The Foundation of our Future Workplace: Education and Technology

Recognising and removing the barriers to technology in education will be fundamental to realising the benefits of new-technologies in business.

We are experiencing a period of rapid technological advancement in industry. It is a transformation that is taking place across a wide range of sectors, from medicine to manufacturing, legal to advertising.

In this shifting landscape, understanding what the future might bring is vital. Preparing for that future will require a framework of education that is able to adapt. In recent research conducted by Epson, we were keen to understand this emerging industrial landscape, and how European experts and employees expect a future augmented by technology to change.

But how do we prepare the next generation for this fundamental technological shift?

Finding the skills

The modern European landscape is already facing a growing skills shortage. The Cedefop European Skills and Job Survey revealed that over a fifth of European adults currently have lower skills than are needed when entering a job. If this is the situation today, it highlights significant challenges in tackling the problems of tomorrow.

Education and training have, and will always be, the foundation for ensuring the workforce is ready to adapt to new challenges. The question becomes, in a time of rapid change, how do we ensure that education is able to keep up? As with any such shift, hurdles to this technological transformation are already beginning to emerge.

Positivity is not the only challenge

The good news is that attitudes to new technologies are largely buoyant within the European workforce. 63 percent of respondents in Epson’s study expressed an overall positive sentiment to the implementation of new technology. However, there are apparent threats to the quality of future education and its ability to deliver the required skill sets of a modern workforce.

Financial investment into education is one hurdle that must be overcome, with 47 percent of respondents highlighting this as a concern. Teacher training offers another hurdle, something raised by 40 percent of employees. Likewise, the challenge of out-dated technology is something that 34 percent of respondents are wary of.

Aside from the challenges of implementing educational change, ensuring it is of the highest quality will also be crucial. Fifty percent of respondents believe that teaching quality will diminish as teachers are expected to learn and use more technology. Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents believe teachers are not equipped to train students with the necessary skills required to use the technology that will become commonplace over the next decade.

A positive attitude to education

The reality is that technological transformation is set to revolutionise many sectors. Education is just one area braced to feel the impact. It is also the area that could have the biggest impact on the ultimate success of technological transformation within businesses and industry, and it is within education that our future workforce will be made ready.

We need to ensure we meet the challenges limiting the adoption and understanding of technology in education, and be positive about the changes ahead. The good news is that 61 percent of respondents within education stated they would be willing to retrain for their future role. This attitude of positivity is encouraging, but it is vital we all support the developing educational framework to ensure our collective success.

Epson launches breakthrough high-speed linehead inkjet Multi-Function Printer for enterprises

Epson has launched its first high-speed linehead Multi-Function inkjet printer for enterprise printing, the WorkForce Enterprise series, WF-C20590 and WF-C17590, that prints at breakthrough printing speeds of up to 100 pages per minute (ppm), one of the fastest speeds in inkjet printing, reinventing business printing in the office and ushering new levels of productivity.

Epson’s pioneering PrecisionCore linehead technology, a first of a kind innovation measuring at 43mm wide and containing approximately 33,500 nozzles, consists of a fixed print head that prints at ultra-fast speeds of 100ipm for both simplex and duplex. Without the moving print head, banding is now greatly minimized, and prints are high quality and laser sharp.

The all-new printing mechanism consists of an electrostatic transport belt in the print pass that ensures the paper is completely flat for stable paper feeding, ensuring the smoothest of gradients and consistently sharp images while delivering at ultra-fast speeds. Due to its stable print feeding and smart design, the printer is able to print on a wide range of paper types of up to 350gsm, including paper of irregular sizes.

The revolutionary WorkForce Enterprise series drives productivity and drastic energy savings of up to 75% less power[1] consumption when copying compared to an average laser printer, resulting in lower electricity costs and higher efficient operation.

As there is no heat involved in the printing process with the PrecisionCore Thin Film Piezo technology, printing at 100ppm uses 1.2kWh, which is less than half of a competitive laser MFP[2]. Without use of heat, there is also minimal warm up time with fast first page out printing compared to laser printers.

Ultra-high capacity ink cartridges yield up to 100,000 pages in black and 50,000 pages in colour each[3], enabling uninterrupted downtime and a lower total cost of ownership and greater cost savings. With the high yields and high volumetric efficiency, there is reduced frequency of consumables exchange compared to toner replacements of a laser printer. The high capacity paper feed unit with option for up to 5,350 sheets for input and paper output capabilities of up to 4,000 with the sheet finisher unit support high volume printing.

The WorkForce Enterprise continues to deliver high quality prints at its high speeds. Its self-maintaining printhead monitors nozzle health and automatically detects and adjusts print head performance, eliminating the issue of clogged ink nozzles. The printer’s DURAbrite Pro inks deliver professional high quality prints and are fade-resistant, water-resistant and fast-drying for high speed printing.

