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Innovation

Can printing get smarter and more profitable?

Printing is getting smarter, but it'll be interesting to see if more intelligent printers and paper means more profits. Hewlett-Packard is touting more environmentally sustainable paper for direct marketing, book covers and manuals.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Printing is getting smarter, but it'll be interesting to see if more intelligent printers and paper means more profits.

It's a big week for printing. Xerox is hosting its Print 09 powwow this week and it's touting more environmentally sustainable paper for direct marketing, book covers and manuals.

HP is making its printing efforts more Web 2.0 friendly with custom apps designed to work with its printers. In many respects, HP is copying Apple's model with its App Store and the iPhone/iPod touch.

It's clear that printing is getting much smarter.

The big question: Does smarter equal more profits? Companies like HP are trying to keep folks printing from more venues. The challenge is that folks may consider publishing on the Web to be the equivalent of actually printing.

And if you really want to get environmentally conscious perhaps you shouldn't print at all.

After all, e-readers like the Kindle, Sony Reader and other e-book devices revolve around the paperless society.

This conundrum is what printing companies are up against. If we ever get to a paperless society smarter printing may not mean more profits. This smart printing vs. profits theory may not become a full-blown trend, but I'd argue changes are on the way in the not too distant future. What do your printing habits look like and how much does cost and the environment play into your decisions?

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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