Thursday, August 6, 2009

Xerox: Unlock the value at PARC. It's about MPS, SmartPhones and QR codes.

Hopefully I've got this all wrong. Let's say PrintTicket is already being used in the field. But if I'm not wrong, then I'm seeing a pattern that started with PostScript continues through the no delivery date of Erasable Paper. I hope I'm wrong. But if I'm right . . .

I can't quite figure it out.

My best guess is that the legacy business process is get the tech into a patentable form then lock it up in IP and sell the IP. A better process might be to deploy a full featured prototype as soon as you can. Watch how it's used in the market place. Refine it. Find the evangelists. Let them help it naturally scale.

Most important: create a separate business unit, with new appropriate business process. Read Clay Christensen to see what I'm trying to say. My favorite separate business unit would be PARC University that sells certificates. Oops! I meant to say grants degrees.

Imagine the effect of using Xerox technology to support Xerox MPS if what is described below works. Given the scientists at PARC's track record, I would bet that it does. Given that I already have made a significant-to-me bet on XRX, I need someone at the C Level to pay attention.

At any rate, yesterday I was wondering in twitter land and found this:
Making mobile printing easier with QR (quick response) codes: [What are QR codes?]
Which took me to the PARC blog, where I found:
The Video:

The Words
Making mobile printing easier with QR codes - PARC blog
Currently, about 20 U.S. airports enable passengers to check in through a “mobile boarding pass”. These airports use special scanners to read the 2D barcodes displayed by diverse mobile manufacturers’ hardware.

We realized a similar technique could be used to “acquaint” a mobile phone and a printer, so that someone could easily print something from their phone wherever they are and whenever it’s needed (e.g., instructions, maps, notes, product information to leave behind for a prospective client).

To print from your phone, you first have to make the phone and printer “talk” to each other — which isn’t always easy. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to re-register my Bluetooth- or wifi-enabled mouse with my laptop; the irony is that they’re sitting right next to each other!

But using the scanner (MJ: on the smart phone) on a multi-function printer (or MFD) simplifies the process of acquainting the printer with your phone. All you have to do is:

  • display (a QR code with some print instructions embedded in it);
  • place (the phone on the MFD scanner); and
  • press (the big green button on the printer to scan it).

In addition, the code can contain cryptographic information so the phone can send an encrypted document over untrusted networks. The printer uses the cryptographic information embedded in the QR code to decrypt the document once it arrives from the network.


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  2. Thanks for the tips. I'm waiting for the time that bottom of the pyramid high school kids will use their cell phones to check into school. And then the trigger that will send Mom and SMS when junior decides to skip that day.

    At any rate, sooner or later they will all be unlocked, but while we're waiting for the business deals to work themselves out, it seems like you've got a good alternative.

    Now I have to go check out your site.

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