With the promise of the paperless office still light years away, Silex Technology will introduce in the fourth quarter its WiPrint device, a wireless print hardware and software solution for sending print jobs over the air to standard printers.
The external WiPrint box will come with both USB and parallel ports that can connect to as many as five printers simultaneously. The box is accessed through IEEE 802.11b. The software will allow a network manager to push the appropriate printer drivers to the WiPrint device.
A user looking for available printers on the wireless network would see a list of printers, each with a port designation. By double-clicking on the designated port, a driver would be installed on the laptop and a regular print window opened.
Security is not an issue because the system creates a closed network and does not intrude on the larger corporate network, according to David Smith, president of Silex.
Smith also said that the system is built around the Linux OS which will give integrators or network managers the ability to build their own software on top of the operating system.
Currently, Silex is in talks with VARs and suppliers of Wi-Fi hot spots like Wayport to deploy the WiPrint system. Other areas that Silex officials hope to penetrate include hotel lobbies, airports, special events, corporate and school campuses, and print and copy shops.
At present, Silex does not appear to have any major competitors. Sun has made similar claims for its Jini technology, but Jini-enabled devices that would publish their services on wired and wireless networks has yet to materialize.
The WiPrint will be available in the fourth quarter through the reseller channel. Pricing is not yet set.