June 23, 2009

HP Introduces Web-Connected Printing Experience

HP announced Monday the introduction of what they are calling the world's first Web-connected home printer: The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

Hewlett Packard said in a statement that their new printer will be made available in stores later this year and will be priced around $399 in the United States.

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is different from other printers not only in its Web connecting capabilities, but also in its HP applications (apps) feature, similar to that of other Internet-connected devices.  The feature includes preloaded apps on the printer and also allows users to download new ones through the HP Apps Studio.

In late 2009, users will be allowed to take the feature a step further, by creating and sharing their own personalized apps.  The inkjet printer features a touch-screen panel that lets users connect and print directly from specific websites.

HP's first app partners include the newspaper USA Today, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews Inc.

The possibilities may prove to be endless - giving users the ability to view and print maps, weekly schedules, coupons, recipes, movie tickets, coloring pages, word finds and beyond.

According to HP, the printing platform will also let users connect directly to their Snapfish accounts and will also make other projects available through the HP Creative Studio.

Apps, photos and other projects will be viewed on a 4.33-inch touch-screen, which HP claims is the largest LCD touch-screen of any all-in-one inkjet printer available.

The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web will also enable users to fax, copy and scan. It gives the opportunity for both wired and wireless connectivity in order for users to print from different devices, such as PC's that have Wi-Fi capabilities or the Apple iPhone.

An HP spokeswoman said they plan to release a developer's kit later this year, which would make it possible for other sites to offer the printing option.

"Users will be able to browse and view popular Web destinations and simply touch the app of their choice to launch a Web page where they can customize and print content on demand in an easy-to-read format," the HP said in the statement.

Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP, expressed the significance of the new product: "By giving people access to the content they want at the touch of a finger, the ability to customize their printing experience and create their own apps, and enabling easy 'one touch' wireless setup, we are driving a significant shift in how people will be printing in the future."

"We are taking advantage of the digital content explosion to reinvent the category with an entirely new printing platform -- powered by touch and empowered by the Web," he added.


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