HP's vision: a fleet of printers, all connected to the cloud, all with their own email addresses. No more drivers, no extra cost. You'll be able to print from your smartphone or iPad. If printing has a future, it's this.
It's not as though we didn't see this coming: the New York Times spilled some info about HP's ePrint system this morning, and Google's had their eye on could-based printing for some time. But with today's official announcement we now know the impressive scope of HP's vision: millions of web-connected Photosmart printers coming this spring, for as little as $US99, using the cloud to receive and send content.
The use cases really do seem convenient. You'll be able to print from virtually any device to any printer just by typing in that printer's email address. It's also a two-way street; content that's scanned into an HP device can be accessed by your smartphone, tablet, laptop, whatever. You'll also be able to schedule daily or weekly printings, which pushes content to work or home for your commute.
When HP's CEO mentioned that they wanted to put applications in printers, it seemed like an ignominious fate for webOS. But instead, we're hearing about the ePrintCenter, basically an app store for web-connected printers.
And the partners HP rolled out today - Live Nation, Nickelodeon and Yahoo - were actually able to demonstrate some value. I don't know how often I'd do this, but printing concert info and tickets from my smartphone would be a nice option to have. And Nickelodeon's offerings of Dora workbooks and posters seems like a time-saver for families.
But then some questions come to mind. Will giving every printer an email address usher in the age of printer spam? And while it's nice to know that we can have such printing freedom, how much will we need it? Sure we can send all of these documents and content from our smartphones to a printer, but we can just as easily send them to other smartphones. Or, more obviously, tablets.
That's just some idle musing about the future, though. People will still be printing plenty of documents when HP ePrint hits the market this fall. And when they do it's going to be an incredibly seamless experience.
HP Introduces the Future of Printing: Web Connected and Cloud Aware
Print from any email device to any HP printer from anywhere in the world with HP ePrint
NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—HP (NYSE:HPQ) today unveiled a new category of web-enabled printing solutions designed for the cloud that will, for the first time, allow people to:'
* Print from any email device to any new ePrint-enabled printer from anywhere in the world through the new HP ePrint platform;(1)
* Store documents or files in the cloud and print direct when needed;
* Transform their printers into publishing platforms from which they can customise print apps and schedule timed delivery of content – such as news from msnbc.com and Yahoo! and creative after-school activities from Disney – directly to their home or business printers;(2)
* Manage and customise their full printing experience through the new HP ePrintCenter to enjoy relevant, fun and interesting content that is formatted for efficient printing.
To showcase these new solutions, HP announced a full suite of web-empowered e-All-in-One printers for home and business that start at $US99.(3) These will be the first printers able to "talk" to the "Google Cloud" without requiring a local proxy PC or web appliance, which means people will be able to access Google Docs, Photos and Calendar directly from their printers. A selection of new print apps from partners such as Yahoo!, msnbc.com, Facebook®, Live Nation, Crayola, Reuters, DocStoc and Picasa Web Albums™ also will be available.
"We are once again revolutionizing printing to make web-empowered, cloud-enabled printing the new industry standard," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "We know that our customers want an easy way to print their content, anywhere, anytime. We're making that a reality today by giving people the power to print from any web-connected device – smartphones, iPads, netbooks and more – to any printer in our portfolio above $US99. The world has changed."
HP web-connected products and services are supported by a digital print advertising platform that can be leveraged by print app partners. Customers can get premium content at no additional cost and brands can add value to their audience by populating select print content with customised messages, promotions and information like coupons or local services.
HP ePrint: if you can email it, you can print it
The HP ePrint platform harnesses the cloud to break down the barriers of distance and connectivity and allow people to send the files they want to print from their mobile devices.(1) From a mum and son printing drawings from an iPad, to an executive on a train sending a presentation from a Palm Pre or Blackberry® smartphone to print and pick up at a FedEx Office store, HP ePrint allows people to print anytime, anywhere.
Every HP ePrint printer will have a unique simple email address that allows the sender to deliver a print the same way they would send an email message. Customers also can send documents to print through an HP ePrint mobile app on their smartphone device to a home, office or public print location such as a hotel or FedEx Office store. Customers will be able to send Microsoft® Office documents, Adobe® PDFs and JPEG image files, among others.
HP ePrintCenter: a home for all things printing
The HP ePrintCenter is an online hub for all HP customers to explore new services and customise their printing experience. For example, people can register their products and receive updates according to their preferences, configure their devices, track ePrint jobs, and browse and suggest new print apps.
