For us, 2025 seems like a far off point in time we don’t have to deal with yet. But for technology companies, a year can already feel like a decade—or more. And with the rapid development of the tech field, it makes sense that Japanese company Epson sets its sight many years into the future.
Calling it a “vision statement,” Epson unveiled “Epson 2025” last year to introduce its four key areas moving forward: inkjet innovation, visual imaging innovation, wearables innovation, and robotics innovation. Toshimitsu Tanaka, managing director and president of Epson Philippines and country manager of Epson Singapore, sums up what they’re trying to achieve in the coming years. With these innovations, Tanaka says they are looking to make “lives simpler and tasks easier.” A simple enough idea with big implications.
Where are they now with each area? We explore them below.
It’s been another big year for Epson projectors as the company claims the top spots in most Southeast Asia countries, including the Philippines, with a 55 percent market share (which they claim surpasses all other projector brands). This product segment has also supposedly made the company the top projector brand in the world for the past 16 years, at least according to data from Futuresource Consulting.
According to Lyn Lizarondo, product manager for Visual Imaging Systems for Epson Philippines, the focus for this year and moving forward will be in developing tech for interactive learning for the education sector; high-brightness requirements for large venues, rental, and staging; and more models for the office and corporate sector.
Among other things, Epson is looking to give schools a “big screen visibility advantage” to help students see and understand lessons more as well as boost collaborative discussion in the classroom. Boosting capabilities in offices is something Epson wants to turn their attention to as well so they can, for example, help improve communications within companies with satellite offices in other parts of the country. Imagine getting better video conferencing capabilities. They also want to meet the need for high-brightness projectors for big events and venues.
Lizarondo says in the past there have also been increased demands for high-brightness projectors for events, laser-based projectors, and home projectors for hobbyists who want large-screen images.
Inkjet & professional printing
Epson still proudly boasts of how its L-Series line of printers have changed the landscape for printing with its Genuine Ink Tank system. As Russer Cabrera, product manager for Business Inkjet Printers of Epson Philippines, says, “Since the launch of the first Epson L-Series printers, we have sold over 15 million units, and we are glad to say that one out of two printers sold last year was an Epson inkjet printer.”
According to Epson Singapore’s Ishii Hidemasa, the Japanese company’s Micro Piezo technology has made their inkjet printers “simpler and superior” over laser printing with the promise of lower ownership cost and power consumption and fewer maintenance parts.
And now the company is set to introduce its new PrecisionCore inkjet technology to further the development of this segment. This year and onwards, the company is looking to introduce more options for duplex printing, A3 printing, monochrome printing, and multi-function printers in A3, 45ppm and above, which they note is where laser copiers dominate.
This new tech also aims to help other companies meet environmental objectives by lowering power consumption, fewer maintenance parts, and enhanced document security. Hidemasa also shares about the introduction of the “Epson Device Admin” solution to help IT departments monitor and control printer usage at the office. It’ll be a free program they’ll be bringing to customers soon.
Aside from inkjet tech and products, Epson has been making waves in the digital textile printing industry. Earlier this year, the company partnered with renowned Filipino designer John Herrera to help bring his designs to life using Epson’s technology. He reaped the benefits instantly as he recently won “Britain’s Top Designer Competition” for the collection he digitally printed with Epson’s dye sublimation printer.
As Chu Bacsal-Pajarito, product manager for Commercial and Industrial Printers of Epson Philippines, explains their digital textile printing capabilities offers “endless possibilities” for designers as they’re not limited by design and other limitations of conventional textile printing. She goes as far to say that “everything is possible” with Epson’s line of digital textile printers. And that designers will only be limited by their imaginations when working with these machines.
For the smaller, more portable point-of-sale printers, Epson boasts of achieving the no. 1 position for the seventh consecutive year. Thea Austria, product manager for Professional Printers Group of Epson Philippines, says the company has become top of mind for POS printing. One key brand who already uses Epson’s POS systems is Globe. It has addressed the telco’s need to provide its in-store staff a more mobile, tablet-based solution as they help subscribers who visit their stores.
Epson might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to wearables but the company has been developing its wearable tech as early as 2011. But just late last year, Epson introduced the third iteration to its Moverio line of products, the Moverio BT-300.
The company promoted the augmented reality-based glasses locally through their partnership with DJI as it can be used to help see what drones see as you fly them. Aside from that, it can be used in the enterprise and industrial spaces, for education purposes, entertainment, and so much more. Epson is looking for more partners to help expand the reach and capabilities of the BT-300.
Epson isn’t a new player in the robotics field, either. As the company says, it’s “part and parcel of how Epson operates and manufactures” already. Its SCARA robot is said to be a market share leader for the past six consecutive years. And they are looking to expand the applications of the robots to help people from a wide variety of industries.
As Ng Ngee Khiang, regional general manager of SEA Robotics Division of Epson Singapore, “Epson intends to lower the barriers of automation, expand the market, and build a competitive advantage. Globally, Epson has already started by advancing the company’s robotic vision, force sensor, and accelerometer technologies. The long-term goal is to sell robots packaged with software that control robot motion and operations. Such packages will dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes users to install robots.”
With 75 years of existence and experience under its belt, the Seiko Epson Corporation has refined its super-microprocessing and precision processing technologies first applied to its watches and now to the many other fields they are involved in. And they look to the future to “create a new connected age of people, things, and information with efficient, compact, and precision technologies.”
“Simply put, Epson’s goal is to heighten people’s creativity, and to create a sustainable society in which people enjoy safe and healthy lifestyle,” says Ed Bonoan, senior general manager and marketing head of Epson Philippines.
It looks like they’re on the way to making that happen.