Fuji Xerox expects to make shared office equipment, such as fax machines and printers, as easy to personalise as popular Web pages. A technology developed at Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Lab (FXPal) in Silicon Valley enables individuals to gain access to information stored in personal computers or a corporate network from any shared electronic public device. If plans by the Tokyo-based office equipment giant materialise, people may soon be able to sample this technology through 7-Elevens. Jonathan Trevor, FXPal staff scientist, said Fuji Xerox planned to introduce this 'Personal Interaction Points' (PIPs) technology in Japan, where the 7-Eleven chain operates DocuCentres inside its stores. These broadband-connected DocuCentres are equipped with Fuji Xerox-brand multimedia machines, on which users can check their e-mail as well as scan, print and fax documents. Mr Trevor said: 'With PIPs, people can access what we call their personal information cloud via those devices wherever they go. Your preferences become the default setup at these PIP-enabled devices, similar to when you open your personalised Yahoo! account. You can open your recent PC documents, edit them and save these changes back to your PC.' PIPs use Windows operating system file-monitoring capabilities, eliminating the need to install any other software. Users of the PIP devices have secure access by using contactless smart cards that provide immediate identification on the machines. 'Users wave the smart card over the card reader next to the PIP device, the card then exchanges a small amount of private data with the device,' Mr Trevor said. FXPal also expected PIPs technology to be used in office presentations, where a user could just wave the smart card. The PIPs-enabled device would launch presentations quickly. The technology is expected to benefit sales of Fuji Xerox's recently launched Multimedia Document Service System, which comprises hardware consisting of the DocuColor 1250 and service software for content delivery. It is designed to allow users to download and print content on demand at schools, universities, hotels, airports and other public facilities. Fuji Xerox plans to expand Multimedia Document Service System into portal development. For example, the system can be packaged as a general online store for users to have access to their favourite information channels, including content on business and lifestyles. The service aims at increasing the efficiency of digital content distribution. The company's FXPal facility was established in 1995, with a mandate to undertake research that will shape future office and document technologies. Service portal development via PIPs technology is also expected to benefit Fuji Xerox's plans in the mainland, where last year it acquired the manufacturing and marketing operations of United States-based Xerox Corp. Fuji Xerox was founded in 1962 as a joint venture between Fuji Photo Film, which now owns 75 per cent of the company, and Xerox. It makes digital copiers and printers, multi-function machines, projectors, fax machines, and related software. The company generates nearly 80 per cent of its revenues in Japan.