I have been following the HP Asia-Pacific Innovation Summit through feeds from Facebook and Twitter. It has become a chance for HP to launch printers relevant to the enterprise market but they have put the spotlight on a key feature.
I have talked about HP ePrint when I reviewed the HP Photosmart Wireless-E B110a “network printing appliance” on this site. This printer had as its main party trick the ability for a user to forward an email to a specified address in order to have it printed out. As well, it was able to run apps like online colouring books or newspapers-on-demand downloaded from a special Website ran by HP.
Later on, I touched on Apple’s desire to have these printers work with their AirPrint setup for printing from iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad). From this event I had heard that 85% of smartphone users were wanting to have “there-and-then” hard copy of documents or other material that they bring up on these devices. As well, I had heard that the Apple AirPrint technology will be enabled on the LaserJet lineup of printers as well as the OfficeJet lineup of inkjet printers.
This event also was a chance to justify the business case for implementing HP ePrint technology in business-class printers. The main benefit was to provide accelerated mobile productivity because of its ability to satisfy the demand to “have hard copy now” while I use my smartphone or portable computing device. It also emphasised the fact that the printer is not just a dumb device but a fully-capable appliance as I have noticed with the Photosmart B110a.
Some put up an idea of using Instapaper “newspaper-on-demand” technology with this HP ePrint technology to provide a “hot-off-the-press” daily newspaper from these printers, As well, Matteos Del Campo who founded SPAN Architecture and Design had highlighted the ability to print plans for the Austrian Pavilion for the World Expo over the Internet from around the world using HP ePrint technology. This was done using the ePrint&Share plugin for AutoCAD.
I still had further questions to ask such as whether HP ePrint could allow for a “universal driver” setup and if this kind of technology, especially the “print by email” function, could support business operations who want to provide printing in conjunction with public Internet access.
HP also had used this event to launch the smallest colour laser printer which has the footprint of a typical desktop monochrome laser printer. I had the usual reservations about this one as I have with other colour laser printers due to the cost of replenishing the printer
They had also introduced a “copy fix” technology that improves the quality of copies made from bound originals. This is by “squaring up” the copy if the original is not squared to the edges as well as cutting out the dark background that occurs due to the lid not being closed when you copy or scan these originals.