TECH VIEW: Road-Testing H-P's Remote Printing Strategy 12/17 11:41 AM
So I turn on the TV to be confronted with a Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ:$41.9600,$0.0075,0.02%) commercial showing a baby in one of those rolling low-chairs. The baby is scooting around the country at high speeds on the freeway. The commercial itself is hilarious and compelling. Kudos. But what's it about? H-P was showing off its new remote printing technology first promoted in the spring. In the case of this advertisement it indicated that the baby was essentially going everywhere in photographic form. You see the parents were sending high-res photos to all the relatives around the country using the remote printing capability introduced by H-P. Thus Aunt Linda would get up and find a photo of the tyke on her printer. So would Cousin Mary and Grandpa George. This is great, yes? Here's is my reaction: "Hey! Who is wasting my supplies with pictures of their kids?" An 8x10 full color image printed on photo stock costs between 50 cents and a dollar to print, probably more if you buy H-P ink, which sells for about as much as melted platinum. I'm not convinced that anybody wants this technology. H-P thinks it is the next big thing. The conversation about all this began with the purchase of Palm, which apparently had the necessary patents for this sort of remote printing. It sounds good on paper (no pun intended). You can actually have the printer without the computer and it works as long as there is an Internet connection. Exactly why anyone would have an Internet connection without a computer is kind of baffling, but that's what you can use.
For some reason I hate the commercial, it gets on my nerves. As for the printer I feel the same as the person writing this review. I personally think technology is out of control. Pretty soon the Chinese will be hacking our refrigerators and spoiling our food! ;)
"You can actually have the printer without the computer and it works as long as there is an internet connection. Exactly why anyone would have an Internet connection without a computer is kind of baffling, but that’s what you can use."
The above statement shows just how out of tune the writer is. The whole idea behind this printer is it's ability to make use of the cloud. That is where technology is going folks. The printer makes perfect sense because from any mobile device - cellphone, tablets, labtop etc....you will be able to print documents that are on the cloud...duh!
You will hear more about this once the PalmPad comes out. If you missed it, Jon Rubinstein is now on Amazon's board of directors. This tells me that HP and Amazon will be working closely with one another. Amazon, the content provider (books, music, movies), while HP will create the means to access those content through their products - PalmPad, cellphones, PCs, Labtops.
BTW, I've read somewhere that WebOS will support LTE. I wonder if the PalmPad's hardware will as well? If it does, it will certainly have one leg up over the iPad.
In the early announcements in June concerning this technology the company bragged about how it could send PDF files and other documents straight to the remote printer via an email address with no computer in-between. I thought this was kind of a dingbat and pointless idea when it dawned on me what H-P hoped to accomplish: the re-invention of the once ubiquitous FAX machine. Only now the quality is better and it would sell a lot of pricey H-P ink rather than sell lots of cheap thermal FAX paper. First of all, if anyone knew you had a printer with its own email address that would print anything you sent to it you can be sure that the office clown, Randy, would be sending a picture of his hindquarters to the printer every hour or two. I'm not sure if any of the people at H-P recall the huge brouhaha in California over unsolicited junk faxes that became a big issue and a huge nuisance in the 1980s. The argument was that it cost people money to receive the faxes as the owner of the machine pays for the supplies. Thus the process was bad, and needed legislation. With these H-P printers it is the same debate only the cost of supplies is radically higher. And the flaw that is never mentioned is how does the printer change paper? If your nephew is sending a high-res photo and you've got plain paper loaded to receive a document what happens? A smeared photo is printed? And worse, what happens when you have superglossy and expensive photo paper loaded and someone sends you a 45 page PDF file? Yes, this whole idea needs rethinking. But I'll give H-P credit for producing a fun TV ad. Good job on that part of the scheme. (John Dvorak is a columnist with Marketwatch. He can be reached at 415-439- 6400 or by email at AskNewswires@dowjones.com.) Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: http:// www.djnewsplus.com/nae/al?rnd=GqCGOCeUYbQWYIaZ9kb1wQ%3D%3D. You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires 12-17-101441ET Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.