Why the fax is still alive?






Everything was like a scene from the sitcom Сайнфелд - If the script to him writing Franz Kafka . After two hours of talks with the organization that provides loans to students, I promised to send all the documents by e-mail. In order to stop this nightmare, I had to sign them and send documents back.

«Can I send all e-mail?" - I asked.

"It is better to send them to us by fax" - replied the expert. "Number is written in the header of the document».

For Real? And e-mail can not? "- I asked, but I said:" We prefer to fax ».

"If we were working with e-mail, we would be inundated with letters, and something would be lost in such turmoil».

"I understand" - I admitted, thinking that technology often create problems not less than allowed, but the fax ... I really annoying. Really I can not send back the signed documents by e-mail in this particular situation? Oh, please!

Specialist only laughed, saying: "We are constantly asked about it, but we can take your documents by fax only, sorry». Blockquote>
Gee. Someone still uses fax? It turns out that many more people than I thought before.

Fax plays a surprisingly important role in modern Japanese business. According to Washington Post , it is almost 100% of companies and 60% of private households. Just last year, the Japanese gained 1 7000000 Fax old type.

In fact, the Japanese still send invitations to parties, bank statements, and trademarks by fax. The technology - a mandatory alternative e-mail. In Wall Street Journal write that during catastrophic events at Fukushima Daiichi plant operators informed the Government of its plan to organization of emergency relief in the sea is not on the phone, and fax.

For what everyone loves this "dinosaur"? Officials and businessmen want to "paper" copies of statements and receipts - as well as criminal gangs Yakuza , they just do not believe in the security of electronic communications. These beliefs are so strong that even the gangsters put their rivals in place using dry messages sent by fax.

Of course, companies have tried to upgrade, but they say that customers against - if the user is offered the option without a fax number, sales and corporate income plummets. Yuichiro Sugahara (Yuichiro Sugahara), owner of the company, engaged in the delivery bento (sets of dishes a la carte), for example, tried to go to online forums (for clients), but after a steep decline in sales quickly returned to the original equipment. He emphasizes that his customers like to leave special requests and comments to the order, which allows you to fax, which opportunities to create posts in this particular case, it is more convenient than the e-mail.

"In Japanese culture, there is a definite need for warmth and special treatment that can be sent via fax handwriting" - says Yuichiro, commenting on its history to New York Times .

But why insist on using business fax, if you can just scan and send documents by e-mail? It can be absolutely any documents that can be sent anywhere and at any time. Faxes - a legacy of the Stone Age, but they are still working around the world.

It turns out that the health sector, as well as banking, finance and legal spheres support the demand for faxes due to the presence of strict legal framework and requirements. Despite competitors like Dropbox and Google Drive, from 2011 to 2012 have been sold worldwide more than 35 million faxes "all in one", as noted by Gartner. This amount does not include devices with mono-functionality, which account Gartner stopped many years ago.

"On day working fax number is still high, and the decline in this area does not mean complete rejection of this type of device in the long term," - said Ken Weilerstein (Ken Weilerstein) в article Fortune .

Despite the abundance of cloud services, or perhaps because of it, any industrial STANDARDS for the electronic exchange of documents are not currently available. "Approval of the new standard will require monumental efforts of a large number of people," - said Fortune, quoting Flowers Kyle (Kyle Flowers), director of marketing for j2 Global, which owns eFax - a service that allows you to send faxes using .PDF.

Fax is still alive thanks to the fact that for a long time he was the best and often the only tool quickly send documents. Of course, there are tools to work faster and with greater convenience, but there is no standard that would be deposed King of office electronics. To understand this, we need to look at its history.



We document facsimile transmission technology was more than 160 years in order to consolidate its position as the standard in the business world. In 1843, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain ( Alexander Bain ) received a patent for a method of "production and control electric current in an electronic printing telegraphy and signaling ", in other words - the first version of the facsimile transmission.

His work was continued by the Telegraph Samuel Morse , which has already passed on not just letters and words, but also graphics. Collected from the clockworks and Telegraphs, he was nothing like today's devices. Simple needle fixed to the pendulum, "rocked back and forth and scan" shape formed of thin metal sheet. To put it mildly, this prototype was "damp».

