It may have slipped from its golden age into its golden years, but two decades into the Internet era, the fax machine is still, perhaps surprisingly, holding its place in many offices.
While it has been reduced to a small player in the rapidly growing world of digital communications, “millions of people still use fax machines daily worldwide and probably will continue to do so in the near future”, said Jonathan Coopersmith, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, who has written a book on the history of the once ubiquitous office machine.
Even more surprising, people and companies continue to buy new fax machines.
“Sales are dropping regularly due to emails, but the market is far from disappearing,” said Nicolas Cintre, deputy director in France for Japanese company Brother, the market leader in fax machines.
I – Word Understanding
ubiquitous – found or used everwhere
II – Have Your Say
1. In the United States, fax machines have pretty much disappeared. But in Japan, where they’ve long been an essential feature of homes as well as offices, faxes are still in widespread use.
2. In America and Europe, digital signature is used to authenticate electronic documents. In Japan, a “hanko” personal seal is a necessary item for serving the same role.