Does anyone still use a photocopier?

These clunky behemoths of the office seem to be from a bygone age of the nine-to-five, when fax machines were considered cutting edge in communication and real go-getters could be got at by giving their pager a bell.


Image by Jisc infoNet on Flickr

And, just like fax machines, they’ve always been near impossible to figure out, especially when it comes to changing the toner cartridge.

Things could be about to change though, and the photocopier could be due for a revival – alongside pretty much everything else from the 80s and 90s – here’s why…

Easy translate

Xerox may just have dragged the aging photocopier kicking and screaming into the digital age with Xerox Easy Translate – a new service that means you can scan in a document written in one language, and it will be spat out the other end in another.

Once you’ve chosen the source and target languages from a list of 35 tongues, it’ll not only translate the document but also keep the style and formatting of the original, making it a great way to instantly translate things like event flyers and restaurant menus.

So what’s the catch? Well,  it could cost you a fair few quid, depending upon how much you have to translate.

Although the service is free for the first 30 translations, once you’ve used up that allowance it’ll cost $10 per 100 pages.

And while the translation is done automatically, you can pay extra to have Xerox do it manually, which kind of throws into doubt the accuracy of the automated service – best you use a professional translation service in the first place, for complete peace of mind.

Even if the translations aren’t 100% accurate – and there’s nothing to say they’re not – even the most hardened old school translator would have to admit a machine that reads a document in one language at one end and spits it out in another language at the other is the stuff of science fiction. And pretty cool too.


Have you ever used an automatic translation tool? How has it worked out for you? Let us know…

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