HP and Yahoo have claimed that customers are not averse to having advertising delivered directly to HP's range of web-enabled e-All-in-One printers launched earlier this month.
The companies carried out two US pilot studies in which people signed up to HP's ePrint Scheduled Delivery service, in this case cloud-delivered content from a national music magazine and a major newspaper (along with targeted advertising) on a daily basis.
"What we discovered is that people were not bothered by [an advertisement]. People are used to seeing things with ads," Stephen Nigro, senior vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group, told Computerworld.
The printers have their own IP address and can be used by location-based advertisers, as the address provides a rough estimate of the device's location.
"Through IP sniffing, you have an idea where those printers are, so naturally it allows you to kind of already target your offers," Nigro said.
There is also the potential for advertising to be further targeted based on user behaviour. HP is working to make sure that the user's privacy will not be adversely affected, according to Vyomesh Joshi, head of HP's Imaging and Printing Group.
"That's where we need very clear business rules in terms of privacy," he said.
There have been no details of the kind of revenues HP will make under such a deal, but the company will certainly benefit from greater ink sales.
Some commentators have also raised the possibility that such a system could be subverted into generating spam, which is increasingly endemic in fax machines and costs businesses millions each year in wasted toner and paper.
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