In this age of iPhones and other hip gadgets, HP hopes it can give the printer its own element of cool.
And the elements that nearly every cool tool has these days? Touchscreen functionality and easy Web access.
HP recently announced the September release of the new Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. As the name implies, the device is operated with a touchscreen and connects to the Internet.
It lets users print directly from the Internet using customized apps from Google, Fandango and Coupons Inc., to name a few. In other words, you can use the printer to access, as well as print, maps, movie tickets, coupons and other documents. More services are likely to be added in the future.
According the HP, the tool offers an efficient way to access data and get it on paper, all on the same device. The TouchSmart Web service is free, and the printer itself will sell for about $400.
Note that this is not a business printer, but rather a home-oriented photo ink jet. However, it may well be an indication of trends in business, as technical innovations has a way of percolating upwards.