HP has unveiled a web-connected printer designed to let consumers access and print content directly from the web without the need to turn on their PC.
The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web is claimed as the world's first web-connected home printer. The inkjet device features a 4.3in touch-screen display, through which users can connect to content available on the web.
According to HP, the device will allow consumers to print customised content from news sites, search for movies showing in their local area and book and print tickets in advance, as well as print photos directly from the web.
Inside the device is a new web-based printing platform using custom applications to access content. Buyers will receive some apps ready loaded on the printer, and will be able to download new ones published on an HP Apps Studio site.
"By giving people access to the content they want at the touch of a finger, the ability to customise 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," said HP's vice president of imaging and printing, Vyomesh Joshi.
The initial partners providing content are mostly US-based, including Google (Google Maps), USA Today, Coupons Inc, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews Inc.
HP said that users of its Snapfish photo sharing service will be able to print photos directly from their account, and also from the HP Creative Studio web site for custom greetings cards, calendars and stationary.
The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web has print, fax, copy and scan capabilities, and wired and wireless connectivity options. Users can print directly from Wi-Fi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth-enabled devices and Apple's iPhone an d iPod touch, according to HP.
The device is expected to go on sale in the autumn in the US for about $399 (£244). UK availability and pricing was not available at the time of writing.
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