Scheduled delivery available through HP e-All-in-One printers
Following a successful pilot study in two major cities, HP has announced a new service called Scheduled Delivery, which allows customers to choose content to be pushed to a printer at a designated time each day or week.(2) For example, they might choose a customised news feed from msnbc.com to arrive at 7 a.m. for picking up on their way out of the door, or they might choose fun kids activities from Disney to be ready when the children get home from school.
Users simply register for the news or content feeds of their choice through the HP ePrintCenter and schedule the day, time and frequency of delivery so items will be printed and waiting when they want them.
The Scheduled Delivery service also opens up a new era of digital print advertising for HP and content partners. HP and Yahoo! plan to launch the service as a pilot program to help marketers consider ways to provide added value to their audiences by populating select print content from partners with customised messages, promotions and information like coupons or local services.
New HP Photosmart printers at every price
The new line of web-connected HP Photosmart printers allows consumers the freedom to access content and print from anywhere without a PC. This can be achieved through HP ePrint from any mobile device or by touching a variety of customizable apps and printing options on the printer's intuitive HP TouchSmart screen.(2)
* The HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One – This top-of-the-line printer provides wireless access to the web and can be customised by selecting from the full line of advanced print apps such as Fandango and Coupons.com.(2) It features a 4.3-inch HP TouchSmart screen with enhanced touch technology and can save paper by up to 50 percent using automatic two-sided printing. Expected to be available worldwide in September for $US199.(3)
* The HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One – Produce lab-quality photos, everyday documents and creative projects using this printer's 3.5-inch HP TouchSmart screen. Quickly print web content such as coupons, recipes, quick forms, greeting cards, HP Games, crafts and news without a PC.(1,2) Expected to be available worldwide in August for $US149.(3)
* HP Photosmart e-All-in-One – Quickly print web content using the 2.4-inch HP TouchSmart screen. Create impressive photo projects affordably using individual inks and photo printing features such as the auto-engaging photo tray and direct access to Snapfish, the No. 1 online photo service. Expected to be available in North America later this month for $US99.(3)
* HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One – Easily fax, scan and copy using the automatic document feeder; plus, print photos and web content easily through the touchscreen interface. Incorporates a host of connectivity options including wired and wireless networking.(1,4) Expected to be available worldwide in September for $US299.(3)
New free HP Photo Creations software ships with all the new printers and allows people to create photo books, calendars and other fun projects. All of the printers announced today reduce packaging waste by using an innovative, reusable bag and are ENERGY STAR® qualified.
New for these printers is HP Everyday Photo Paper, an affordable, glossy photo paper designed for value-conscious customers. Constructed from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper fibre, this recyclable photo paper makes it easy to print colorful, everyday snapshots and photo projects on any inkjet printer. HP recommends ColorLok® papers for best printing results.
New print app partners for consumers and businesses
Newly available print apps include: Yahoo! and msnbc.com for daily news; Crayola and KoL.com for coloring pages and fun family ideas; Picasa Web Albums for printing photos from a user's personal account; PBS KIDS literacy, math and science activities featuring popular characters such as Curious George; Facebook for printing from a user's photo album or listed events; MapQuest for maps and directions; Artsonia for images from the world's largest kids art museum; and Live Nation for access to concert tickets and promotions.
Later this year, business customers can enjoy print apps from services such as: Marketsplash by HP for a shortcut to print customised marketing materials such as brochures and flyers; Google Docs for easy document scanning to the web for printing at a later time; Box.net to scan, share, manage and access business content online; Portfolio.com and Reuters for the latest news articles; Daily Brief for business essentials in one place including calendar, to-do list and news from American City Business Journals; and DocStoc and Biztree for immediate access to business forms such as invoices, contracts, receipts, legal agreements and checklists.
HP is working with a select group of developers to refine its beta software developers kit and to add hundreds of print apps by the end of the year. Developers can request the kit from the developers tab of the HP ePrintCenter.
HP iPrint Photo for Android
Now available for Android smartphones, HP iPrint Photo is a free photo printing application for quick and easy direct wireless printing to HP inkjet printers connected to a local Wi-Fi network. The Android version joins HP iPrint Photo for Symbian, Windows® Mobile, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The Snapfish by HP mobile app for Android is expected to launch this summer.