John Paczkowski

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HP Announces PC-Free Printer

hp_photosmart_premium_with_touchsmart_web_panel_close_upHewlett-Packard ushered in a new paradigm for printing today, one absent the PC. This morning the company announced a wireless touchscreen printer that will allow users to print documents from the Web without ever using a PC or browser.

The device, dubbed HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web–a grand mountain range of a name if there ever was one–features integrated touch access and a selection of print apps through which users can find news, maps, coupons, movie tickets and recipes from the likes of USA Today, Google (GOOG), Fandango and Coupons Inc. Price: $399.

“Twenty-five years ago we invented consumer printing and today we are taking advantage of the content explosion and reinventing the category by launching an entirely new printing platform–powered by touch and empowered by the Web,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, HP Imaging and Printing Group. “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 set up, we are driving a significant shift in how people will be printing in the future.”

Not quite sure how significant a shift this represents. Is printing from the typical PC really so tiring and troublesome that it needs to be eliminated? In any case, here’s the HP (HPQ) press release:

HP Introduces World’s First Web-connected Home Printer
New applications platform revolutionizes printing in web-connected world

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22, 2009 – HP today unveiled the world’s first web-connected home printer: The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web.

HP is bringing the power of the web directly to the printer and combining it with HP’s TouchSmart technology to give people quick, easy, touchscreen access to popular digital content.

Designed for the digital generation and connected households, the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web features an entirely new web-based printing platform with HP applications (apps). Similar to other Internet-connected devices, these apps, which are viewable on an extra-large, intuitive-to-use TouchSmart panel, allow people to connect instantly with fun, informative and personal content.

In addition to receiving apps preloaded on the printer, people can download new ones as they become available at the HP Apps Studio to suit their interests and needs. With the sweep of a finger, 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.

As pioneers of this new content-on-demand delivery platform, the world’s first HP app partners will be USA TODAY, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews Inc. Through these apps, people will have free access to customized daily news, maps, coupons, coloring pages, movie tickets, recipes, personal calendars and more – all at the touch of a finger.

The new printers also will connect directly to a user’s Snapfish account to view, print and upload photos. People additionally can access projects from the HP Creative Studio.

People will be able to create and share their own apps to customize their printers through the HP Apps Studio starting in late 2009. “Twenty-five years ago HP invented consumer printing and today 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,” said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “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.”

Free HP apps available at launch
Industry leaders from the worlds of news, entertainment and information are the first to offer free apps debuting on the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. Consumers will be able to print daily, weekly or monthly news from USA TODAY, updated in real time and customized according to their interests, such as sports, news and politics.

“Today marks another change in the way our readers can access news and information as we bring print-on-demand to consumers’ homes,” said Jeff Webber, publisher, USATODAY.com. “People can print the latest stories from USA TODAY at the touch of a finger to better fit their busy, on-the-go lives.”

From Google Maps, consumers will be able to enter their destination and print a map; from Google Calendar, they will be able to print their weekly schedule to place on their refrigerator or bulletin board.

With Coupons.com, users can save money by printing coupons for groceries, restaurants, entertainment and more. People also can browse and print recipes for quick, easy meal planning.

Consumers will be able to search movies in their local area from any one of Fandango’s 16,000 theater screens across the country. They can then buy tickets in advance and print their tickets at home or the office, helping ensure an easy and convenient movie-going experience.

To empower busy families, the printer provides one-touch access to fun coloring pages and templates from DreamWorks Animation and Nickelodeon. Through the DreamWorks Animation app users also will be able to view movie trailers to upcoming releases without having to log on to a computer. Nickelodeon printables will include color-ins, word finds, mazes and more from top properties, including “Dora the Explorer,” “The Wonder Pets!,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “iCarly.”

For commuters, Weathernews Inc. provides a weekly forecast to allow for informed travel planning. With Web Sudoku, people can quickly print brain teasers for light entertainment on the go.

World’s first web-connected printer
The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web has an extra-large 4.33-inch touchscreen – the largest LCD touchscreen of any all-in-one inkjet printer on the market.

The versatile printer prints, faxes, copies and scans – producing laser-quality text documents and lab-quality photos – making it ideal for multitasking households. With a full range of wired and wireless connectivity options, the printer provides the flexibility to print directly from Wi-Fi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth®-enabled devices, the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPod touch using HP iPrint Photo.

ENERGY STAR® qualified, the all-in-one printer helps users save paper with automatic two-sided printing and reduces packaging waste by shipping in an innovative, reusable bag made from recycled plastics.

Pricing and availability
Expected to be available this fall, the HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web will retail in the United States for a target street price of $399.

HP Total Care
HP products are backed by HP Total Care, the company’s award-winning service, solutions and support, both in and out of warranty. The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web comes with an exclusive toll-free telephone support number for quick access to trained experts who will help people get the most from their printers.

HP support professionals also are available 24/7 by phone, email and real-time chat. HP’s online support options include consumer support forums, online classes offered at no charge, a dedicated support video channel, the PC Tune-up Center and the newly designed HP Customer Care site, recently named one of the “Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2009” by the Association of Support Professionals.

Customers also can access printer diagnostics and software driver updates with HP Printer Check. More information is available at www.hp.com/go/totalcare.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus