As smart phones become smarter and smarter, peripherals are going to become more useful as well. Hewlett-Packard understands this and plans to introduce a fleet of Web-enabled printers with email addresses, targeting the next phase of the ink race: printers built for smartphones.
After extensive research, HP decided that email was an easy and familiar method for people to send documents to the Web-connected printers.
Consumers would be able to, for instance, snap a photo with their cell phone, send it to the printer's email address and have a printout waiting for them when they get home.
Users will also be able to share the printer's email address with family and friends.
The company is also racing to line up partners for an online marketplace, dubbed ePrintCenter, which it hopes will foster the growth of third-party software and services, similar to what Apple has done for its smartphone. HP envisions consumers printing out coloring books from Crayola and birthday activity packs from Nickelodeon.