HP Debuts TouchSmart Web Printer

HP announces a Web-connected printer and a slew of application partnerships including Fandango, USA Today and Google. The company says the HP Apps Studio would be available in the fall.

Technology giant Hewlett-Packard announced the world's first Web-connected home printer, featuring TouchSmart technology and a 4.33-inch touch-screen to enable users to access digital content on the Web. The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web features a Web-based printing platform with HP applications. Users will be able to create and share their own apps to customize their printers through the HP Apps Studio starting in late 2009, the company said.

In addition to receiving apps preloaded on the printer, users can also download new ones as they become available at the HP Apps Studio. Consumers will be able to browse and view Web destinations and touch the app of their choice to launch a Web page where they can customize and print content on demand. The company said the printer would be available in the fall with a projected street price of $399.
Some of HP's partners for the content-on-demand delivery platform include USA Today, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews. Through these apps, users will have access to customized daily news, maps, movie tickets, personal calendars and other applications. The printer will also connect directly to a user's Snapfish account to view, print and upload photos. Users can additionally access projects from the HP Creative Studio.
"Today marks another change in the way our readers can access news and information as we bring print-on-demand to consumers' homes," said USAToday.com publisher Jeff Webber. "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. Using Fandango's access to 16,000 theatres across the United States, users can search for movies and print tickets at home. A DreamWorks Animation app gives customers the ability to view movie trailers to upcoming releases without having to log on to a computer.
The printer also has the capability to print directly from Wi-Fi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth-enabled devices, the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPod touch using HP iPrint Photo. The printer is also environmentally friendly, boasting an Energy Star qualification and automatic two-sided printing. HP has also reduced packaging waste by shipping in a reusable bag made from recycled plastics.
"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 HP's executive vice president of imaging and printing Vyomesh Joshi. "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."