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.
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