The Softer Side of Innovation: Kornit Announces Neopigment Robusto Softener Solution

Catherine Cresswell
Mar 27, 2020

Kornit, an Israeli manufacturer of direct-to-garment (DTG) and roll-to-roll digital printers, was scheduled to hold an in-person press conference at FESPA to launch its new NeoPigment™ Robusto Softener Solution. FESPA has been postponed due to the coronavirus, and the company instead invited press members to an impromptu webinar. During the webinar, Kornit provided its perspective on industry trends that drive the adoption of digital fabric printing, including the growing requirement for individualism, the increase in e-commerce, and the demand for greater sustainability (i.e., less water consumption and textile waste). In response to these trends, the company has completely overhauled its DTG and roll-to-roll digital textile printer portfolios over the past two years with new devices, a new workflow platform, and new inks and consumables.

With its NeoPigment Robusto Softener Solution, Kornit hopes to address major retail fashion brands’ demand for quality printed fabrics that require a rich colour gamut. The solution has proven successful in beta testing. According to Omer Kulka, Kornit’s Chief Marketing Officer, the softener enables printed fabrics to feel as soft as they do in their unprinted states. This improved hand closes an important gap in the ability of roll-to-roll digital pigment inks for high-end clothing applications, particularly womenswear. It can be used on most natural and synthetic fabrics, including cotton, silk, polyester, and even nylon. The softener complements the NeoPigment Robusto ink and Fixation on Fly (FOF) agent used in Kornit’s new Presto roll-to-roll direct-to-fabric printer range, which was launched at ITMA 2019. This product line brings increased permanency as well as the wash- and rub- fastness standards that are required in the fashion industry.

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Now More than Ever, Take Home Network Security Seriously

Jamie Bsales and David Sweetnam
Mar 26, 2020

Your Home Printer and Network Equipment Could Be Putting Corporate Data at Risk

With so many areas across the world now operating under “stay at home” orders, millions of traditionally office-based employees are adapting to life working from home for the first time. The challenges of finding sufficient work space, blocking out the noise from TVs blaring, children playing, dogs barking, online meetings crashing due to the lack of home bandwidth, and other distractions are already becoming all too commonplace. However, there is another, invisible and silent challenge that employers should be very conscious of: data security.

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Konica Minolta’s GenARate Attracts New Audience in Marketing/Advertising

Colin McMahon
Mar 25, 2020

Konica Minolta’s flagship augmented reality (AR) software platform, genARate, launched back in November 2018, but the company has been supporting, developing, and expanding its usage ever since. For those who may not be familiar, genARate is best described as a content creation tool for the AR space. Like many solutions, it has a mobile component – which currently includes an app that users can download (as well as a web solution…more on that later), and it also has a backend content creation studio that helps clients create intriguing and engaging AR experiences.

Ashley McConnell, Konica Minolta’s International Business Development Manager, recently sat down for a podcast interview with us at Keypoint Intelligence to discuss all the ways he and his company have been working to support genARate, as well as new improvements to the product. One of the big takeaways: While genARate was created with print service providers in mind, the product is seeing success in a new field – marketing and advertising.

Konica Minolta Augmented Reality Print

Image Source: Konica Minolta

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How Will COVID-19 Affect My Business? bliQ Subscribers Speak Out

Eve Padula
Mar 24, 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us in a variety of ways. Many employees are being advised to work from home to help slow the spread of the virus, businesses are attempting to manage their remote workforces, people are practicing social distancing, non-essential businesses in many communities are temporarily shutting down, and virtually everyone is wondering how long this will last and how it will impact our personal and professional lives.

The big question is, how will COVID-19 affect our industry? Keypoint Intelligence very recently conducted a survey of its bliQ subscribers to determine how dealers, vendors, salespeople, and others are responding to the outbreak. People were asked to provide their thoughts on the coronavirus and how they expected it to affect their businesses, and they were given the option to publish their comments anonymously or publicly (i.e., disclosing their names and companies). Many of the responses were quite candid and eye-opening, and a synopsis of subscriber comments is provided below.

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The Office Scanner Industry Responds to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Lee Davis
Mar 23, 2020

Demand Is Steady, Supply Chains Are Mostly Intact, and Everybody Is Working from Home

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I remember learning about the Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Influenza when I was in school. I was terrified, but also relieved: “At least with modern medicine and medical technology, I’ll never have to worry about dealing with that stuff.”

Boy was I wrong.

The COVID-19 outbreak is wreaking havoc in every measurable way that havoc can be wreaked. Everything is closed. I am running out of toilet paper. My cat is confused why I haven’t left the house in a week. And I haven’t been able to watch a hockey game in 10 days.

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Caught in COVID-19’s Crosshairs

Riley McNulty

Testimonials of Commercial Printers

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As the United States grapples with the coronavirus, all levels of government are moving franticly to stem its impact. Social distancing is now the norm. People are curtailing travel and movement, whether it be international or local. Trade shows, conferences, concerts, sporting events, and school activities are cancelled. Homes are transformed into schools and offices. Even trips to local markets are taken with trepidation. Because of all this, people have far fewer occasions peruse programs, see signs, read promotional materials and brochures, or use course packets. This has led to a decline in printing of materials required to inform, educate, sell, amuse, and decorate. Like all companies in services, travel, and entertainment, commercial printers are experiencing the immediate impact COVID-19.

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Looking at COVID-19 Visually, By the Numbers

Randy Dazo
Mar 20, 2020

Presenting Our Interactive Map of the Ongoing Pandemic

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As the cases of COVID-19 increase, it can be hard to keep track of all the numbers and the effects occurring in our communities. Through DOMO—the visual data analytics tool that we here at Keypoint Intelligence use— and the data John Hopkins University is aggregating from various sources, we have developed an easy-to-use and interactive map to help you follow the changes and understand the impact of the spread of the coronavirus. Refreshes to the map happen in near real-time as JHU updates its numbers.

CAPTION: Our COVID-19 map is here to help you make better sense of what is truly going on.

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How Virtual Reality Can Keep Workplace Collaboration on Track during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colin McMahon
Mar 19, 2020

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Every day brings more troubling news of the coronavirus. What at first seemed like a distant problem has quickly turned into a global event affecting nearly every aspect of business and personal life. As many adjust to a new routine of social distancing, many executives and decision makers are left wondering what they can do to ensure productivity while simultaneously keeping employees in good spirits.

Enter virtual reality—a relatively new tool that has experienced enormous breakthroughs over the last several years. While VR has yet to catch on commercially, it has found success in multiple business verticals. The coronavirus has given businesses a new perspective on VR and its capabilities, which is in turn helping businesses to shift into the digital economy and allow employees to work from home more efficiently.

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Gamification Takes Center Stage at (Relatively) Quiet PAX East 2020

Colin McMahon
Mar 17, 2020

Despite fears of the coronavirus, tens of thousands of attendees flocked to PAX East at the Boston Convention Center from February 27th to March 1st. The event, which managed to be held before numerous tradeshows and industry events were either postponed or cancelled, marked the continued celebration of video game technologies and the gaming culture. Compared to years past, however, this PAX felt quieter than usual.

PAX East 2020 logo

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Impact on Our Industry and the New Style of Work

Randy Dazo
Mar 16, 2020

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By now, everybody in the world is bracing for COVID-19. The personal and emotional effects it is having on us—not to mention the social, business, and economic ramifications—will be felt for a long time. With all the uncertainty, including how long it will last and what the future will look like, one thing is certain: We will all be affected, business will change, and the world will shift, good or bad, based on this global pandemic.

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