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Anoto Printer

Put the pattern to work for you: Make any surface digital with the patented Anoto Microdot Pattern.

Anoto works together with its partners to enable quality printing of the Anoto Microdot Pattern for a variety of business setups. Anoto always recommends the use of Anoto Qualified Printers and Anoto Certified Printing, but in certain cases this might not be possible or even necessary. In these cases, Anoto Tested Printers offer an alternative.

Anoto Qualified Printers
Anoto works with printer manufacturers in qualifying printing equipment, such as standard office color laser printers, to ensure top-quality printing and printing products. Qualified printers are always recommended, especially when the quality of the printed microdot pattern is of critical importance to the performance of the complete system. The qualification includes extensive tests and requirements specified by Anoto. The following printer manufactures offers Anoto Qualified Printers:

Fuji Xerox
NEC
Epson

Anoto Tested Printers

Anoto has compiled a non-exhaustive list of qualified printers as well as the results of printers tested by Anoto, Anoto partners and printer manufacturers. Tested printers are more suited for PC-centric solutions and products that may not require the same level of quality as a qualified printer can offer. With tested printers, customers have a broader range of cost-effective printers to choose from.

Tested printers do not have the same level of extensive evaluation compared to qualified printers therefore we don’t offer support on them. This is primarily due to the wide degree of options, colour control and postscript compatibility that manufacturers build into their printer firmware and device drivers.  We provide general guidance as to what to look for in a printer (600dpi min/1200dpi preferred, colour laser/ink jet printer with Adobe postscript compatibility and the option to disable all colour controls and interpretation), but it is up to the user to test before committing to purchase.

The list with qualified and tested printers can be found here.

General printer requirements

  • Color laser printer (600/1200/2400 dpi).
  • Postscript support is preferred.
  • 128 Mb RAM (minimum).

Creating digital paper is computationally intensive. Nearly 700 000 impressions of the Anoto dot pattern are laid out on a letter or A4 page. This, with the small size of individual dots, means that your printer needs to be capable of high-density printing, typically 600 dots per inch (DPI) or greater. It also means the printer will need more memory to process the large temporary files used for the dot pattern background and the content you wish to print in the foreground. What’s more, since the pen reads the infrared signature of carbon in black ink, only printers with black, carbon-based Ink can be used for printing Anoto pattern. Laser toner typically has the characteristics, but not all Inkjets used carbon-based inks; therefore printing on inkjets depends on a) the ink provided with your printer and b) the DPI density of your printer.

To handle this also other printer characteristics are important:

  • Printer memory/RAM.
    - 128Mb RAM min, 256Mb or more preferred.

  • Fast printer CPU. 
    - Dictates how quickly the pages are processed and therefore printed.

  • Ability to disable image colour enhancements. 
    - The CMY to K conversion is especially critical.This conversion is quite common, but will corrupt the pens ability to read the printed dots correctly (since K in the layout will be mixed with the pattern).

  • Printer language. 
    - Ask your chosen pen solution platform provider which printer language their solution support. Where possible use a Postscript/PCL printer. Some solutions, for example LivePDF, will work fine with just PCL.

In other words, just because the general printer requirements are fulfilled, it doesn’t mean that the printer is capable of printing the pattern in a satisfying way. Consider both speed and quality, so select a printer with care.

Other surfaces 
Apart from printing on paper, custom print technologies are also supported, such as printing microdot patterns on plastic tablets, whiteboards, transparent glass surfaces or LCD screens.

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