Move over SmartPhone, I'm using my printer

In an age where Internet connectivity has become commonplace - and the
devices that enable it equally attainable - it is always exciting to
acknowledge there are still technology advancements that make content access
even more manageable and simple.

This brings us to the next point, whilst connectivity and its Web 2.0
evolution have undoubtedly changed the way we run our business and leisure
activities some requirements remain constant.  Human nature demands tactile
and visual experiences; it is also this need that led to the paperless
office's slow and certain death.

Merging the new with the old might seem straightforward, however, in the
case of online printing users have increasingly found that whilst their
nifty devices do allow for connectivity, anywhere, anytime, printing is not
always doable.  

Latest research estimates that one of three documents is currently printed
via the Web - clearly content access' end result is (often) a printed
version.  And with an increasing number of e-commerce providers offering
vouchers that can simply be printed and presented as gifts, educational
channels offering colour-in tasks and the like, quick and easy online
printing is a must.

Furthermore, from a business perspective delivering a printed version of an
important document directly - without having to send it to a PC first -
saves a lot of time and in essence bypasses an unnecessary "middle man".

So what are we really getting at is a device that offers you the best of
both worlds - online connectivity and access to applications that provide
printer-ready information.  Bypass your PC, like you often do when you are
using your little SmartPhone or netbook and browse and print directly from
your printer.  

Companies like HP are now offering printers that act as bona fide
connectivity devices - it accesses the Internet and takes you to your
favourite cloud-based, printer-ready applications developed by the various
service provider partners.  

What better way to print out a recipe for tonight's dinner, an interesting
new story or research than by selecting it directly from your printer?
Moreover, as the applications have been developed specifically for your
printer it is very easy to navigate and select. Already major players such
as Google, Dreamworks, Disney, Reuters and MAPI offer direct access via
their printer-ready applications which can be saved as favourites on your

Essentially, these printers have evolved into devices that rival the
connectivity and importantly practical ability of its smaller, trendier

Another important benefit of these "connected" printers is that they feature
their own, unique e-mail addresses.  What this means that you simply have to
send the relevant documents, PDFs and JPEGs from your smart phone directly
to the printer's e-mail address.

For example, you can e-mail yourself a document from your iPhone or send a
spreadsheet created in Numbers for iPad to a client if you are at a customer
site and need a hard copy in quickly. It is professional and saves on
valuable time.

These printers are really nifty, easy-to-use and simplify the Web 2.0 world
we live in. Paperless, what paperless - bring on the machines that provide
us with beautifully printed documents.


By Esna-May Hattingh, HP Business Unit Manager at distributor Drive Control
Corporation (DCC)


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