Epson is to move beyond its traditional product range and is developing 3D printers for commercial applications.
The Age reported on an interview conducted by Fairfax Media in which Epson President Minoru Usui spoke of striving for originality and looking into new types of products, as he reportedly stated that other technology companies such as Apple and Samsung lack "originality".
Usui used the two companies' smartphone models as an example, commenting that "if you take them apart then you'll find that they're basically all using the same displays, they're using the same batteries, the same condensers, the same parts".
He then went on to assert that Epson plans to focus on "actual originality" and on creating "things that other companies simply cannot", listing wearable technology and 3D printing as areas of interest for the company.
In terms of 3D printers, Usui explained that Epson would be focused on commercial applications for large-scale production environments rather than models aimed at the consumer market, which he described as "niche" and "very limited" due to the types of materials they can use to create objects. He added that he did not expect the consumer 3D printing market to become "all that big" and believes that interest in the market would be "temporary", claiming that it had been encouraged by a speech made by US President Obama in February in which 3D printing was mentioned.
Usui also talked about Epson"s foray into the wearable technology market, which he said would be "a big area of expansion" for the company. "We’re aiming to create products that will be able to illustrate what’s happening inside your body […] so you can track changes over time," he said. "As far as I’m aware there are no products on the market today that can achieve this by simply just using sensors."
Lightweight, augmented reality headgear is another area that Epson is focused on, with Usui claiming that "the scope for products like this is immense in various applications".
Usui said: "I don’t want Epson to be just known as a printer maker or projector maker […] I want to take it to be a company [that] understands [what] people in different areas of the world want."
Source: Epson to enter commercial 3D printing market
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