After a lousy start to the decade, HP is set to bounce back with the introduction of a new line of touch-screen web-enabled printers that each get their own personal e-mail address, and are set to making printing photos and spam mail about foreign nationals that want to give you their money and increase the size of your genitals easier than ever.
HP's Vyomesh Joshi, known as V.J. to friends and enemies alike, has been doing a great deal of thinking lately, and when an engineer like V.J., responsible for the development of ink cartridges that could fire 45 million drops starts thinking, stuff – really interesting stuff – starts to happen.
The last several years have not been the best for ol' V.J., head of the $24 billion dollar printing giant, and his name was recently being dropped as being next on the chopping block as sales for HP continued to decline. The rise in mobile technology and camera use simply hasn't been equalled on the printing front, with items like digital photo frames feared to replace the traditional glossy photo that your mom wanted you to handle "only by the edges."
Some pundits claimed that the age of printing was over, and that companies like HP had best head off in another direction or risk losing a significant amount of their market share. V.J., though, didn't see it that way. After releasing a touch-screen web printer last fall, the company decided to kick it up a notch by giving its new line of printers the ability to each carry an e-mail address. Knowing this address will let photos and documents be sent directly to the printer from web devices without the need for conversion or being "synced up" with the device. HP Employee Hard At Work: Checkin' the copies
Take a photo with your iPhone? Send it to your printer's e-mail and it will be ready when you come home. Think it should be shared? Get the e-mail addresses of your friends and family and you can send them items for printing.
There is potential for these printers - which will range from $99 to $400 - to bring back physical document imaging to the forefront of the public consciousness. Obviously, there are a few hurdles to overcome - making sure that documents received are actually printed and not simply "spooled" forever, and taking the proper security measures to ensure that a persistent spammer or crazy ex-boyfriend doesn't get hold of a printer's e-mail address to send unwanted business offers or very unwanted "adult" pictures.
In addition to the printers, HP also hopes to partner with companies to create an iTunes-like store for printing, where children's activity books or other visually stimulating items could be printed out at a cost. Again, we can only hope the "visually stimulating" items remain of a PG nature.
Will this save HP? Maybe. The future of print material is uncertain at best, but this seems a reasonable way to try and meld the best of an older technology with its new, sexier counterpart.
Source: New York Times