Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

Summary: Okay. So I have racked my pea-brain to come up with the list of features and benefits to consider when thinking of mobile printing, or MP (Okay, I made that up, so don’t go looking it up).

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Okay. So I have racked my pea-brain to come up with the list of features and benefits to consider when thinking of mobile printing, or MP (Okay, I made that up, so don’t go looking it up). Mobile printing -- small-M, small-P -- has its benefits. Your employees or customers should have the freedom to print docs (not me), emails and Web content in full-color from Internet enabled laptops, cell phones and handheld devices. And they should not have to download drivers or install additional software. Let me try to break down the features and their benefits to think about, so when you talk to your boss, you’ll seem much smarter.

iPhone, Palm Pre, Blackberry, etc.

Mobile plus handheld printing. You should be able to forward any email from PDAs or Internet-enabled cell phones – with or without attachments – to a printer’s email address.

Driverless Web-based printing ability. Users should be able to surf to a printer’s URL using any browser, and upload a file or enter an URL of what’s to be printed. After submitting each request, the service automatically replies to an email address with a secure release code. At the keypad attached to the printer, the user then enters the code to release their print job.

Simple installation. Find a turnkey system that can be self-configuring and ready to print from anywhere in minutes. Internet Access is all that one should need.

Totally embedded. All printer hardware enhancements should be preconfigured; all software should be pre-loaded; no additional support should be required. That means no external appliances and no way for users to accidentally change system settings or access other jobs.

Strong data encryption. All print jobs should be encrypted and transferred using 128-bit secure SSL communications.

Secure mobile printing. After printing, every job should be automatically erased from printer memory so you don’t have to worry about unauthorized reprinting.

Flexibility. You should be able use the mobile printing solution as a free client convenience to hold on to customers -- or as a fee-based printing service to increase revenues, if you are a super capitalist.

Customizable interfaces. The solution should incorporate logos and colors on the Web page to reflect your business identity and present printing as a value-added service exclusive to your establishment.

Add links and custom messages. You should be able to customize the user interface to add links to other websites, add new printers or insert new screens for additional services, print job options and job confirmation/approval steps.

Support for 3rd party billing systems. The mobile printing solution provider should be partnering with the likes of Printer On and Web Pay Services (WPS) to enable hosted billing solutions so that the system can count the number of pages, calculate the job cost, and initiate a credit card billing sequence.

Topics: Browser, Banking, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Printers, Software, IT Employment

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9 comments
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  • Sounds like a great idea ...

    Especially for business users. I do see the future with this!
    jerang@...
    • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

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  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    I agree. With so much of our day spent on mobile phones (so many of us have a Blackberry, iPhone, or next month a Palm Pre) with emails and attachments galore, It's great to be able to send my attached presentation or spreadsheet to the printer nearest to the executive conference room where all my big guys are. Of course print two-up and double sided. Or the Green and TCO watchers will make you feel guilty. Don't forget to get the MFP to staple for you!
    DocuMentor (Doc)
  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    Doesn't Ricoh offer this technology? I think it is called Hot Spot Printers. You can print from any web-enabled device without having to download or install drivers. Then you are emailed back a release code and when you get to the device, you enter the code and your document is printed. I think they are partnered with Printer On.
    Lloyd Dobler
    • Hot Spot

      Hi Lloyd. Yes they do have a product called Aficio SP C420DN-KP. They say the following: "A Secure Mobile Printing Solution That Allows Anyone to Print From Anywhere At Anytime.Give every user the freedom to easily print documents, e-mails and Web content in full-color from Internet enabled laptops, cell phones and handheld devices without downloading drivers or installing additional software. Ricoh HotSpot technology ensures reliable access to driverless laser printing in a totally embedded, secure mobile printing system. The Aficio SP C420DN-KP Color HotSpot Printer delivers powerful 31-ppm full-color and monochrome laser printing with superior image quality on every page. Increase printing productivity and offer unique capabilities with a brandable, turn-key solution. Ricoh HotSpot printing technology makes it easy to print anywhere." The spec info is at http://www.ricoh-usa.com/products/product_spec.asp?pCategoryId=25&pCatName=Printers&tsn=Ricoh-USA&pSubCategoryId=21&pSubCatName=Printers%20-%20Color%20Laser&pProductId=1515&pProductName=Aficio%20SP%20C420DN-KP/
      DocuMentor (Doc)
  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    I like the thinking here. Much of it seems to come down to, at least vision-wise, making printing as seamless as plugging in a thumb drive to a laptop - those devices made the leap to "driver-less" (at least perception-wise) usability.
    jflyons@...
  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    There once was a "universal" printer interface. It was called ASCII text.

    Once you get beyond that, there must be a driver somewhere that does the conversion from dots on the screen of a device (PC/PDA/phone/whatever) to dots (ink or toner) on the paper of a printer.

    If you print a page from a server, then the server could determine what was needed to print its displayed page on the destination printer. That may require a new protocol so the web server can talk to the remote printer controller to determine its capabilities and create a proper file format for transmission to that printer, along with security code and/or job owner identification. The "printer" being talked to is actually a server, so print jobs can be queued and owner identification associated with each print request.

    Proably not that difficult, as print requests with owner ID info attached have been around for years. Getting the details together for the common printer that is most convenient for the user may be more difficult. The user might want to send the hardcopy to someone else, who could be anywhere in the world. Does the system assume the user knows which printer is most convenient for the other person or does it email/text the other person and have them respond with their preferred printer destination?

    My background: In the previous century, I wrote code for PCs to use Datakit (that's an ancient technology ;-) to be able to send printer output (ASCII and binary) anywhere on the AT&T corporate network. From a desk in Atlanta, I could produce hardcopy on a printer in San Diego or _______ (your city here). I think that's probably what "printing while flying" should offer.

    John
    techmail@...
  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    BTW - the Ricoh HotSpot Printer devices have been readily
    available since early 2008 and are highly reliable. The color
    model has the lowest cost of operation of any
    workgroup/desktop color laser printer available in North
    America.
    Lewis Newmark
  • RE: Driving While Printing. Printing While You Fly. And Web Printing.

    Thanks. Your taking me back to a college course when the teacher said, hey, let's brainstorm the applications for this thing called image digitization. I went wild with ideas. And I wished I could get into that kind of business. Then years later I look back and see that I DID. Now I know my bio is a bit whack, but I was at Apple when they started with Desktop Publishing and Apple Draw. Then I was at a wide format digital imaging print driver and supply company. Worked with HP, Xerox, and all the wide format printing tech. Loved going to Drupa, Fotokina, PMA, and all those shows on imaging and printing. Dreams do come true -- when your memory comes back and you can look back. Try it.
    DocuMentor (Doc)