Weâ€™re all accustomed to thinking of Epson as just a printing company, albeit one that has developed a formidable reputation with products such as the PictureMate 280 proving Epsonâ€™s ability to innovate in a market chock full of competitors.
However, Epson, or Seiko Epson Corporation as it ought to be known, is about much more than just manufacturing printers. The corporation has its origins in watchmaking with the Seiko brand, and it first began making printers in 1968.
Since then, the corporation has expanded its interests into a large variety of arenas, applying its expertise in precision micromechanics and optics to a number of different products and manufacturing processes.
Among other things, itâ€™s a major player in the manufacture of LCD colour filters, and if you own a mobile phone (who doesnâ€™t these days?) then thereâ€™s a good chance that it contains Epson technology.
More recently Epson has been developing a number of new technologies, and to give us the low down on these new developments Epson invited us to its Exceeding in Culture Forum in Berlin.
After an opening presentation from Dr. Yuri Engelhardt of the University of Amsterdam on Visual Languages, Epson Seiko Executive Vice President, Norio Niwa, took the stage for the first Epson orientated presentation on the â€˜Imaging Ageâ€™.
He was followed by Hisashi Aruga (General Manager, Factory Automation System Department) and Satoshi Nebashi (General Manager of Advanced Product Development), and together they outlined the vision of the corporation and the new technologies they hope will propel that vision.
Networked printing in itself is nothing new, offices have been doing it for years and increasingly itâ€™s a tangible and useful thing to have in the home as well. At the event, Mr Niwa outlined Epsonâ€™s intention to be at the centre of future networked printing â€“ making it possible to print from anywhere in the world via wireless networks.
In short this means printing directly from 3G enabled phones, IP phones and other wireless enabled devices to printers located at home or in the office over the internet. He also stated Epsonâ€™s intention to make it possible to print images directly from a TV, adding to the flexibility of printing options in the home.