HP conducts 7 Days Without Printer experiment in Bangalore

HP conducts 7 Days Without Printer experiment in Bangalore

Summary: As part of a global experiment to prove that print and consumer printer is not irrelevant, HP conducted an experiment in 3 cities, including Bangalore.


Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad have been called a major reason for the declining print business, in this case print is referred to magazines and newspapers. While the old-school guard is holding strong around the world, we are indeed seeing the gradual rise in content consumption through mobile devices.

The other print industry is the everyday printer we use in our offices or homes. Hewlett-Packard has been sailing through rough times. The company did not have a lot of success with its tablet and ended up suspending tablet production only to restart it in time for Microsoft's Windows 8. The company is seeing declining profits in its PC division and almost sold it only to hold onto it. The other major HP business is printers, used heavily in enterprise and since companies would rather not have paper cups than limit printer output, it doesn't look like print is going anywhere any time soon. Similarly, these printers are used at homes.

HP decided to figure out if the everyday printer was becoming irrelevant in the household and for that they conducted a large scale experiment. Called the 7 Days Without Printer, HP removed printers from homes of focus-group members in cities across Singapore, US and India. The participants had to give up the following forms of print:

  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Labels
  • Packaging
  • ID clothes
  • Certain printed clothes

Since part of the experiment was conducted in India, I was intrigued and contacted HP to know more about their findings in India. Here's the focus-group definition according to HP:

  • the experiment was done in the city of Bangalore
  • participants were female in the age group of 30-50 years (head of households)
  • they all had a printer that was used at least 3-4 times a week and a computing device like desktop PC or laptop
  • the participant or their better-half worked in a company with less than 100 employees where printers were used daily

The results of the experiment were not surprising. To keep it simple, people said they need print. HP says their learning from India were not different from Singapore or US, some quotes from the participants:

"Print can take a mundane package and make it fancy and enticing.  It can be so gripping that you have to buy it.”

"For the last two days, it was only white everywhere. Everything was blank…I did not feel like eating or doing anything interesting…”

"Without print, I would feel lifeless…as soon as I close my eyes I see colors even in dreams I see colors… I cannot imagine life without it…”

An interesting experiment.

Topics: Printers, Browser, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard

Manan Kakkar

About Manan Kakkar

Telecommunication engineer with a keen interest in end-user technology and a News junkie, I share my thoughts while preparing for my Master's in Information Management.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Propaganda films never get old ;-)

    As someone who has a printer at home that never gets used and one at my business that gets around the same, it seems that this study was carefully put together to reach the conclusion that print still matters.

    Instead of maintaining that dead-tree publishing has a future, HP should be moving towards 3D printers which have an exciting future - all the rest of print whether it be books, newspapers, magazines, document, reports etc, etc can all be read on LCDs/eInk - we can also use LCD/eInk labels which can be rewritten and reused. Even printing out cinema tickets is no longer necessary, as you can use your smartphone to display them.

    Print is not dead - as long as it exists on LCD, but printing on paper is coming to an end finally. Of course it will still exist - like folk music and arts and crafts, but its glory days are over.