Yes - you heard me right. Printing through a mobile phone. How do I do that?
I wanted to take a few minutes to share with you an experimental/beta service that allows users to share, store, and print documents easily using your mobile phone.
It is called CloudPrint and it was developed by HP Labs. Perhaps you don't always carry around your laptop, but probably always carry around your mobile phone. Perhaps you received an e-mail on your Blackberry or browsed an interesting article on the web? If you could only print it instead of viewing it on that tiny mobile phone screen!
In the past, you would have tried to figure out how to email a copy of the document to your notebook or synch up you phone to another mobile device. And forget about trying to directly print from a mobile phone directly to a printer (although hp has developed some phone-specific solutions for Nokia).
With CloudPrint, you can take your mobile phone to any networked printer and "print" your documents. There is no need to synch up - just receive them from the "Internet Cloud" and print them to a local printer. There are several interesting use models:
- Print email attachments, data or Web pages from your mobile device. Send what you want to print to the CloudPrint virtual print server. The server stores a copy and sends an SMS to your device with a reference ID. When you enter the code on the CloudPrint site, the server converts your data to a PDF, ready to print.
- Print documents stored on the CloudPrint virtual server. Before you travel, download the CloudPrint driver to your PC and save files to the server. The server sends your laptop or mobile device a unique code for each file. When you're on the road, enter the code to CloudPrint, and you're ready to print.
- Can't find a printer? CloudPrint’s online Find a Printer service can help you locate one nearby. The service also lets you print files – even vacation photos you shoot with your camera phone –back to your home or office printer (I am sure the boss will like that) or that of a friend.
Go ahead and give the service a try an tell me what you think.
My HP colleague Chris Hawkes has some interesting insights on how hp works
with customers to keep updated on their current and future product requirements
How does HP know what their customers want and why? Sometimes it’s a simple
“launch and learn” where we try something and see how it goes over with our
customers. However, mistakes in our business where our printers are designed
12-18 months before they are introduced to the market and the pipeline has
thousands or tens of thousand of those printers boxed up and ready for customers
can be very, very costly. They can also cost us a great deal of customer
Fortunately HP has an enormous number of engineers, product manager and other
groups who help to put the whole product together, diligently working to make
sure that we’re designing our products to be as feature-rich and simply to use
as possible. Our employees also know a great deal about our customers and are
constantly looking for ways to improve the ‘product experience’.
There are a number of mechanisms that HP uses to stay connected to our
- We have periodic studies that ask how happy our customers are with their
products and whether they intend to purchase HP again.
- We get feedback from the technical support calls – to understand what
functions or capabilities are less intuitive than they could be.
- We also conduct a good deal of market research to talk to customers, in
different environments (home, small business and the enormous enterprise
- We also do this across the globe to understand how people on different
continents and in different countries want their printers to work, what
functions are critical and which ones could be taken out, so we can meet their
expected price-point on certain types of printers.
Some of the issues that we have conducted market research on include:
- Understanding how price sensitive customers are.
- We can always add impressive capabilities to our products, but if they’re
not expected or desired by our target customers, those functions should be taken
out so we can give customers a better price on their next printer
- We have also researched want advanced features such as ‘fax to e-mail’ (or
Digital Send in HP terms) our customers want
- Are smaller companies interested in having these higher end capabilities
which have yielded great efficiency improvement for the larger businesses? If
so, are they willing to pay more money to see those capabilities built into
HP conducts dozens of market research projects every year; it is our
marketing priority to understand what you as a customer, would ideally want from
the perfect printer or MFP. We consistently seek out and value customer’s
opinions and do everything that we can to see that they are included in the next
generation of our products. Of course conducting market research doesn’t mean
that we also always hit the perfect mix of capabilities and price for all of our
customers. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it is considered everyone’s job
at HP to do as much as we can to match our product offerings to the customers’
demands and do that better than the competition. The team works very hard at
that. We’re trying to make your life easier and it’s important that we can talk
to you, our customers, to understand how best we can serve you – now and in the
Chris Hawkes, Market Research Consultant
I wanted to post this entry today because I am excited that HP's Imaging and Printing Group is making some significant announcements around their portfolio of environmental printing solutions. HP today unveiled a series of products, tools, services and initiatives that help customers minimize their environmental impact when it comes to imaging and printing.
We believe these Eco Solutions are industry-leading and in many cases, represent significant improvements of our products and solutions on many environmental fronts. HP has always cared about green issues and the environment. In fact, most large companies want to look green - to cover themselves with a green flag. However, I believe HP has gone further than most because we can point to really tangible things we have implemented or are in the process of implementing.
Here are some of the key announcements:
HP Eco Highlights The company’s is debuting new HP Eco Highlights label on two LaserJet printers. The new label from HP makes it easy for customers to identify HP products with environmental attributes-
- HP LaserJet P4015x,
- LaserJet P4515x, and
- LaserJet P4515xm (the P4515xm is EMEA only) as well as the
- HP Deskjet D2545.
These new LaserJet products and the Deskjet will be the FIRST HP products to include the new Eco Highlights label. It makes it easy for customers to identify HP products with environmentally preferable features and will be used company-wide across all products segments. The Eco Highlights label will appear in places where customers typically look for information on HP’s offerings, such as packaging, the Web and data sheets.