Over the next hundred years, it was possible to improve the device. By 1955, the ninth year the first radio wave fax was sent through the whole continent. By 1966 th Xerox released Magnafax - model, which was smaller, faster and cheaper than its predecessors. The revolutionary device sends a letter to the volume of documents for lightning at the time of 6 minutes, but can be connected to the telephone line has been even more significant, allowing easy installation and start using.

By the 70s, companies such as Sony have flooded the market even easier and cheaper devices, making fax basic element of large and small businesses. critical mass such devices formed on the market by the end of the 80s.

Since its heyday fax machines improved, equipped with a variety of technological innovations and remain relevant. Digital Link speed up data transfer and Internet Services for e-mail, for example, eFax - entirely replaced the bulky device. Now the software converts and sends the documents to the farthest corners of the world.

Accelerating pace of business, the trend to an increase in the number of remote employees, synchronization capabilities "office" software on laptops, tablets and smartphones make us look at the fax as a technology whose days are numbered.

In the end, you can simply take a picture of a document and send it by e-mail. The popularity of applications such as JotNot Scanner ( iOS ) and CamScanner (Android ) can be doubled, since they are de facto fax. They convert any image in .PDF, only need good lighting for photos, comparable to a paper copy.

With the application you can send and receive fax documents. iFax ( iOS , Android ) can open .PDF of your email, Dropbox or Evernote. Take a picture, you can convert it to supplement the electronic signature and send back addresser security level, allowing use of such technologies even in the health sector.

If you need to obtain a fax device, the application can send a letter or push-notification when a document is received - and no squeaks or howls electronics. Along with this innovation will cost you a pretty penny - the app itself is free, but sending a fax is from 1 to 3 dollars per document up to 5 pages, depending on where you live. Than bulkier and more, the more expensive.

To receive faxes you need and telephone number, which requires subscribe within the application, the cost of which begins with the $ 13 a month. It's not cheap, but if you are working remotely or just want to say goodbye to clunky dust collector - the use of applications can be output.

After my futile attempts to achieve a more convenient option, I pulled myself together, signed and faxed documents organization providing loans to students. I thought about using iFax, but after my four nephew asked, "And what is the fax machine?", I realized that I need to be sure to make a pilgrimage to this fax just to show him the relic that could disappear before he will get a job. After all, last year in the archives of museums Smithsonian faxes were old-fashioned.

So we went to the office Kinko [approx. interpreter - a sign of how FedEx ], where there is a single fax for general use. My nephew, get the hand in the work with the iPad, was confused. Where is the screen to control gestures? After I told him that management is carried out keys, he began to push everything at once, and then managing officer hurried to the sound of squeaking and creaking machine.

I taught him how to fill out the cover sheet to fold sheets of paper and enter the number. Pressing the green send button, he observed, equally with suspicion and distrust, for the humming machine, spitting out pages one by one. With the cost of $ 2 per sheet shipping 17-page document cost more and took more time than I would like. And my nephew, who is a typical representative of the "postfaksovskoy" era, fax bored very quickly.

After leaving the department Kinko, he still could not believe that a fax really works, and somewhere at the other end is a device to print the same document, ready for processing an unprecedented sequence of bureaucrats who, in turn, can send it to someone by fax, by repeating the whole cycle.

At the same time, it has pleased confirmation, fax, and at home he asked his mother about whether he can receive a fax on my birthday. Was "funny" to press buttons and "causes the machine to eat paper," he said. All this got me thinking about the possible correctness of thousands of Japanese businessmen, officials and gangsters. Maybe this tactile interaction with technology is really something there. During conversion, all in digital form, there is something exciting to work with this device, and the present paper.

Maybe modest faxes and survive on a par with the iPad-s, 3D-printers, and other wonders of the electronic age, content accumulates on the surface of dust, loud creaking and humming while working with documents, coming less and less.

Source: habrahabr.ru/company/celecom/blog/217613/

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