HP gives printers email addresses

HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allow people to print from devices such as smartphones and the iPad.

The company last year released a web-connected, touchscreen printer – the Photosmart Premium Touchsmart Web – but the new line-up will be the first to feature their own dedicated email addresses.

That will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own – or someone else’s – printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents, as rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend’s printer.

The email address could overcome the need for specific printer drivers on devices such as smartphones, Apple’s iPad (which doesn’t currently offer printing facilities) and Google’s forthcoming Chrome OS devices.

According to a report in the New York Times, the printers will cost between $99 and $400. The first round of consumer devices will be out next month, while small business versions will arrive by September.

HP predicted it will sell 15 million of the web-ready printers by next year. “We think by next year more printing will be done from the web than from word-processing applications,” Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP’s printing division, told the newspaper.

HP is also expected to unveil an app store with 40 partners. The ePrintCentre will let users download software to their printers or buy items, such as colouring books to print off for children.

Last month, HP said it was planning to use Palm’s webOS on devices including printers, after paying out $1.2 billion for the mobile firm.

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