There’s something about holding a piece of paper and reading it that can’t be duplicated by a phone or tablet, no matter how hard we try. The designers of the iPad and our various devices have tried hard to make the digital reading experience feel the same as reading a book or magazine, but there’s an intangible quality that comes with reading a paper product that can’t be described.
That being said, readers have, for the most part, chosen the convenience of being able to read something on a phone or tablet in a millisecond instead of having to deal with a bulky printer, paper and ink refills, paper jams, and difficult printer configurations. By getting rid of nearly all of the issues that people have with printers, Little Printer, created by BERG Cloud in London and launching in 2012, is trying to recapture at least some of the joy of the printed word.
Little Printer interacts with either iPhone or Android by connecting to the web. Using a BERG Cloud Bridge, which comes with the Little Printer, users can write notes on their phones to be printed on Little Printer’s small pages. The Little Printer then prints that information in black and white on small strips approximately the size of a store receipt. But the information that Little Printer can deliver that isn’t self-created is where it stands out. BERG has partnered with The Guardian and Foursquare, among other publications, so users can have daily articles and friends’ Foursquare updates printed in a miniature newspaper each day. Daily weather, puzzles, and news can also be added to these printings. Even to-do lists and birthday reminders can also be printed out easily. Users will be able to download a free app that can easily set up printings, as well as interact with other Little Printers owned by friends.
While this smart printer still will require some of the labor that was required for the standard ones we’re used to (after all, Little Printers require Little Paper), having the information for printing in the cloud, all while using inkless printing, is impressive and unique. Along with these other features, Little Printer takes up very little space, which is a big advantage over the large printers that still exist today. Having a printer that is as smart as the phones and tablets that use them is a nice upgrade to what we have now. It might just be what paper needs.