The NYTimes is reporting today that HP will shortly announce printers which have an email address, are always online and are fully touchscreen, and eagerly waiting for print jobs to come in from you. According to the article, HP is claiming that the printers are built for the “iPhone age” because HP has been losing business steadily.
The article points out that the printers will be announced this week and they “build on a limited experiment last year”, and they will range in price from $99 to $400 – apparently, every printer will come with a “breakthrough feature” – an email address. HP engineers have said that the email address idea is an “easy, familiar way for people to send print jobs to the printers”. Obviously, the idea is that users might take a photo on their phone and email it to their printer so that when they get home, it is ready for them.
In addition, HP is reportedly lining up partners for a website called the “ePrintCenter” which is supposed to be like an app store for printers, similar to what Apple and Google have for their Smartphones. Apparently HP has lined up 40 partners so far to build software and services for the printers – the NYTimes article gives an example of Crayola offering coloring books that can be downloaded and printed through this app store.
It seems like this new information is related to HP’s acquisition of Palm last month, which gave them exclusive rights to WebOS – the mobile operating system that runs on Palm phones. HP has previously said that they will be extending WebOS into printers, but did not specify when it would