The WorkForce Enterprise lowers total cost of ownership due to having fewer moving parts than colour lasers, resulting in fewer components required for standard maintenance and dramatically reduced downtime as well as cost of service. For example, only a set of paper feed rollers will need to be replaced after extended use for the inkjet printer, compared to the multiple fuser, drums, rollers and print head parts of the laser printer, amongst others.

“With the revolutionary WorkForce Enterprise printer, we are bringing high-speed, high-productivity printers that deliver outstanding quality inkjet printing to enterprises, while helping companies lower total cost of ownership. We see inkjet as the future of business printing and this year to be the tipping point as many more businesses make the switch away from laser. And the WorkForce Enterprise printers will be the catalyst for this,” said Cherry Suarez, Product Manager for Business Inkjets, Epson Philippines.

[1] Taken from BLI database (Feb 2017), ‘Energy Used While Copying’. The Epson WorkForce WF-C20590 uses 180W while copying compared to an average A3 laser/LED MFPs capable of 55-65ppm.

[2]TEC values of A3 MFPs with print speed 50-55 ppm from six manufacturers based on public information from each of those companies. Published energy efficiency of models was converted to TEC values and plotted (Epson research).

[3] Replacement cartridge yields are based on ISO/IEC 24711 tests in Default Mode printing continuously.

Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector

The Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector is a lightweight model that offers sharp text and good video quality for a data projector. With a rated brightness of 3,600 lumens, the EX5250 Pro is bright enough for a midsize room, although you may want to add an external sound system if you use much video in your presentations. It lacks most of the bells and whistles of the Epson PowerLite 965H XGA 3LCD Projector, our Editors’ Choice XGA projector for midsize rooms, but it comes in at a substantially lower price.

Design and Features
The EX5250 Pro’s light source, which is based on the 3LCD technology developed by Epson, has a rated brightness of 3,600 lumens, a little above average for a data projector, and brighter than the very similar Epson EX5240 XGA 3LCD Projector. The EX5250 Pro has native XGA (1,024-by-768) resolution, in a 4:3 aspect ratio typical of traditional data presentations.

Measuring 3.2 by 11.6 by 9.2 inches (HWD), including its feet, and weighing 5.3 pounds, the glossy-black EX5250 Pro is easily portable, and it comes with a soft carrying case. Behind the lens are zoom and focus rings, as well as a slider for manual horizontal keystone correction. The 1.2x optical zoom provides some flexibility in how far you can place the projector from the screen for a given image size, although it is modest compared with the 1.6x zoom found in the Epson 965H.

The EX5250 Pro has a solid, albeit basic, set of ports, including a VGA port (which doubles as component video), an HDMI port, three RCA plugs for composite video and audio, an S-video port, a USB Type B port for connecting with a PC, and a USB Type A port that fits a thumb drive or a Wi-Fi adapter. The adapter comes standard with the EX5250 Pro, while for both the Epson 965H and EX5240 it’s a $99 option. The Epson 965H does, however, add a second port for both VGA and HDMI (the latter being MHL-compatible), as well as an Ethernet jack.

The EX5250 Pro has a long lamp life for an LCD projector, up to 10,000 hours when in ECO mode. Even better, replacement bulbs cost a pittance. Epson sells them for just $79, while most vendors sell replacement bulbs for around $200.

As is the case with the vast majority of LCD-based projectors, the EX5250 Pro lacks the ability to project 3D content. DLP projectors such as the BenQ MX723 offer 3D as a matter of course.

Data-Image Testing
From a distance of about 5 feet away, the EX5250 Pro projected a 60-inch image (measured diagonally), which stood up well to the addition of ambient light. In testing using the DisplayMate suite, the EX5250 Pro showed image quality that’s suitable for most business and classroom presentations. Text quality is good, with both white text on black, and black text on white readable at sizes as small as 7.5 points.

Colors are bright and well saturated. With LCD projectors color brightness matches white brightness, and their images tend to look brighter and more colorful than DLP projectors. This is because DLP models frequently have lower color brightness than white brightness.

I did notice a color-balance issue during testing, with some gray backgrounds looking slightly red or green. This was true across multiple color modes, as well as with the lower-brightness ECO (power conservation) setting enabled. The EX5250 Pro’s overall data-image quality was nearly as good as the Epson 965H, and better than the Epson EX5240, with text quality being the deciding factor in each case.

Video and Audio Quality
The EX5250 Pro’s video quality is good for a data projector. It’s suitable for showing mid-length or longer clips as part of a presentation, though the quality isn’t up to that of a basic home-entertainment unit. Because it’s an LCD projector, the EX5250 Pro is free from the rainbow artifacts that often compromise video quality in DLP-based models. On the other hand, color balance was slightly off, with an excess of red in some test scenes. The single 2-watt speaker provides reasonably loud audio, good enough for a small room, and of decent quality. Its volume is modest compared with the sound from the Epson 965H’s 16-watt speaker.

