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Little Printer prints tiny personalized ticker tape "newspapers"

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November 29, 2011

The Little Printer is a cloud-connected thermal printer, that prints off mini newspapers c...

The Little Printer is a cloud-connected thermal printer, that prints off mini newspapers customized to its user

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Even though computers were supposed to usher in a paperless society, the fact is that for some things, people still like the simplicity and durability of printed text. Now more than ever, though, we're being told to cut back on unnecessary paper use. Well, that's where the Little Printer comes in. Announced today by UK tech company BERG, the small box-shaped device is designed to search the internet using user-defined criteria, then print off a cash register receipt-like mini newspaper upon request. Users can then stuff that printout in their pocket, jam it into their wallet, or use the back of it for their next shopping list.

One of the selling features of the Little Printer is that no computers (in the traditional sense) will be required for it to operate. Initially, users will set it up via a cloud-based system, using their smartphone. This will involve telling it what kind of content to gather, from partnered web services - so far, those include Arup professional services, Foursquare, Google, the Guardian, and Nike.

From there, the BERG Cloud system will gather relevant news articles, weather reports, puzzles, pictures and other items of interest, and send those to the printer. Messages from and updates on friends will be available from Foursquare, should users know anyone who uses it, although obviously having the more widely-used Facebook as a partner would be much better. It will also be possible to create things such as to-do lists, or exercise schedules.

When users want a printout, they will just press a button on the device.

Little Printer output includes things such as crossword puzzles

The Little Printer itself is inkless, producing thermal black-and-white text and graphics. It runs off of mains power, and accesses the cloud wirelessly via another device, the BERG Cloud Bridge, which is located adjacent to the user's router. A family of other products are in the works, that will also utilize the bridge.

If you're interested in the idea of being able to print off your own till-tape-like personalized newspaper whenever you feel like it, BERG will start taking pre-orders for a beta version of the Little Printer starting next year. There is no word yet on pricing.

The video below provides examples of some of the types of content that it is capable of delivering so far.

Source: Wired UK

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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5 Comments

If only the little guy didn't look like hitler...

Tayla Brizendine
30th November, 2011 @ 02:36 am PST

Oh! Thermal printing?

From The Daily Mail:-

Till receipts and paper money contain high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to cancer and early puberty, a study has found.

The chemical mimics the female hormone oestrogen and independently-funded scientists have long suggested it poses a risk to health - especially to young children.

In the latest research, a team from two U.S campaigning groups tested till receipts made from thermal paper that they had collected from 22 popular retailers and cafes in America.

The chemical BPA is used to make ink visible on thermal till receipts

They found that half of them were coated with large quantities of BPA. The chemical is used to make ink visible on thermal till receipts.

Holding the receipts for just 10 seconds caused up to 2.5 micrograms of BPA to transfer from the paper onto a person's fingers.

Meanwhile rubbing the receipts increased the amount of BPA transferred from the receipts onto fingers around 15-fold.

'Since BPA in thermal paper is present in a powdery film, we suspected it could easily travel from those receipts to other objects,' the researchers said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1336770/High-levels-cancer-chemical-till-receipts.html#ixzz1fCKs918A

RJB
30th November, 2011 @ 06:14 am PST

garbage making more garbage.

Max Kennedy
30th November, 2011 @ 09:32 am PST

Thanks for posting the BPA warning, saving me the trouble. I saw that research paper a couple of months ago and have been warning every cashier I meet, male and female.

Ben, you and your associates need to do more than just be mouthpieces for new technology. If you don't actually stay abreast of what's being learned (or at least have a staff member who does that for you) Gizmag becomes nothing more than a spammer, serving the needs of interesting product-makers. That's not smart for Gizmag in the long-term.

Best wishes,

Rafael

[Thanks for the feedback, Rafael. We did address the dangers posed by BPA in cash register receipts, in an earlier article: http://www.gizmag.com/bpa-thermal-cash-register-receipts/20317/ -Ed.]

Rafael O. Quezada
30th November, 2011 @ 10:11 am PST

As long as they don't give it GPP. (Genuine People Personality) ;) Reminds me of Eddie the computer on the Heart of Gold, constantly printing out everything on a paper tape.

Gregg Eshelman
30th November, 2011 @ 10:47 pm PST
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