HP Printer Auto-on/Auto-off
This is HP's next breakthrough in Instant-On technology. The printer powers off on its own after inactivity (using less than one watt of power) and powers back on when it senses activity
HP Carbon Footprint Calculator for printing
This calculator allows customers to compare the carbon footprint of their existing printer fleet to newer models to understand how they can reduce their carbon footprint on the environment. The calculator looks at printer energy and paper use, the carbon impact of usage and energy spend based on geography. Look for it online towards the end of June or contact our sales team to work with you to build out some estimated costs.
Clear Packaging Design
On high-end HP LaserJet printers HP will, on average, cut the volume of packaging materials in half. HP is the first in the technology industry to apply this method to printing products which eliminates the need for an outer corrugated box and extensive foam packaging. The outer plastic is made from the same recyclable materials as plastic milk jugs, and customers will have less packaging to manage when they receive their products. HP will use it to ship recently introduced products such as the HP LaserJet M5035x MFP.
HP Paper Policy
Building on its legacy of environmental leadership, HP is pledging to reduce the environmental impact of the papers that the company buys, uses, and sells by establishing one of the most comprehensive paper policies in the industry – spanning both papers sold to customers and those used by HP in packaging, collateral and office-printing.
With some of these enhancements, we have goals to improve the overall energy efficiency of HP's ink and laser printing products by 40% by 2011 and to surpass 250 million cumulative HP inkjet and LaserJet cartridges recycled in 2008, thereby helping the company reach its goal of recovering two billion pounds of computing and printing equipment by 2010.
HP’s Imaging and Printing Group is enabling enterprise customers to save power and paper. HP has helped several Fortune 500 customers see up to a 30 percent reduction in their carbon footprint using technologies such as the HP Carbon Footprint Calculator, Instant-on Technology, duplexing, Universal Print Driver, pull printing technologies and Web Jetadmin. HP IPG is the first business to roll out offerings under the company-wide Eco Solutions program, a collection of eco-conscious products, solutions and services.
More information about the company’s work in relation to the environment is available at www.hp.com/environment. The full press release of this announcement can be found at www.hp.com/go/ecosolutions.
I would like to hear from you on ways you money to print in a more environmentally friendly way. How do you do it? Please share out your strategies and ideas. I welcome your thoughts.
My colleague Jim Lyons posted this entry on his blog regarding the current
and future role of paper.
For the last 10-15 years there have been dire predictions on the future of
paper. And believe it our not, people are printing less in many areas as the
quality and number of documents online continue to increase. However at the same
time, the number of office and home pages printed continues to grow. How do I
know this? I am in the business and part of my job is predicting the number of
pages that will be printed in the future.
Why are printed pages growing you might ask? I won't bore you with all of the
techno jargon and bloody details of it all. I believe there are three main
- First, there are many documents that are now printed on home and office
printers re-purposed from other printing sources. For example, those photos you
use to print in your local drug store are just as likely to be printed on your
home printer. Small businesses are printing marketing collateral like brochures, data sheets,
flyers, etc. on their ink-jet or laser printer that were once only the
domain of expensive commercial, off-set printers (and the desktop printer
quality is terrific!).
- The second major factor is that the explosion of information - blogs, web
pages, digital content, etc. has created a tremendous growth in the amount of
pages available to be printed. So even if you print less of each type of
traditional document - letters, spreadsheets, etc. you might find yourself
printing more web pages, blogs, CD/DVD labels, and online articles.
- Finally, the quality of online viewing is not at the level of quality of
printed documents. Ever try to read a book online? Was it an enjoyable
experience? Well there are some alternatives. Amazon has introduced their Kindle "reading device". Other vendors and some of the big
Fortune 100 labs (like Xerox Parc) have worked on this issue from time to time.
The simple fact is that printed output is far easier to read than displays.
Perhaps some day there will be alternatives that can put paper to the
HP today announced a very broad expansion of its imaging and printing portfolio for large businesses. Our latest offerings help enterprises simplify their imaging and printing environments and improve workflows to reduce costs and enhance productivity, all with an eye towards security.
1-Six HP LaserJet printers,
2-An enterprise-class scanner for document capture,
3-Three access control printing solutions,
4-Four printing services
5-An accreditation, certification and test program for HP’s software solution development partners.
These new printer and MFP products and solutions are focused on the "managed" print environment. When we talk about "managed" environments, what we are really saying is the device maintainer is an IT department or equivalent organization.
HP is investing a lot in this space because we believe printers and printer-based MFP's provide a superior, more cost-effective total cost of ownership alternative to copier-based products that are still used in many offices today. In addition with printer-based MFP products, there is an improvement in manageability of devices and an enhancement of paper-based workflow solutions.
With workflow solutions, we believe they can be better automated to increase accuracy and productivity while reducing costs. Our strategy is that with printer-based products, we can better enable the following things:
1. Optimize Infrastructure - Gain visibility and control. Create a cost effective, reliable and secure printing and imaging environment.
2. Manage Environment - Free up your IT resources with efficient printing and imaging management tools and services
3. Improve Workflow - transform document-intensive workflows and information management with end-to-end solutions and services
My team and I are excited because these products have been in the product development process for some time and are being announced today. It is a birthday of sorts.