As more and more consumers turn to e-readers and tablets for their digital media, Ricoh announced this week that it has updated its contribution to the eWriter solution, the eQuill. The device functions as a business-class tablet, almost an electronic clipboard of sorts, packed with features that seek to eliminate the need for paper, which is an interesting development given that Ricoh’s product line is still dominated by copier and fax machines.
This is just one recent move that Ricoh has made towards reducing its carbon footprint and helping its customers drastically reduce their reliance on paper in an effort to save money. It’s also a sign that Ricoh is well-equipped to adapt its business model to meet the need for a paperless workflow, despite its healthy beginnings in the paper-based industry.
The eQuill, which weighs right around one pound and sustains an incredible battery life of around 20 hours during normal use, receives data via multisource input, namely through the stylus, camera, voice recording, or soft keyboard. As for quality, Ricoh feels that the near ten-inch e-ink screen has almost the same readability as print paper. One standard feature which will impress even the most die-hard ballpoint pen fan is the ability to write directly into pre-populated forms that the user sends to the device using eWriter Workflow Services, allowing the incorporation of information through the various inputs.
One of the best features of the eQuill for business is the ability for eWriter to authenticate signatures by date, time, and biometric keystroke recognition, thereby offering a measure of data theft and authentication protection that may have prevented businesses from adopting a paperless workplace design in the past. Ricoh actually encrypts all eWriter data with its EWS processes to give users a sense of confidence in business security.
While Ricoh is making the eQuill purchase possible by taking orders beginning this month and anticipated shipment later this summer, the device does seem tailor-made for specific markets such as healthcare fields, government agencies, and law enforcement. It has an expected price point as low as $500 for entry-level models, with additional features available at order and customizable add-ons and applications made possible through the channel partners.