Forget the Networked Fridge. Give me a Networked Printer!

Forget the Networked Fridge. Give me a Networked Printer!

Networked PrinterThis week Zee wrote a post here about the first internet Connected printer in a post titled “HP announces the world’s first web-connected printer. Browse and print from your printer“. When i first read the article I though my dream came true. You see, all I want is a truly networked printer.

You might say that every modern printer is networked but that is only partially true. What I want is a printer that just connects to the web and lets me access it over the web. That is ‘truly’ networked!

Connecting via the web would mean that I could print from everywhere, of course. And yes, it would be pretty cool to print a document at the office from my living room. But that is not the main reason I want it. The main reason I want it is to be able to forget about HOW I connect.

Right now we have 4 or 5 printers in the office. One is a HP Laserprinter that connects to one Wi-Fi network. Usually it isn’t connected to the network I happen to be using at the moment which means I have to switch networks. The others are USB printers (Color Inkjets and a Dymo Labelprinter) with lots of cables which are usually not where they are supposed to be.

In my perfect office each printer would simply be connected to a wall socket and available on the web. I would connect to them once, authenticate myself, and then whenever I would want to print something it would just work.

How come these electronics companies are spending on putting Internet in refrigerators and adding web browsers to Printers but don’t make it easier to just connect to them?

A few notes:

– Yes, I’m aware that there are tools to set-up a local server to Internet enable your printer. They are difficult to use, PC only or not compatible with my printers. No thanks.
– Yes, I’m aware of the possible abuse this might invite. But hey, it is 2009 and we all use Internet Banking. Don’t tell me you can’t make this secure.
– Yes, I know we could simply organize our local network more efficient but I have better things to do than re-arranging our network.
– Yes,  I know you could use a remote desktop solution. But I want to make my life easier, not harder.
– Yes, I know it is hard to set-up an IP connection to every machine on the web. But hey, I can set-up a Skype or iChat connection in 30 seconds or less. You telling me we can’t make a PC talk to a printer via the web? Get outta here…

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