Konica Minolta Dealer Event in LA Demonstrates Latest Technology Developments
LOS ANGELES—February 27, 2015—The enthusiasm at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles was palpable last week as more than 1,000 people gathered for the Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. "Art of Disruption" event. Company executives fired up the crowd of dealers, showing them glimpses of cutting-edge technologies like iris scanning and robots, as well as new Konica Minolta offerings, such as 3D printing and tactile varnish.
"The riskiest thing we can do is play it safe," declared Rick Taylor, KMBS president and COO, who took to the stage wearing a bizarre hat bedecked with phones, calculators, clocks, dictionaries and more—wearable technology that he jokingly dubbed the "Taylor 2000." He noted that the company's substantial growth has come from "disruptive innovation," thus the "Art of Disruption" theme.
"I think disruption is actually the creation of new value," remarked Kevin Kern, senior vice president of marketing, who pointed to the way Konica Minolta disrupted office printing by driving the transformation to color.
In addition to product launches, trend forecasting and reports on company growth, the KMBS conference featured keynotes from entrepreneur Robert Herjavec from ABC’s Shark Tank and David Feherty, golf champion and star of the Golf Channel’s Feherty.
The event featured an exhibition floor with more than 70 stations—the largest showcase Konica Minolta has ever held. Attendees lined up for 3D-printed action figures bearing their own likeness, watched demos of iris scanning technology destined to make passwords obsolete, and dodged Savioke delivery robots. They also checked out new EFI wide-format printers that Konica Minolta is now selling, a tabletop label printing device (the IntoPrint EDGE 850), secure mobile printing displays, Midnight print management software and much more.
After entering the 3D printing business last June with two high-end 3D printers, Konica announced it would begin selling an entry-level product next month called the Cube 3D printer. Kern explained that the company saw the need for a less-expensive 3D product for the K-12 and higher-ed markets.