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New printer/copiers will have Java-based networking capability

Karl Cushing
Canon is to embed Java-based networking technology in its next generation Image Runner office products to improve integration with mobile platforms, document management and e-mail systems, writes Karl Cushing.

The multifunctional embedded application platform (Meap) technology will be opened to developers to allow them to customise and create their own Java-based applications. Canon said Meap will lower support costs and improve business workflow.

The idea itself is not new. Sun Microsystems launched a Java-based networking technology, Jini, in 1999, but take up has been limited and Sun has had problems getting major suppliers to support it.

However, Canon said it was unconcerned about getting other suppliers on board. "We don't see other suppliers adopting [Meap] as a major problem," said Chas Moloney, strategic marketing manager at Canon Business Solutions.

Moloney said the company will open up the platform to the Java development community and provide software development kits to help them develop new Meap applications ahead of the official Image Runner launch in September.

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