other, and share information.

The good news, though, is that it is getting easier and more cost effective all the time.

My first efforts in this direction started a few years ago with finding smart plugs on Amazon.com. These are power adaptors that turn regular sockets into “smart sockets” by adding Wi-Fi and an on-off switch, among other. A smart lightbulb was sourced from Gearbest in China. At the time, these were the cheapest and most basic elements for a starter smart home environment.

Via a smartphone app, the light could be switched on from the other side of the world. It sounds trivial and silly, but on such basic functions the future is slowly built.

Fast forward a year or two, and these components are available from hundreds of outlets, they have plummeted in cost, and the range of options is bewildering. That, of course, makes the quest even more bewildering. Who can be trusted for quality, fulfilment and after-sales support? Which products will be obsolete in the next year or two as technology advances even more rapidly?

These are some of the challenges that a leading South African technology distributor, Syntech, decided to address in adding smart home products to its portfolio. It selected LifeSmart, a global brand with proven expertise in both IoT and smart home products.

Equally significantly, LifeSmart combines IoT with artificial intelligence and machine learning, meaning that the devices “learn” the best ways of connecting, sharing and integrating new elements. Because they all fall under the same brand, they are designed to integrate with the LifeSmart app, which is available for Android and iOS phones, as well as Android TV.

Click here to read about how LifeSmart makes installing smart home devices easier.

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Matrics must prepare for AI

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students writing a test

By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.

Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.

With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.

Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.

Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist. 

So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?

For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.

In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.

This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.

In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.

As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.

This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.

The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.

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