Conclusion
The Epson EX5250 Pro Wireless XGA 3LCD Projector is a versatile data projector for business or classroom use. It’s bright enough to work well in a midsize room, yet light enough to be easily portable, and it offers Wi-Fi connectivity. Overall data-image quality is good, and video quality is above-average for a data projector. The EX5250 Pro costs a little more than the Epson EX5240, but by virtue of its extra brightness, sharper text, and Wi-Fi adapter, is a better choice. Although the EX5250 lacks the powerful audio, zoom, and range of ports, of the Epson PowerLite 965H, it comes in at a substantially lower price than that Editors’ Choice model. If cost is paramount, the EX5250 Pro is a more-than-acceptable alternative.

Epson Home Cinema 2040 and 2045 Projectors

The Home Cinema 2040 and 2045 are Epson’s impressive, new sub-$1000 home theater – or if you prefer, home entertainment projectors.

I’m a bit late getting this published.  I received a Home Cinema 2040 – also referred to as HC2040 about five weeks ago.  It was an engineering sample, delivered shortly before Epson’s official announcement.  I went through the entire review process, but had to complete our annual Best Home Theater Projectors report and launch another site – SmarterHomeAutomation.com – before getting around to writing this up.  My apologies for the delay.  Here goes!

Just published, Performance page 2, with Menus, Remote control and Lens Throw, and Input Lag times, still to be published, proofing still to be done. -art

The Home Cinema 2040, however, is the only one I’ve received so far. Two more coming in soon they say.

Let’s get the differences between these two out of the way, which will simplify.  The HC2045, at an official price of $849 is $50 more than the HC2040, and has one extra feature, built in MiraCast.  This will allow wireless connection with Miracast equipped laptops and other devices.  That said, both projectors offer an HDMI port with MHL, which basically offers similar capability with most mobile devices.  More on the Special features page.  Certainly the HC2040 will be the big seller of the two, but for some, the HC2045 makes more sense

OK let’s concentrate now on the Home Cinema 2040.

This Epson is bright enough to use as a general Home Entertainment projector.  That translates to having enough horsepower to be used in less than ideal rooms, with some ambient light present.  Right off the bat, it’s really great for sports which is a typical use in such rooms, be it a living room, bonus room, or spare bedroom.  And don’t forget, it’s small enough, light enough, and has a built in speaker, so that you can take it outside for those nighttime summer movie festivals – or whatever else you like.

At the same time, it’s not so bright that it can’t be used in a fully darkened room, aka, a home theater or cave.  That is a problem for some very bright projectors.  Versatile!

This is a projector that is just dripping in vibrant colors.  It looks pretty great right out of the box.  And the colors aren’t just vibrant, they are pretty accurate.  So much so, that for a projector in its price range, it seemed a bit foolish to get into calibrating it.   While the hard core among us might want to tweak the colors to achieve closer to perfection, this is a “take it out of the box, plug it in, and watch” projector.  No muss, no fuss.

Add to that a great warranty.

Epson built this for the consumer that wants a really good solution, without having to devote a whole lot of energy to it.  – a true consumer product.

The HC2040 and HC2045 are available online, from all the usual sources including the large, and I should note, really knowledgeable AV dealers such as our advertisers Projector People, Visual Apex and Projector Superstore, as well as Amazon, and big box houses like Best Buy.   In other words, if these Epsons ring your bell, it sure won’t be hard to lay your hands on one, and to begin your truly big screen experience.

And as long as I’m plugging AV dealers – or rather the whole AV channel – keep this in mind when its time to decide:  Just about anyone can sell you a projector, but if you want a source that can also answer your questions about projector screens and other accessories, speak intelligently about cables, etc., look to the AV dealers first, those guys are the experts -whether they advertise with us or not.  Most of them are about you calling into them, rather than just ordering online.  We’re talking real phone support too, not “we’ll answer your email in 24 hours.”

(BTW, I’m biased – my last company, which I sold in 2003 – Presenting Solutions, was the first seller of projectors online (Jan 1995) and was an “AV” dealer, selling 600+ projectors a month at peak before I sold it.)  Obviously I’ve been doing this too long, considering I got involved in modern projectors at the very beginning.) -art

The page wasn’t quite long enough to fit without those last two paragraphs.  Now we can get back to the HC2040.  So, what else has it got going for it?

– See more at: http://www.projectorreviews.com/epson/epson-home-cinema-2040-2045-projectors-review/#sthash.lSHxw0n5.dpuf