An ATM for Books. This is *exactly* what I think of when I hear the term “print-on-demand.”
Most of the commercial printers that I’ve dealt with around town are trying to sell digital short-run printing as print-on-demand, simply because the turnaround time is shorter and the print runs can be smaller than traditional offset. But it’s still about a print run, and it’s still really expensive per copy if you are getting lower than about 200 units.
For government publishers to really take advantage of this machine, however, it would have to be capable of spitting out saddle-stitch booklets (bound with staples) and folded products (such as pamphlets and brochures). A lot of our print publishing is in these formats. Doesn’t look like this thing does that.
Update: The University of Alberta bookstore has one of these. I wonder if I could get travel expenses approved to go check it out?